“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” Buddha
We are living longer and at any age, you can take steps to turn the clock back. Start the healing process from any ailment you might be currently living with and, better yet, prevention is the best practice. If you are living with any illness or ailments these habits will help you find ways to endure and still find joy. No matter your situation, keep reading for techniques to live an enjoyable and happy life into old age.
Scientific research has proven that certain lifestyle changes can increase good health and reverse poor health. Bring awareness to how you are (or are not) taking care of your physical body, your mind, and your inner self. Make a commitment to add health and wellness to your life and you will reap the benefits of a balanced, calm and joyful life.
A recent study by the University of Pennsylvania found that lack of sleep affects the aging process on a cellular level and causes cognitive decline and impaired memory. Turn the electronics off in the bedroom and get your z’s. Sleep experts recommend anywhere from 6-11 hours for adults depending on your age. Find what feels right to you and stick to a healthy sleep schedule. When I plug my phone in at night I like to power off or set the sounds to silent so I am not kept awake by texts, emails, buzzes, and beeps.
Think healthy, positive thoughts and choose to eradicate negative thoughts. Dismiss fear, anxiety and limiting thoughts which can take over and ruin your life and your relationships. Establish good mental habits as thoughts become words, words become actions and actions become your character. Cultivating awareness and mindfulness can help control your thoughts. I like to set my intentions daily. Being intentional about your thoughts helps you develop a better awareness of your thoughts which leads to better habits.
Nourish yourself- your body needs you to make healthy choices for optimal health. You will feel better, have more energy and improve the quantity and quality of your life. Drink water: a good rule of thumb is half of your body weight in ounces daily. Drink tea: green tea has been proven to reduce inflammation and reduce cancer risk. Eat what comes from the earth: fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, and fiber. Reduce or eliminate meats: studies have shown that those who lived the longest ate more beans and less meat. I find that if I plan my meals for the week and buy only the foods I need for my weekly plan it’s easier to stick to a healthy routine.
Exercise does more than shed pounds. If you are not moving your body, you are not as healthy as you might think. Exercise contributes to the slowing of bone loss, preventing fractures and reducing toxic fat. It also reduces the incidence of diseases/illnesses and acts as a natural antidepressant. In addition to my Yoga practice, I also like to walk daily especially outside where I can be with nature and breathe in the fresh air.
Meditation, prayer, being still and quiet or whatever you want to call it all have benefits. Research shows that finding calm and zen in your life can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. How would you like to feel less stress and anxiety, have better mental focus, improve your emotional well being and get a better night’s rest? It’s all possible if you take daily time out to renew and recharge your mind. I like to take time for meditation before and after my Yoga practice but find what time of the day works best for you.
The addition of a gratitude practice or gratitude journal in your life can have a profound impact on your life. We become happier when we learn to appreciate the people, places, and things that surround us. Mental health professionals agree gratitude has health benefits and healthier, happier people live longer. I like to keep a notepad on my nightstand and take a few minutes in the morning or at night to jot down what I am grateful for.
We all need love and connection. A study was done identifying the “Blue Zones” where people live the longest. It was shown that people who live in these zones and live long lives spend time connecting face to face and having healthy social interactions. We are all busy, but make it a goal to reduce screen time and increase face time. Take time to schedule lunch with a friend, go to the gym, take a class at your local community college or check online sites such as meetup.com that list meetups and clubs for almost every interest...
Your health might not be perfect but you can make a choice to start right now and take responsibility for your own health. I love the quote from Buddha “No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” We have all made mistakes regarding our health in the past. I encourage you to start today and don’t let those past mistakes hold you back from transforming your future!
About the Author: Kim Kruysman is the founder of Body Soul Mind. She is a wife, mom, animal lover, writer, Yoga teacher, creator, entrepreneur, seeker, and lifelong learner. For over 20 years she has been practicing Yoga and meditation in addition to reading and absorbing books, videos, and courses from inspirational and motivational speakers, authors and thought leaders. Kim’s mission is to “Expand the Good” in the world.