Step back from frenzy! Living in a constant state of high-anxiety is as bad as a steady diet of French fries with mayonnaise.
What goes on in our mind can be just as toxic as what goes into our mouth.
Our Tips for Longevity [Part 1] were suggestions to optimize physical health. As our quest continues, we offer some points for creating the mental and emotional space critical to a long and happy life [Part 2].
Cheers to the next 50 years!
- Get over it. The most important tool for creating a balanced life is to change the way you think about whatever is causing you anxiety. A Mayo Clinic study found that optimists live about 12 years longer than pessimists regardless of personal circumstances.
- Have sex. It releases several hormones that reduce stress, increase intimacy, and get blood circulating (and the glow that makes you look younger). Frequent orgasms (about 100 per year) have been found to increase life expectancy by 3-8 years. The best that modern science can say for abstinence is that it’s harmless.
- Learn a new skill. Ongoing mental stimulation builds new neural pathways which strengthen and improve brain function. Take classes in languages, bridge, or piano for instance.
- Find stillness. More and more studies are finding that regular meditation is a powerful tool for healing, stress reductions and prolonged life. Fifteen minutes a day of tranquility creates a more relaxed state of mind than one hour of the deepest sleep.
- Socialize. A recent study followed nearly 1,500 people over the age of 70 for 10 years and found that good friends may be even more important than family for a long and healthy life. Those with the strongest network of close friends outlived people with few close friends.
- Finish annoying tasks. The cumulative effect of generalized stress due to clutter, unfinished to-do lists, and piles of unpaid bills, can age you the equivalent of 8 years (according to Dr. Michael Roizen of Real Age).
- Get a pet. They help you relax, feel more optimistic, and lower your blood pressure. Studies show that pet owners visit their doctors less often than those without pets.
- Leave work in the office. Constantly taking work home just to keep up is a potentially huge source of stress. Find a way to off load or delegate some.