Mindfulness and Optimism boost Health & Longevity

How old do you feel?  What you can do at any age to revitalize cells and feel younger.

With so many news headlines and movies about looking younger and defying aging, it is easy to become confused about what to do for your health.  It is widely known that exercise and movement releases endorphins and alleviates stress, which is true for any point in our lives. Yet as we age, our culture has a mentality that our body weakens and we are less able to heal ourselves physically after injury and daily wear and tear. The good news is there are two things you can do at any age, with any physical limitations, at any time of day, to see dramatic improvements in the quality of your life.

Mindfulness

Research has shown that meditation and mindfulness, namely quieting your mind, can have profound effects on your outlook. A recent study focused on our perceptions about aging and physical health and found that mindfulness has a profound effect on healing physical ailments.  We know that it is not healthy for us to physically exert our body every hour of the day, and that we need physical rest, yet we forgot that our minds need the same type of rest, which we can find not only in sleep but in practicing mindfulness. We are in a constant state of mental activity and our minds need a break.  Resting the mind for a few minutes every day can dramatically improve our quality of life, especially as we age.

Optimism

We all have challenges, daily and long-term, that can greatly impact our life.  Psychology tells us that we are naturally attracted to people who are more optimistic because they are more resilient and therefore healthier. Optimistic individuals are more likely to recover quickly from a surgery or major challenge. Learning how to cultivate an optimistic outlook - through meditation for instance - has proven to support the immune system and is beneficial to our well-being.

What you can I do today?

  • Cultivate a daily practice of taking a moment to sit and think about the positive in your life, perhaps writing down one optimistic thought each day. 
  • The next time you are receiving acupuncture or massage take 10 minutes of your session to be present and mindful, observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment rather than thinking through your to-do list for the day.
  • Go for walks in a pleasing environment and notice the beauty around you, focusing your thoughts on gratitude and thankfulness.
  • Take a meditation or yoga class to help you establish your own practice of mindfulness.