The secrets of living longer and with as little regrets
I will keep unfortunately that section a bit more brief, than I originally wanted. I may cover this again as this is a great hobby of mine – how to live as long as possible, and in good health. There is now a big field of research on the health of people who reach 100 year old, and also on the dying.
When I started my practice, about 15 years ago, the main elements for a long life were physical (mainly being within a good weight range and performing some forms of physical activities). These studies were showing very conflicting information, with heavy smokers or alcoholics living very long lives as long as they were physically active and within their weight range.
More recent studies show the equal importance of a positive mental attitude, an ability to manage stress, a good social network and a strong close family / friend group as key to become a centenary. Having faith or a form of spirituality is also very high. These emotional elements are as key as eating real food, taking as little drugs/medications as possible and exercise. Being within your weight range is also still key and important.
A life full of emotional and physical pain may appear long, but it will most likely end sooner than a fulfilling, active, happy life. My approach to my own health and to helping my patients tend to reflect this more and more.
I also came across recently on the work of Bronnie Ware, palliative care nurse and author of the book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” based on her conversations with the dying. The most common regrets are listed with the first one as the most important:
– Not having the courage to live a life true to oneself but rather doing what was expected
– Working too much, thereby missing children’s youth and their partner’s companionship
– Not having the courage to express one’s feelings
– Not staying in touch with friends
– Taking life too seriously and allowing worries to diminish happiness
This fits well with what makes people live longer, so trying to allocated more time on listening to our own inner voice, have the courage to act on it, and develop our close relationship, should be something we try to do more TODAY.
Thank you, and again, I wish you all the best for a promising summer.