Take care of your body. This is the only place you have to live – Jim Rohn
7. Preventive Care: Prevention is better than cure. Prevention in this case comes with a health routine like exercise, nutritious diet, good sleep, lower stress levels, and regular health check-ups. Leading a healthy lifestyle has many potential long term benefits like higher motivation levels, positivity, quick thinking, endurance as well as improved performance at work.
8. Invest in mental and spiritual health: Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Spiritual health and wellness involves values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. Leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world.
The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows the following tenets: (a) It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant. (b) It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.
Positive mental health allows people to: Realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, make meaningful contributions to their communities. Ways to maintain positive mental health include: Connecting with others, staying positive, getting physically active, helping others, getting enough sleep, developing coping skills
Read here how a mental health diagnosis can be empowering
9. Good friends are good for your health: Invest time with good friends. Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends can also:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.
10. Manage Your Stress: Invest in stress management. Stress is become a part of life today. Excess stress is harmful. Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you — such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll.
Here are five healthy techniques that psychological research has shown to help reduce stress in the short- and long-term.
Take a break from the stressor. When you give yourself permission to step away from stress, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed.
Exercise. The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.
Get social support. Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your works woes with one of them.
Meditate. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.
11. Be kind and do random acts of kindness: Kindness increase love hormone, energy, happiness, life span, pleasure and serotonin. Kindness decreases pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure. Read Further here
It pays to be kind: Those who are compassionate and better in-tune with other people’s emotions may be more successful at work. “People trust you more, they have better interactions with you, you even get paid better,” said Dacher Keltner, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center.
“We often are pursuing our own interests most effectively by laying them aside and serving others,” says Stefan Klein in Survival of the Nicest.
Read here How to make yourself nicer
Kindness strengthens our immune system, reduces aches and pains, improves our cardiovascular profile, and boosts energy and strength in elderly people. In a 2006 study, the most loving and kind couples were shown to have the lowest levels of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries).
Various studies in the past 15 years have shown that regular volunteers have better health and (among the elderly and those with HIV/AIDS) a lower mortality rate.
So how often should we be out volunteering? A study by Allan Luks, famous for researching the “helpers’ high,” found that weekly volunteering makes you 10x more likely to experience health benefits than annual volunteering. Among older people ages 64-68, an Australian National University study found that we get the greatest health benefits from volunteering about 2-4 hours a week and little benefit from any time beyond that.
Even witnessing kindness might be good for us: a 1988 Harvard study found that participants who watched a 50-minute video about Mother Teresa had elevated levels of salivary immunoglobulin-A, which protects us from pathogens in food.
Invest in your health and watch it grow:
Ageing Well Chart