Living a long and healthy life: luck or discipline?

By:  Christine Crosby

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”   Buddha

Some of us are born with “good genes” and are predisposed to good health.  In health, like everything else in life, much happens to us that we can’t control but success is found in managing that part we can control.  I like the Buddha quotation because it speaks to the core of good health…controlling one’s own mind which of course determines our actions, our choices and ultimately, our results.

We all know that having the best possible health is largely a matter of making the best possible choices.

  • The first rule to increase your chances of living a long and healthy life is to like yourself enough to make good choices about what you put in your body and how much.  Actually, doing so will also help you like yourself more!  Good information is everywhere and despite various differences in emphasis, I defy anyone to find bad news about green leafy vegetables, lean protein, some fruit, ‘smart carbs’ in moderation etc.  Limit the booze and smoking…does anyone still smoke?
  • The second is to move your body on a regular basis. A vigorous walk has benefits throughout the body and mind.  Again, this is not breakthrough information…the trick is in the doing.   
  • Third, people who laugh actually live longer than those who don’t, so look for the humor in things.  Life ‘its own self’ can be pretty hilarious.  I do not indulge in 24 hour news and I limit my time with people who would drag me down.  We’re all sailing together on a voyage and though we’ll get off at different stops, the voyage is limited so let’s please find and share all the joy we can while we’re together.  Attitude is contagious.
  • Finally, habits.  It’s our habitual behavior not our exceptional behavior that define us.  Adopting a new healthy behavior takes an act of will, for a while, but keep going and it’s a habit and will define who you are.
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