4 Things To Stop Doing If You Truly Want A Longer Life
Why longevity is not out of your control — begins with a mindset shift
Many people think that life expectancy — is largely determined by genetics.
However, genes play a much smaller role than originally believed. It turns out that environmental factors like diet and lifestyle are key. So if you want to live longer — there are some things you need to avoid.
Living a healthy and long life requires sacrifice — doing things that you hate to do.
If you’re serious about making the necessary changes to become the best version of yourself — you’re going to have to be brutally honest with yourself. You’re going to have to stop using busy-ness as a distraction — replace quantity over quality.
You’re going to have to figure out what’s the most important thing your future self will thank you for.
Here are 4 things linked to a longer healthier life.
1. Stop Keeping to Yourself
Staying social can be a good longevity booster — interaction with others.
Mostly helping you manage stress and by strengthening your immune system. Good relationships keep you strong, while bad relationships can leave you in a negative frame of mind. Who you surround yourself with makes a huge difference to your mental health.
I’ve always been a reserved person until I realised, it’s important to talk and connect with people. You can’t go through things alone, you need to be able to talk to someone and tell them what you are going through.
And I know, staying connected can be tough if you are feeling down.
Or have lost someone close to you, or live far away from extended family and friends.
There are ways to re-engage and meet new people even if you are in a new city, including volunteering and reaching out to others with similar interests through networks or sports — business groups.
2. Stop Thinking That Only Big Changes Count
Too often, we mistakenly believe that great success requires great action.
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger.” — James Clear
The next time you resolve to eat healthier or exercise more, try aiming low. Try choosing just one small change at a time, like getting 10 minutes earlier in the morning to find yourself a healthy lunch for work, instead of a major life makeover.
Consistency is more important than a short-term, grand gesture.
Like the exercise advice above shows, even short spurts of activity each day can reap big benefits for your lifespan.
Small swifts can fly under your own radar, adding benefits over time without causing stress in your busy world. Looking at what’s already working in your day-to-day routine can help you feel energised and motivated to tweak a little more in a healthy direction.
3. Stop Cheating Your Nights Sleep
Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being.
I can attest to this, I’m a terrible person when it comes to getting enough sleep every night. I always promise myself to sleep on time every night but somehow I never do. It’s a frustrating habit that I’m learning to overcome — slowly realised sleep is crucial. The amount of sleep you get can affect your lifespan.
In epidemiological studies, sleeping too little (fewer than six hours) or substantially more (over nine hours) has been shown to put people at greater risk of death.
You can learn to fall asleep more quickly and take measures that can help, like keeping your bedroom dark and distraction-free.
Meditation exercises can set the stage for a good night’s sleep.
4. Stop Stressing
Like most people, I used to stress about — the things I cannot control in life.
I’ve learned that everything changes when you focus on what you can control, life becomes more manageable — less stress, anxiety and negative thinking.
As the great philosophy believes: “Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.” — Epictetus
But like anger stress takes its toll on your body and may actually shorten your life. By trying to reduce stress — you can improve your health in the long-term, and quality of life in the meantime.
Journaling or writing in a diary, meditation — (a practice with multiple longevity benefits), and learning to relax are wonderful ways to de-stress.
Working in just a few minutes of meditation a day — even at your desk can give your brain the mini-vacation from anxiety and tension it needs.
The Bottom Line
Longevity may seem beyond your control, but many healthy habits may lead to a ripe, old age.
These include exercising, getting enough sleep, being more social and limiting your stress levels. You are in control of your attitude and actions, take charge.
Taken together, these habits can boost your health and put you on the path to a long life.