When I tell people my age, they always display shock. That may be because they just want to make me feel good, but in truth, I do look much younger than my 48 years of age, partially due to genetics, as my entire family tends to look younger than their actual age.
But genetics are not the only factor that give me the appearance of being young or younger. I also feel young.
Between my exercise, nutrition, meditation and sleep regimen, my body and mind have never felt stronger. When I feel strong physically, I want to climb trees or dance all night, knowing I am not going to fatigue or run out of breath. I love having energy. And this energy also helps my mental attitude because it feels like I have a bigger bandwidth to do and to give.
But what do I think really keeps me feeling young and possibly looking young? I don’t care.
What do I mean by that? I’m a doctor and healer, friend and daughter, and HOW I could not care.
Of course I care about the world, those whom I love, my patients, wanting the world to be a better place and wanting the planet to exist in 100 years. But I care without caring so much that I take on the problems of the world (or my own) full on so that they weigh me down and cause me to lose the ability to appreciate and fully enjoy what the earth and this life have given me. I take care of myself to give me the energy and strength to handle adversity knowing that joy and love will give me even more power to live fully despite anything else.
Caring without caring means you do not identify with negativity that surrounds you. You do not take it personally. You understand it as part of life’s experience and embrace it, just like you might embrace any joyful experience.
Research is now finding that there is a link between aging and personality, whereby people who possess conscientiousness and optimism live longer. What does that mean? According to researchers, it means that such individuals who make conscious healthy lifestyle choices, feel more masterful about themselves and their accomplishments, feel confident spending time amongst people who are younger, and uphold a positive mental attitude tend to live longer and happier lives.
One study published in JAMA Internal Medicine Online even showed that there was a higher prevalence of death in individuals who felt their age or older (the study looked at 6489 people who were an average age of 65.8 years) versus those who felt younger over an eight year period.
The really cool part of this research is that scientist believe that by helping individuals change their attitude and become more positive, it is possible to improve resiliency and longevity.
Of course, this is what I aim to do with my clients. Whether or not they do it is not up to me of course, as I care without caring if they do.
So what does this mean for you?
It means you always have a choice. You can complain, worry, and focus on the negative. Or you can embrace the negative as a means to uncover things about yourself that could use strengthening and healing. You can choose to believe that you signed up for this life experience and that comes with the good and the bad, and you get to see what the adventure of this life will bring. You can choose to put a smile on your face and dance and open your heart anyway.
If they end game is living longer and being more happy, what will you choose?