Live Longer with a Positive, Proactive Mindset
Chronic illness and pain are not symptomatic of advanced age, and usually cannot be blamed on so-called bad genes. More often than not, the development of disease late in life is the cumulative effect of poor or misguided lifestyle choices.
Understanding the importance of basic lifestyle decisions can help people regain control of their overall health. An educated, positive outlook is the foundation of both increased longevity and improved quality of life. If you understand that an unhealthy lifestyle can cause pain and illness, then you must also understand that improving lifestyle can relieve chronic pain and overcome illness.
Sail Your Own Course
We are not automatically doomed to—or blessed with—the fates of our parents. Positive lifestyle change can actually be made with relative ease. Though sometimes jarring at first, incrementally improving lifestyle can save you money on insurance co-pays and premiums and even reduce your need for expensive blood pressure medications or other common prescription drugs. Healthy eating has even been linked to theeffective treatment of depression.
In more than 85 percent of cases, healthy lifestyle choices can actually prevent type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that a person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 30 will spend an average of $305,000 over the course of his or her lifetime. Preventative action today is no small feat, so it’s vital to understand the power of taking a proactive role in your health.[1. http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/diabetes/news/online/%7B88d4dc0d-21ad-4287-b7d5-784a7f8628d4%7D/estimated-lifetime-cost-for-diabetes-higher-for-male-patients]
You can take several simple steps to reduce stress and build the healthy, positive mindset associated with living a long, active life.[2. http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=2200]
- Be Optimistic. Studies have linked positive thinking to increased immune function, as well as a solid social support system. As a rule of thumb, all goals are easier to achieve with a support system, so this first step is crucial. It is easier to hold someone else accountable for his or her actions than to hold yourself accountable. By enlisting a colleague or friend to help you stay on track, you’re more likely to remain focused on your goals.
- Stimulate Your Brain. Never ever stop learning. Tackling new tasks pushes your brain to stay agile. Choosing to learn also implies a renewed sense of purpose. Because you’re determined to accomplish something, your brain stays active and sharp. The resulting accomplishment reinforces your positive outlook and can help you stay driven to create and experiment–even well into retirement.
- Handle Stress Head-on. Stress, especially the emotional and psychological kinds, can erode your body from the inside out. Prayer, exercise, meditation and even humor can help reduce your level of stress. An optimistic outlook will help you overcome stress more easily and an active, stimulated brain may view a stressful situation as an obstacle to be overcome. Don’t run from stres–confront it. When you’re stress-free, your self-esteem increases and you will be motivated to take better care of yourself.
There’s a reason that ‘Maximized Mind‘ is the first of the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living. A truly maximized mind helps people understand that they can significantly affect how good they feel every morning. This mindset provides the root of your healthy lifestyle choices, and is ultimately the key to a long, productive life.
Visualization and Determination
If you ever struggle with the above stress-reduction steps, here are two key concepts guaranteed to help you stay on track:
- Identify Your Limiting Beliefs. Throughout the course of our lives, we unconsciously determine that there are certain things we are unable to do. If you’ve struggled to lose weight in the past, then you may convince yourself that you just cannot lose weight. If you are terrified of speaking in public, then you have likely made yourself believe that you will never be able to pull off your upcoming presentation. These limiting beliefs hold you back, so they must be identified, confronted and dismantled. Instead of telling yourself you cannot do something, start asking, “Why can’t I?” If you change your beliefs, you change your behaviors and you improve your quality of life.
- Define Your Motivation. Above all else, something you are passionate about must drive you to action. For some folks, the motivation derives from experience, like watching a close friend or relative suffer from a debilitating, lifestyle-induced disease. Others are motivated by lofty aspirations, like winning an Olympic gold medal. When all else fails, your motivation–your ‘Big Why’–becomes the basis for every choice you make.
What You Can Do
Maximized Living wellness doctors are certified to deliver each of the 5 Essentials of Maximized Living, so you can start improving your quality of life and reducing your risk of chronic illness today. They are specially trained to help patients overcome the physical and emotional roadblocks that accompany lifestyle changes, and can offer advice based on personal experience and scientific research.