Do you worry that you’ll run out of time on this earth before checking off all your bucket list items?
What if a simple change in your perception could significantly improve your health?
In this article I’ll share with you 2 powerful tips that you can immediately adopt in order to live longer.
Change your perception of aging
I believe that in order to be in control of our life, one of the most important things we can do, is to set clear goals in all areas of our life.
By not setting clear goals we live life by default. Instead of being the central actor of our lives we are simply reacting to our environment. We don’t empower ourselves but rather we give our power away to both circumstances and those around us.
Health is probably the most important area in your life so why not set specific goals in this area first? What I mean by specific goals is: why not decide right now exactly how long you want to live and why? What excites you? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pursue your passion after retirement, to enjoy time with your family, to watch your grandchildren grow?
Does this sound extravagant to you?
Have you ever met people in their 40s or 50s complaining all the time about how old they are? Do you think it could potentially have an impact on how long they are likely to live?
In a 1975 experiment in Oxford, Ohio, researchers followed a population of 660 people over the age of 50. The researchers wanted to determine if the participants’ attitudes about aging could have an impact on their life expectancy. The participants were asked if they agreed or disagreed with statements like:
▪ Things keep getting worse as I get older
▪ I have as much pep as I did last year
▪ I am as happy now as I was when I was younger
What researchers discovered is that the meaning that people give to aging has a tremendous impact on their health. Participants who had a positive view about aging lived on average 7.5 years longer than those who perceived aging as a negative thing.
It shows that our perception of aging greatly affects our health.
If today you were to make it a goal to live until 90, you would send a signal to your subconscious mind. By making it a habit to remind yourself of that goal every morning and feel good about it you will progressively affect your subconscious mind in a positive way.
Add to that a strong reason to live longer and you will soon start taking more care of your health. Your reasons could be that you want to see your grandchildren grow into adulthood. Or you want to enjoy your retirement and pursue your passion. Whatever your reasoning make sure it inspires you!
Change your perception of stress
Do you believe stress is evil?
We are always trying to look for ways to reduce stress, and for a long time it was believed that stress should be avoided at all cost due to its detrimental effect on our health.
However, recent research is saying something very different about stress. University of Wisconsin researchers tracked 30,000 people for 8 years and asked the participants the following questions: “How much stress have you experience in the last year?” and “Do you believe that stress is harmful for your health?”
People who experienced a lot of stress had 43% more risk of dying, but it was only true for people who believed that stress was harmful for their health. People who didn’t perceive stress as harmful actually had a lower risk of dying than people who experienced little stress.
If you decide today to change your perception of stress and see it as a mechanism that is here to support you in facing your challenges in life then stress – rather than harming you – will actually help you!
Why not re-conceptualize the way you perceive aging? Why not be thankful for the positive things that stress is doing for you? Now, using the power of perception, it’s time to live longer than you imagined possible and complete that bucket list!
Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of whatispersonaldevelopment.org. Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.