Live Longer, Stay Younger The Yin Yang Principle
Live longer, stay younger. This is what most of us would like to achieve. In reality, what we really want is to have vitality throughout our lives. When we are young, we usually see ourselves as invincible. It’s pretty common, the typical human, with no form of immediate health conditions, goes through life not thinking about living longer or maintaining youth. We are usually so involved in other aspects of our lives; we don’t think of vitality and what it takes to maintain it. This feeling is à propos because when we are young, we already feel vital. As a result, we don’t focus on creating habits that will contribute to continuous vitality as we age.
Achieving vitality when we are older starts when we are younger
The consensus is clear, if we want to have exuberance throughout our lives and especially as we age and enter our forties and beyond, we need to take definitive steps that will ensure the quality of our lives throughout. There are certain things we all should do if we want to maintain an optimal quality of life. There are also certain things we shouldn’t do for the same reason.
In this post, on living longer and staying younger, we will focus on what we should and shouldn’t do. Another way to consider what we should do and what we shouldn’t do is to view our efforts from the prism of the Chinese principle for yin and yang.
Live Longer, Stay Younger: The Yin Yang Principle
To understand the application of yin and yang to living longer and staying younger, we need to delve into its meaning. As mentioned above, yin and yang is a Chinese principle. Yin represents negative or dark, and yang represents positive and light. It’s a dual concept of opposing forces working together to achieve a common goal or to attain success. We must work with the negatives and positives, and in doing so, we can get the results we want.
Before delving into the positives; the things we should do for vitality, let’s underscore the negatives, or the things we shouldn’t do.
10 Negatives (Yin) To Avoid To Live Longer And Stay Younger
1. Using Fear Or Denial To Refrain From Health Preventative Measures
Most of us probably know someone who proudly shares never going to a doctor. What would be eye-opening is if the person proud of avoiding preventative measures related to their physical health or well-being is middle age or older. You also have to wonder what’s the underlying reason for the avoidance. Chances are this same person also loves to live on the edge practicing risky behaviors, such as not wearing a seatbelt, driving too fast, or enjoys a cigarette or two.
Whether it’s occasional or a pack a day, the fact is cigarette smoking kills. Over four hundred thousand people die per year in America from this unhealthy habit. What’s astonishing is that these deaths are preventable. And when a smoker stops, their lifespan increases by ten years.
3. Continuously Eating The Wrong Foods
One of the most hazardous foods today is processed foods. Over the past decade, its popularity has skyrocketed. What most people don’t realize is eating too much processed foods can be perilous for their health. When we eat too much of it, we expose ourselves to cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension and a myriad of other conditions not beneficial to our health.
4. Relying On Family Genetics
You had grandparents that lived to a hundred. Your parents are healthy, without a single health condition. Surely you will be the same way. Would it be surprising to learn our genes are only responsible for a third of our longevity? Other factors contribute to our perpetuity, factors such as our diet, exercise, stress, just to name a few. The fact is, we can’t control family genetics. We can control our proactive approach to our health and well-being.
5. Allowing Anxiety And Stress To Control Our Lives
It’s hard to believe how we handle stress, and anxiety can dramatically affect our health. These two factors can contribute to heart disease, ulcers, and other health issues that can decrease our standard of living. Not that worrying is unnatural. It’s not. Life’s issues, such as our relationships and finances, sometimes cause us to worry or sometimes feel a little stress. The issue isn’t the cause, but how we deal with our life issues.
6. Holding On To Anger
Like anxiety and stress, anger can contribute to heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests that excessive anger may increase the risk of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. In many circumstances, it’s understandable why anger makes sense. However, in reality, holding on to fury of any kind will hurt us more than our intended target. Anger touches us, physically and spiritually. Releasing the burden of anger will improve our lives.
7. Being In The Wrong Environment
This negative is so broad because there are so many scenarios that qualifies as a terrible environment. The wrong neighborhood, an awful marriage, toxic friends, actually living where bad environmental factors are prevalent. Making the right choices is what’s important in all the scenarios above. We should remove friends that are toxic and doesn’t add value to our lives. We can say same of a marriage gone wrong. Anywhere you live, regardless of the circumstances, if being there doesn’t offer a sense of peace, then move on. The choices we make in life, affects every facet of our lives.
8. Inactivity As A Norm
Going to and from your car, or from your car to your home, or from your car to work, doesn’t qualify as physical activity. Yes, some movement is better than none, but continuous activity for at least 30 minutes a day can extend our lives. Studies show moderate activity even for those with health issues contribute to a better quality of life.
9. Not Paying Attention To Our Weight
What we weigh has a lot to do with health conditions that plague us. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, relates to the number on a scale. When we aim to maintain a healthy weight, most times, these conditions disappear. Excessive fat in our bodies can have serious health implications and affect our quality of life. There are many factors that contribute to weight gain. We list some of them in this post.
10. Believing You Don’t Need A Lot of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep contributes to the same conditions mention above. As humans, we need sleep to recharge or bodies and minds. And believe it or not, sleep can stave off diseases. It plays a vital role in our health and well-being. Getting enough sleep is the key to a better immune system, a stronger heart and for something as simple as improving our mood.
10 Positives (Yang) To Do For Vitality
We’ve shared the negatives. The things we sometimes do that offset our need to be younger, and live longer. Now here are the positive things we should do to live longer and stay younger longer.
1. Choose To Be Happy
Want to reduce the chance of an untimely death? Do what makes you happy and laugh more. Happier people live longer than 18% of their counterparts. In reality it’s our choice to be happy. The choice to be happy may increase your longevity, but it’s not a hardship, it’s a choice. You can read more about happiness in a post we’ve published previoiusly. The link is below. We all should consciously choose to laugh and smile every day, even for the little things.
Related: The Truth About Happiness, Find It By Knowing One Thing
2. Embraces Your Social Orbit
Our friends, co-workers, and even the strangers we communicate with online contribute to youth and longevity. In fact, research shows, those who have a vibrant social network, lives 50% longer. Your social community doesn’t have to be dozens of people. It can be two or three. Just having others to talk with, laugh with, and share moments in life decreases our chance of a premature death. Also, a social circle doesn’t have to be about friends reaching out to you. It’s just as relevant to give as it is to receive.
3. Know The Value Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting and periodic fasting are emerging as a brilliant strategy that affect longevity and our health. IF and PF can prevent and treat disease and positively affect cellular aging. Fasting is far from a fad. Its history dates back to ancient civilizations, where it was used to achieve focus, clarity and sometimes for healing. Fasting continues to be popular today as ordinary people use it to increase their vitality by losing weight and building self-discipline.
4. Follow One Of The Longevity Diets
Depending on individual preferences, these diets that contribute to our longevity. Either the Mediterranean, vegetarian or vegan diet can prolong our lives. Yes, what we eat is singular and so are the diets we choose to follow. While there are obvious benefits to other diets, such as Keto, Atkins and Zone, just to name a few. Studies show that following a Mediterranean diet contributes to a longer life. This can be said for the vegan or vegetarian diets as well. These three diets are the optimal choice for extending our mortality.
5. Know That The Little Things Are Unimportant
The minor annoyances that can affect our stress level are the little things. You know how to put things in perspective by accepting the things we can control and letting go of what we can’t. Also, we don’t hold grudges; we forgive others and ourselves because we know as humans we are not perfect. Patience is our virtue and empathy is a part of our core values.
6. Have A Purpose In Life
When we have meaning and purpose in our lives, we are more likely to have better physical and mental health. This research suggests that if you struggle to find purpose, it will affect not only our well-being and relationships, but our physical health. Not having a purpose in life is also linked to the likelihood of dying from cardiovascular diseases. Our morality has a definite link to having a purpose in life.
7. Constantly Moving
It’s no secret, exercise pumps up our endorphins which increases our sense of well-being. Endorphins aren’t the only reason to incorporate physical activity into our lives. Consider benefits, such as strengthening our heart, improving our circulation, muscle and bones. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and improve the quality of our lives.
8. Staying Young At Heart
In a research letter published in 2015 it states that those who feel younger than their actual age had a lower death rate than those who feel as if they are older than their chronological age. That adage we’ve all heard that we really are as young as we feel may be true. Another stunning piece of information worth mentioning is that there is a correlation between self-perceived age and cardiovascular death. The bottom line, whether we feel younger or older, it influences our health.
9. Choose to be Spiritual Or Religious
Choosing to be spiritual or religious and using either to manage our lives will help us find personal strength in our lives. We will experience less stress while and have better coping skills. One of the best ways to improve our chance to live longer is to recognize the benefits of spirituality and nurture it.
10. Cultivate Healthy Relationships
Many studies show that those engaged in satisfying relationships with family, friends, and even their community, live longer. If we are unfortunate enough to lack the benefits of healthy relationships, then we are likely to have a more depressive life and are likely to suffer late-life cognitive decline.
When we are loved and express love, we improve our health by allaying the negative effects of life’s stresses. One type of relationship to consider is marriage. Being in a happy marriage can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, and end-results of cancer. When we connect with others, we are physically healthier and live longer.
Living Longer and Staying Younger End-Goal Is Balance
As time goes by, our bodies may change, but when it comes to living longer and staying young, the things we should and shouldn’t do are consistent. Adapting healthy habits and foregoing the unhealthy ones can help us achieve our goal of having a vital life. A study by Harvard University, published by the scientific journal Circulation, confirms we can take specific steps that can add more than a decade to our lives.
Balance is the key and the core principle of yin and yang, the same can be said of finding your path to vitality. As humans, we can experience good and bad in most things, because none of us lead a perfect life. With achieving harmony with our health and the need to have vitality throughout our lives, this principle truly applies. There will always be negative things we do. There will also always be the positive things as well. The goal is to achieve balance. To do our best to galvanize our positives and to work diligently on improving the negatives.
Who wouldn’t want to live longer, feel younger, and have a life filled with vitality? Perhaps applying the yin and yang principle is the key. Balance the positives and the negatives and you are likely to succeed.