By Danette Vernon
“How to live to be 100 in 21 Days or Less” sounds like one of those promotional lines from some dot.com business, and if it was, the headline would be immediately followed by 50 fake testimonials, and a Pay Pal opportunity. But it’s not. In fact, there’s nothing to buy, and the whole of the responsibility falls on you. You’ll make it happen — or not.
National Geographic writer and explorer Dan Buettner studies the world’s longest-lived peoples, distilling their secrets into a single plan for health and long life. So what’s the plan in a nutshell you ask, and can it be spelled it out in bullet points? You don’t have time for an actual explanation! Your life is full to the brim. You are over-scheduled already for work — and fun!
Ahh, well, that is the first thing you will have to change to live to be a 100:
Right Outlook: Take time to downshift, pray, meditate. To “hurry” triggers an inflammatory reaction in the body which leads to disease. Slow down for 15 minutes, and you will lead your body back to an anti-inflammatory state.
Move Naturally: Centurions have no focus on exercise, but life is set up so that they move naturally, they sit on the floor, live in vertical houses, mix foods by hand instead of a mixer, walk, and they all have a garden.
Have a sense of purpose and a vocabulary for it: Centurions in Okinawa, have a saying, that they can readily reply to, which translates as, “Reason for which you wake up in the morning.” Having a “known” sense of purpose can add up to seven years to your life.
Eat Wisely: Plant-based diet (centurions eat meat, but focus on nuts and seeds), drink a little wine each day, use small plates, and use the 80% rule when eating — when you are 80% full, stop.
Connect: Put loved ones first, children and the aged. Belong to a faith-based community. This adds 4-14 years to your life.
Right Tribe: In America, 15 years ago, we on average had 3 friends, today, on average, we have 1.5. Centurions are either born into, or surround themselves, with healthy people, engaging, trusting, trust-worthy, active people — our friends are our live-long adventure!
But what about today, what can you change today? Well again, I quote Shawn Achor, a Harvard researcher on how happiness is connected to productivity. Research shows that the happier we are, the more successful at life, work, or general tasks, we will be come. If you follow his regime for 21 days in a row, this will allow your brain to work more optimistically and successfully:
• Gratitude: Write down three NEW things you are grateful things each day. This will train your brain to scan the world each day, not for the negative, but for the positive.
• Journaling: Journal about one positive experience you had in the last 24 hours, which allow you to relive it.
• Exercise: Exercise teaches you that your behavior matters.
• Meditation: Allows your brain to get over the cultural of ADHD we have been creating by multitasking—always doing more than one things at once. It allows our brains to focus on the task at hand.
• Random Acts of Kindness: Random acts of kindness can become conscious acts of kindness.