Healthcare and Longevity: 15 Keys to a Long and Happy Life
How can you live a long, healthy, happy life? It’s an age-old question.
We shouldn’t look first for solutions in “modern” medicine. In our approach, we try to relieve symptoms by going to the root cause, and follow the science of health and wellbeing.
Every year we spent more and more for health, and life expectancy has started to lower… WHY ?
It boils down to the very basic question: How can I protect myself against the aggression of viruses, lifestyle-related illnesses of all kinds, emotional agressions, and live well for years to come?
No need to reinvent the wheel; let’s learn from the best.
Who lives a decade or more longer, and qualitatively better, than the rest of the human beings on the planet?
National Geographic writer Dan Buettner conducted a study on longevity in November of 2005, and published a report titled ‘The Secrets of Living Longer.’ And in 2017, Harvard University researchers undertook the biggest study in nearly a century on happiness. Taken together, their conclusions were quite revealing. Here, then, are the keys to happy longevity that we’ve distilled from all that. They look simple, but strangely most of us DO NOT comply with them…
Longevity Law 1: Stay active; don’t retire
This takes aim at our aging workforce, and millions of people who are freaking out over their impending retirement. As Baby Boomers approach that milestone en masse, society, under the existing model, will not be able to provide the necessary pension and social security funding. You can go a long way towards taking responsibility for yourself by finding and developing a strong sense of purpose, and contributing to communities, whatever your age. That can be quite rewarding. Volunteer, assist NGOs, mentor, and help young people in their choices — there are countless ways to create value and purpose, leveraging your lifelong learning and experience.
Longevity Law 2: Take it slow
Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to your quality of life. We live in a rapid-fire, go-go world, with ever-increasing levels of stress. We have to learn to step back and hit ‘pause’ once in a while. This is never wasted time. It helps you to discern, to focus, to see clearly what truly matters, and what is a waste of time. Learn to manage stress: breathe, slow down, connect to your roots. Take leisurely walks, bike, embrace mindfulness, play a musical instrument, read, paint, do some gardening, practice yoga. And why not wake up a little earlier in the morning to do so, and then take a couple of chill-out breaks during the day? You’ll be much more inspired, and save a multiple of time of work, and gain in quality life-time.
Longevity Law 3: Follow the 80% rule at the dinner table
From a nutritional standpoint, make a point of not entirely filling your stomach when you eat. According to Japanese principle of hara hachi — the 80% rule — we should eat a little bit less than our hunger demands, instead of stuffing ourselves to capacity, or beyond. We’re used to eating too much, too quickly, and too often. Let’s get inspired by ‘the slow food movement.’ An old Japanese proverb holds that ‘Eating to only 80% full keeps the doctors away.’
Longevity Law 4: Spend time in nature
Get outside, in a natural setting, at least once a week. Take long walks, breath in the fresh air, and enjoy the benefits of a soft workout (like Nordic walking). Listen to nature, feel what it does to you, observe its vitality and magic. Get inspired. Look at the abundance and diversity offered by nature. Connect to its energy. It will rejuvenate you at a deep cellular level and improve your health and immunity.
Longevity Law 5: Get in shape
The body we inhabit needs to run efficiently, for a long time. It’s the only one you have, and there are no spare parts. Face it, the vast majority of us are way too sedentary. Come on… get on your bikes and ride! Or, engage in whatever sport you’re ready, willing and able to stick with. Don’t over-do it and hurt yourself — soft and slow is fine too — but keep moving and stay oxygenated. Balance your workout with a focus on diet, and inner, emotional health.
Longevity Law 6: Smile
It’s good to recognize that while things aren’t always so great, it’s a privilege to be here and now, alive and kicking. There are too many times when we slip into a bad mood, are sad, complain and wallow in self-pity, Let’s get used to smiling more often, and cultivate more joy and love. It’s free of charge, and can easily grow and spread outward. The good vibes you put out have a positive ripple effect, uplifting those around you. Smiling also makes you more attractive — you shine bit more brightly against the dull backdrop of sadness and lethargy — and people will notice.
Longevity Law 7: Take time for yourself
To get prepared for the next chapter of humanity, which will not happen overnight. Be curious, humble, and open to signals of life. They’re your guideposts to progress. Take private time to chill, learn, reflect, explore. Develop yourself. Carve out quality personal space, with nothing and no one in it, to dwell on purposeful questions or meditate. Clean the canvas of your life. Stop shaking the bottle so you can discern what is inside.
Longevity Law 8: Give gratitude
Be grateful to your ancestors, to your loved ones, your team, to people around you, to life itself… And be grateful to nature, which provides us with the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Forgive, to get rid of feelings of resentment — if you don’t, they’ll rot away inside you. Swap feelings of fear for feelings of love. It’s so much better for health. Get rid of old neuroses and traumas. Take responsibility for those, accept and heal them, thank life for what they’ve taught you, and transform them into wisdom. The best and most powerful people I’ve had the chance to meet had to go through very tough times. They succeeded in learning from their trials, and transformed them into precious assets.
Longevity Law 9: Live in the moment
Enjoy the « here and now ». This is how Buddha put it: ‘The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment, wisely and earnestly.’ Life is a succession of moments we have the chance to experience. Enjoy each and every moment, deeply, and in awe. The Greeks call it the God « Kairos » — seizing the right, opportune moment. Find depth and fulfillment in this very second. This is how you expand time, and life.
Longevity Law 10: Discover and follow your life quest
Do what you love, not what you were expected to by someone else. Reconnect to your childhood dreams
Do what you excel in; don’t waste time doing things you’re clearly bad at. Ally with others in making things happen
Do what the world needs. Look at what you do can help, in different ways. Collectively, we can bring forth millions of multi-solutions
Do what you can be recognized and rewarded for. Develop your personal business model, so you can thrive by getting appreciated and paid for.
Japanese call it « IKIGAÏ »
Longevity Law 11: Create and nurture your tribe
Surround yourself with good people and real friends. Be generous with peer-to-peer assistance, coaching, mentoring, learning, doing projects together, seeking help in your personal and professional development, even extending a financial lifeline. Never have we communicated more than we do now, but never have we witnessed so much loneliness, even in the younger generations. There’s too much short-term and egotistic behavior. Too many throw up a facade, with emptiness behind the mask. Loneliness does kill. Social connection — more in quality than quantity — improves health, memory and mental wellness. Ideally, create a « Soul Family ».
Longevity Law 12: Eat lots of fresh, local fruits and vegetables
Avoid sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates, processed foods and preservatives, and switch from meat consumption to a diet rich in organic/biodynamic plants and grains, and wild-caught protein from the sea. This is proven to be extraordinarily good for us. It can be a tough transition if you aren’t a healthy eater. Processed foods, by definition, are scientifically altered to provide a strong dose of satisfaction, and to get you hooked (= not free).
Longevity Law 13: Keep the faith
The majority of centenarians — those who live over 100 — belong to a faith-based community. Denomination doesn’t matter, but regularly attending some sort of service, or sacred ‘connecting’ ritual, can potentially add years to your life, with higher quality and happiness. Attitude and lifestyle make a real difference. Spirituality is a connection with transcendance. That’s a powerful thing (as long as it is non-dogmatic). In other words, don’t be closed-minded about it, attack those who hold different beliefs, or try to force others to get in line with your personal belief system. That’s more destructive than enriching. A healthy sense of spirituality has helped a lot of people discard ego-driven motivation, shift their worldview, and refocus on working for the common good. It’s about knowing that we’re not in this alone. We are many millions, and all inter-connected.
Longevity Law 14: Fasting
There’s growing scientific evidence that fasting — abstaining from food or drink for a period — is beneficial. It helps ward off obesity and related illnesses, reduce inflammation, fortify immunity and boost cognitive performance. So-called intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular. This involves routines like alternate-day fasting, or 16-hour fasts once or twice a week. Fasting from time to time is actually more natural than eating multiple daily meals, day after day. Our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were nomadic hunter-gatherers who evolved to survive, and thrive, for long periods without eating.
Longevity Law 15: Self-programming
At night, just before you fall asleep, offer yourself a small guided meditation — a very simple ritual of no more than five minutes. Here’s what you can do for example:
Take in deep, abdominal breaths, slowly exhale. Extend the exhalation so that it’s a bit longer and more drawn-out than your inhale.
Image that you’re surrounding yourself with a nice bubble of warm, energizing, protecting light, connected to the Earth (down) and the wider universe (up). Imagine that it will stay wrapped around you through the night.
Express thanks for all the things that happened that day, the positives as well as the more difficult events that you can learn from.
Program yourself to ‘recharge’ all night, soaking up subtle, vital energy. Think of your cellphone, plugged in and charging, and imagine your body being similarly powered-up.
Finally, program your inner alarm clock to wake you up at the desired time in the morning, and resolve that you’ll be totally rested, relaxed, peaceful, rejuvenated, and in perfect health.
Do not let questions or doubts cloud this quiet, centered thought process. Gently focus on positive, uplifting affirmations as you drift off to sleep.
Prof. Michel A. de Kemmeter