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Aging

Introduction

Recent European research indicates that the physical body can have a long, productive, and relatively healthy existence. That isn't really surprising. What is surprising is that the studies show that longevity requires a strong cohesiveness between the body, the mind, and most importantly, the spirit.

The spirit, being a direct connection to God's energy, is an ever-present source of vitality. The body is a tool that enables us to interact on this physical plane of existence. The mind permits to learn and better ourselves which is a tremendous aid in connecting the spiritual and the physical sides of ourselves.

Everyone has a different symbolic picture that comes to their mind's eye when they hear the word. The variance of these individualistic references is based on the belief process we were taught as children and our life experiences. Sometimes a new reference may be stronger than an older reference and the belief structure and the identification changes. Sometimes the identification with the word spiritual remains throughout life.

Our basic ingredients combine to ward off the effects of aging: 1) stress management skills, 2) interests and exercise, 3) strong relationships, and 4) humor.

Stress Management
Physical stress occurs when the body is over taxed. It can be very functional, but it drains energy and nutrients from the body. Mental stress is an external negative influence, a toxic emotion, that the body relates to as physical stress.

Stress management is a must in today's hectic reality. Duke University conducted a five year study that concluded that mental stress is far more dangerous to the heart than physical stress and way we respond to mental stress is a strong predictor of whether or not a person may be vulnerable to heart disease.

Our physical body and our spirit knows that we, as a whole being, require tranquillity to achieve optimum performance on any level. Neither the mind nor the body can function at peak levels when stress rules our lives.

There are many ways to lessen or control stress. Meditation is one of my favorites, but it is important that each person find there own way of relieving this toxic reaction called stress.

Interests and Exercise
Interests in life maintain the body, the mind and the spirit. It keeps you going, thinking and producing.

I cringe when I hear some is retiring because so many think they are retiring from life. In my opinion, age should allow us to live life. If a person is doing he/she is using all forms of the energy that make up his/her being. Keeping the mind and body active, help the energy flow from the spirit.

Before you groan at the word 'exercise', I have to tell you about another study. This research says that a brisk thirty minute walk, twice a week, can reduce the overall death rate by 44%.

Strong Relationships
Strong relationships are so vital to our success as individuals and as a community or society. It doesn't matter if the relationship is with a spouse, child, parent or best friend. We all need people to interact with on a regular basis.

The old saying, "No man is an island" is so true. It is extremely important to have people around you that you can depend on to be there when you need them. Whether it's a borrowed shoulder for a good cry or just someone that will share an afternoon tea and listen to a days worth of problems, a close friend or family member can heal in a myriad of ways that prescriptions can't.

There is a catch to having a friend; you have to be one to get one. Just what exactly does that mean? It means letting your walls down, sharing your feelings and (this is one important) listening.

We all have a tendency to think our personal problems are the most important. That's because so much of our world is based on each of us as individuals. We are no longer communally centered groups and because of our individuality, we have lost much of our listening ability. But listening to a friend can teach you about yourself. Are their problems similar? How do they deal with the kids, the job, the boss or the house? Is something they are doing capable of making your life easier?

So lower those protective walls a bit and remember that a stranger s a friend you haven't yet met.

Humor
Literally volumes have been written on humor and how it affects the body and the mind. A belly laugh after dinner helps the digestion. Watching a comedy can lower blood pressure. Sharing a funny story with an acquaintance can form a bond of friendship. The lists of physical and mental aspects of ourselves that effected by humor and laughter is endless.

What does humor do for the spirit? When the body and mind are functional, the energy of the spirit is free flowing.

If we can incorporate these four simple ingredients into our lives, we can each be less stressed, productive, congenial and happy for a long, long time.

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