THE POWER OF THE MIND
Turns out, when it comes to living a longer, healthier life, your mind is your most powerful tool. Although there are obvious physical changes in our bodies as they age, much of what we call “aging” such as aches and memory lapses are triggered more by self-perception than anything else. Research suggests using mind control to live longer!
FOUR MIND TRICKS
Below are four changes to make in your thinking to help this process.
1. CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY
It’s easy to see ourselves as perpetually sick if you use labels such as “diabetic” if you have diabetes or a “patient” if you are ill. If you are diagnosed with “chronic pain” it’s easy to think that you will always be in pain and not even notice the periods of time that you are pain-free. Rather than continuously using these labels that make you feel like you are not healthy, take advantage of the times of day when you do feel well, and focus on the healthy parts of your life.
2. REMEMBER WHAT’S IMPORTANT
A common stereotype of aging is becoming forgetful. The funny thing is that young people forget things all the time, but it goes without notice. The reason we may not remember things though, may be a common thread. If we don’t care to learn certain information, it does not stick in your memory as much as other pertinent information.
In a three-week study at Harvard University, one group of nursing-home residents were given incentives to remember information such as nurses’ names, times of activities, etc., and comparison groups were not awarded prizes for this task. In tests of cognitive ability at the end of the study, the “prize group” outperformed the other groups. In a follow-up study, the death rate was more than four times higher in the comparison groups than the “prize group”.
The point of this is to get involved so that you care about things. When something has meaning to you, you are more likely to remember it and use the information in daily life.
3. LIVE MINDFULLY
Basically, notice new things. This requires you to be fully engaged in life and your surroundings, creating a sense of personal responsibility, control, and the ability to stay alert to new experiences. People who pursue new interests and live life on their terms are the ones who live the best, and often the longest.
4. EXPECT GOOD HEALTH
Nearly everyone can feel better and live longer by staying active. About a quarter million US deaths each year are attributed to a sedentary lifestyle. If you work all day, change the way you think about exercise.
In a study of hotel maids, it was explained to one group that their jobs met the standard of an “active” lifestyle, while the second group did not receive this information. After four weeks, the group who realized their work was good exercise lost an average of 2 pounds, saw a significant reduction in body fat, and had an average decrease in blood pressure by 10 points systolic, and 5 points diastolic. The women in the other group did not see these benefits.
Research from Ellen J. Langer, PhD, Harvard University
Beebe Chiropractic & Wellness Center is located in Tigard, OR within the Portland Metro area. Dr. Daniel Beebe cares for patients with sports, work & auto injuries, neck & lower back pain, headaches & migraines, chronic pain, scoliosis and more. For more information visit BeebeChiro.com.