While you may not know exactly how long you’ll live, there’s much you can do to optimize the quality of your life, whatever its length. Abraham Lincoln wisely advised, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Not taking care of ourselves demonstrates the greatest disrespect for the gift of life. If we value the opportunity we’ve been given to be spiritual beings having a human experience, we will do everything in our power to cherish and care for our human “vehicle” mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The owner’s manual advises that we nurture, encourage and delight ourselves in healthy ways. Because, when we don’t take care of ourselves, eventually we’re no good to ourselves or anyone else. We can give nothing of significant and lasting value from an empty well. Nutrition, exercise, rest, reflection and play are as important to the purpose of our presence here as the activities we more typically label as “work.” They are equally important aspects of the jobs we’ve been sent here to do—manifesting our unique forms of Divinely sourced greatness.
Here are a few tips for enhancing the quality of your life and health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually:
- Drink water and eat fruits and vegetables. Generous quantities of these essential elements will increase your sense of flow and wellbeing. When you feel fully ALIVE—with your engine firing efficiently and effectively on all cylinders—life is a lot more fun!
- Get moving and breathe deeply. Exercising encourages deep breathing, provides the oxygen-rich environment your body loves and releases endorphins—your body’s natural mood lifters. Deep breathing calms you, nurtures your cells and helps eliminate toxins. And, if you workout to the point of breaking a sweat, you’ll give the toxin flush an added boost. My personal vitality affirmation: I thrive and inspire. I radiate stamina, strength, flexibility, stability and dexterity. I am healthy, happy and whole.
- Cherish stillness and silence. Our waking hours can be a non-stop hamster wheel of noisy demands on our time and attention. Radios and iPods in our cars. Colleagues, meetings and email at work. TV, social media and family at home. To restore yourself—body, mind, heart and soul—take time each day to find a private place, turn off the technology and just be still. Silence is golden. You are a human BEING not a human DOING.
- Be yourself. One of the biggest causes of unhappiness, stress and poor health is abandoning your authentic self and forcing yourself into someone else’s idea of what your life should look be. Joseph Campbell said, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself! Everyone else is already taken.”
- Seek new experiences. New foods, destinations, hobbies, relationships and occupations. Every new experience enriches your life by creating new neural pathways in your brain, keeping you sharp well into old age, boosting your creative potential and adding zest to your days.
In the words of Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” Go ahead, start enjoying your life. Start now!