This article first appeared in Watkins Mind Body Spirit Issue 39, Autumn 2014.
We happen to be living at a remarkable period in time. Emerging fields of new cosmology, neuroplasticity, superstring theory, and epigenetics are presenting a view of humankind as the eyes, ears, and mind of the cosmos with far more to discover in the world inside us than in the universe at large.
New cosmology shows that we are made of star dust. The carbon in our body could not be created in the universe by any other way than through the collapse and explosion of a star. Just as a single drop in an ocean contains in it the character of the entire ocean, so each of us contains in our body the entire information of existence.
In neuroplasticity, rather than the old belief that human brain stopped neural regeneration at around the age of four, recent studies show that the brain is changing constantly, in response to learning, disease, exercise, and other stimuli through our entire lifespan. This means that a person can stay active and engaged in life as long as they practice a lifestyle that stimulates both the body and the mind.
In superstring theory, when we divide the particles down to their tiniest ingredients to discover what they’re made of, what we’re left with is strings of probabilities, vibrations of potential. We discover that the essence of life is pure energy and information. This is the source of you and the cosmos.
Epigenetics reveal that our consciousness modulates our biology. Our thoughts affect our genes and not the other way around. With every thought and feeling we reshape the neural networks in our brains. Simply put, our health begins in our mind.
There are many important character traits that go into making a successful life, such as creativity, discipline, and courage. However, this article’s aim is to help you create the conditions where you can be at your best at every age. For this purpose, we isolated the four essential components that need to be present for a healthy life, and on which all the other qualities of life can be built:
BREATHING: Our daily routines are filled with small and big annoyances and potential sources for tension, causing your body to get tight and for your breath to become restricted. The solution for these situations is to learn to do the opposite – breathe deeply and evenly. Here are some helpful phrases to repeat silently when you face a stressful situation: My strength is in my breath; When I control my breath I control my life; The oxygen of the whole universe is available to me.
GOOD NUTRITION: Basic rules for a lifetime: get most of your nutrients from vegetables, fruits, nuts; lean protein such as poultry, fish, soy products; and satisfy all your cravings – in a responsible manner. Stay away, as much as possible, from packed and processed foods, refined sugar, and preservatives. Nothing that comes in a can or a package is better than what is found in nature.
SUFFICIENT REST: Without proper rest, our body and mind cannot complete their natural cycles of cleansing, healing, and resetting. Getting enough sleep is critical to our wellbeing, because during sleep the brain arranges the mental furniture it has accumulated through the day; gets rid of unnecessary debris; files away information in the subconscious; and prepares itself for the following day.
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE: The human body is a well-designed machine for living with built-in mechanisms for self-healing and self-correction, provided we don’t harm it with bad habits. Lifelong benefits of wellness can be achieved through little adjustments in everyday life: walking 30 minutes several times a week; taking the stairs instead of the elevator; stretching on your lunch break to generate better blood flow in the body; hiking on weekends, etc.
It is worth repeating that our thoughts affect our genes and not the other way around. You don’t need to see yourself as declining in health as you age. Rather, you make choices that enable you to be the best version of yourself at every age. For example, a healthy 85-year-old active and engaged in life; granted, in an 85-year-old body, but the best version of that body at that age.
Meet the author: Guy Joseph Ale is President of Lifespan Seminar and Vice President of Asia Pacific Association of Psychology. He serves as the Secretary General of the Chamber of Chartered Behavioral Scientists, and is an Esteemed Council Member of the International Council of Professional Therapists. Guy has earned a reputation as a visionary in the field of human lifespan. He received the Eminent in Psychological Science Award at the International Conference on Psychology 2011 “in recognition of invaluable contributions for the benefit of humanity.” Guy teaches and conducts workshops in U.S., Europe, and Asia. www.lifespanseminar.com