Do you feel as if you’re doing everything you can to “take care of yourself” and yet you’re still run down, tired, and depleted? It IS possible to recharge your battery after 50—without having to change your diet (once again) and take more sleep supplements.
In fact, by looking to science we can find strategies that will help transform us into a more youthful state. These include generating positive thoughts and using our mind to connect with joy.
Is it really possible to alter the aging process by changing your thoughts? Research shows that negative expectations lead to negative outcomes, including downward spiraling health and relationships. This is known as the nocebo effect, and it’s been well documented in clinical settings as well as double-blind trials. Patients who believe they will die from an operation, for example, are more likely to do so. People who are warned of a fictional side effect from a drug will often experience that negative side effect.
On the flip side is the placebo effect, which suggests that faith—believing in a positive outcome—can produce a beneficial result. It’s not the sugar pill but the belief itself that changes our brain activity in a way similar to powerful medications, and there have been many documented cases and studies.
When we learn to shift from worry and pessimism to hope and joy, we can achieve noticeable improvements in our health. One recent study even found that older adults with positive attitudes lived seven years longer than those with negative attitudes.
So how do you create this effect? Here are several tips you can immediately integrate into your daily life to recharge your battery and benefit your health.
Concentrate on one main thought.
All negative thoughts can be reduced to one core misperception, which is “I am separate.” The antidote to this belief is, “I am connected.” Put sticky notes on your mirror so that each and every morning you make “connection” your new mantra. Hold the thought in your heart and observe what occurs.
Feel positive emotions in your heart.
Studies at the Institute of HeartMath show that all areas of our health, including physical and relational, significantly improve when we feel appreciation, gratitude, and love from inside our physical heart. Close your eyes, focus on your heart, and imagine a positive emotion emanating from it. The more you practice, the easier this gets.
According to a Harvard University study by Dr. Ellen Langer, 75-year-olds surrounded by signs of their youth, such as posters or music from younger eras, looked, felt, and acted younger. They even tested higher on IQ tests.
Pray, in whatever way works for you.
It’s long been believed that praying helps people who are recovering from illness or injury. Recent research offers evidence that praying improves both health outcomes and longevity.
Simply clearing our minds and being receptive to healing provides dozens of anti-aging and curative benefits, according to hundreds of studies. You can start by closing your eyes and breathing deeply a few times a day.
Move as if every move is exercise.
A recent study found that by simply telling hotel maids that their everyday work was “exercise,” the women’s bodies responded dramatically—with decreased blood pressure, body fat, and body mass in only four weeks’ time. Start to view shopping, cooking, and cleaning as healthy, active physical pursuits.
Lastly, enjoy yourself and the world around you, especially nature. The more you appreciate your life and the life all around you, the more energized you’ll feel.