1. Set your Attitude
Your attitude is a vital component to living a Younger, Healthier & Longer life. Attitude has been shown to be a huge driver of all of these things. Our mind and mental attitude underpin all of our active choices and our unconscious choices. They are the ground zero for our decisions, choices and actions concerning positive living, lifestyle, activity, nutrition, exercise etc. They are also the way we create justification and perceived barriers for not taking, or not following through, choices and actions that benefit us.
Our mental attitude is, moment-by-moment, the generator of our overall and governing positive (or negative) state of mind. Creating, nurturing and sustaining a positive attitude, as we move through life, is essential to reaping the vast array of benefits for physical, mental and emotional health; youth enhancement; anti-ageing; longevity; cognitive benefits; success and happiness – and much more.
We all have the ability to adjust our mindset and attitude and that certainly includes the ability to move towards a more positive attitude, if that is not necessarily your starting point.
Your attitude and mindset are not set in stone – the mind is remarkably flexible and neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to be consciously ‘re-wired/re-programmed’, is a key concept here. Through learning and applying, for example, SuperAger World skills of Meditation, Mindfulness and Positive Psychology (the psychology of wellbeing), we can facilitate ‘neuro-plastic’ change, positive re-wiring and a positive attitude; all of which lead to an enhanced life in so many directions.
2. Learn Meditation & Mindfulness and bring it into your daily life
One of the most effective and beneficial things you can do for a better, longer and healthier life is learn Meditation & Mindfulness. There is nothing that comes close to it in terms of the vast array of proven benefits (physical, mental, emotional, cognitive….) and the evidence base to support it.
See the post on the Health & Wellbeing Benefits of Meditation & Mindfulness.
Once learnt, you have it for life, you can use it whenever and wherever you choose (or need), it doesn’t require equipment or ongoing expense and the benefits accumulate and get stronger and stronger. They also spread to others around you. It does not matter when you learn or at what age, and once you start, you will quickly start to see and feel benefits.
Learning Meditation & Mindfulness, when taught well, is straightforward and not hard. What is essential is to give yourself the best chance to learn properly and then embed these skills into your life in simple and practical ways.
3. Be an ‘Experiencer
The research shows that there are certain types of experience that drive things like better health (physical, mental & emotional), happiness and a longer life.
As you might expect, these are primarily the type of experiences that one might consider to be ‘positive’ experiences but even then, there are clear distinctions as to what type of positive experiences enrich our lives and drive a better life.
For example, when working with private clients, I am able to give them the good news that spending money is proven to be beneficial. That often raises a smile. I then say however that for a long-lasting benefit, one which enhances life, health & happiness, the spending has to be done in a particular way; spending on ‘things’ brings only ephemeral, short lived benefit and certainly not life-enhancing benefit (clearly there are, as always, exceptions, such as buying a running machine). Research shows that spending on ‘Experiences’ brings wider, deeper and longer-lasting benefit, which enhances life, health & wellbeing.
Experiences ranging from social events through to travel, adventurous activities through to learning experiences all add multiple benefit – and experiences which push your boundaries add even further to the mix of benefits. So, maybe its time to take that trip – or organise that skydive! We are well aware of the value of experience in life, so we will be curating a range of Experiences & Events for our members.
To finish – all experience becomes part of our rich tapestry of life and even those experiences we perceive or feel to be challenging, unwanted or down right awful have the potential to enrich us, often in ways we are not immediately aware of. As an example of this, see the Post on Emotional Healing.
3. Manage your Mind
This follows closely behind setting your attitude and as we have already emphasised, our mind underpins all of our active choices and our unconscious choices, decisions, actions, thoughts and emotions.
Knowledge is Power and one of the most powerful pieces of knowledge for living a SuperAger Life is this – our Mind is immensely powerful, it is behind everything – and we can harness that power for our benefit.
Harnessing the power of our minds is, as you might expect, not entirely straightforward. Even just managing our mind is often a challenge in itself.
When I am teaching any of my workshops that are focused on SuperAger World outcomes like enhanced life, better health, happiness, success, stress management, weight management, youth enhancement etc., one of the first questions I ask the participants is what they think is the strongest asset they have in achieving their goals?
The answer eventually becomes clear – their Mind. I then ask what they think is the biggest potential barrier they have to achieving their goals – the answer this time is pretty immediate – ‘their Mind’.
This is the interesting challenge; our greatest asset to living a SuperAger Life can, if left unchecked, potentially be our greatest liability and send us in the opposite direction, often towards stress, anxiety & worry, as just one example. The good news is that we all have the ability to learn to better manage our mind and then start to harness the immense positive power of our mind.
Managing the Mind starts with developing clear insight and awareness of the nature and state of your mind, moment by moment. Without this essential skill, there is little chance of actually moving further, towards directing your mind and harnessing its potential. Again, we can tell you that learning and embedding the SuperAger skills of Meditation & Mindfulness is the way forward and the route to releasing the power of your mind.
5. Feed your body well
Just as it is essential to feed your Mind Well (see also Life Long Learning below), it is clearly vital to feed your Body Well.
A full exploration of nutrition & diet is beyond the scope of this post, however, we can offer a few insights below that will hopefully inspire you to feed your body as well as you can. We will have regular posts from world-leading nutritionalist’s, as well as the option for our members to access nutritional experts for private consultations and advice.
Eating for a SuperAger Life is not challenging and there are core guidelines that are easy to follow. There are some routes, such as a Vegan diet, which are clearly indicative of longer and healthier lives and other dietary and nutritional foundations that enable a ‘middle way’ and which also underpin a healthier and longer life.
Very briefly, you can:
Feed your body to reduce influences of inflammation (a major factor in premature ageing) and boost antioxidant protection. This means avoiding/reducing intake of things like sugar-based products, fried and processed foods, refined carbs (white bread, rice, pasta etc.), alcohol, baked products etc. – and, in turn – increasing consumption of ‘living’ foods (fruit and veg, especially the brightly coloured), nuts, beans and fish.
Reducing risk factors for insulin resistance a (majorly increasing problem globally) is also vital and includes particularly things like avoiding sugar-based and sweetened products and drinks and adding into your shopping basket greater amounts of high fibre foods, such as whole-wheat products, brown rice, veggies, seeds and fruits etc.
The same strands run through most healthy eating regimes, especially moving towards a greater component of ‘living foods’ (veggies, nuts etc.), moving away from processed and sugary, increasing fish and reducing meat and watching the alcohol consumption.
This is just a brief foray into diet and nutrition and please do search our other posts and expert articles for more – or sign up for our Newsletter, which has regular updates in this area and every other area of SuperAger World life.
6. Exercise and physical activity
Yep, we know – you already know !
So, we will keep this short. Yes, you know that exercise and activity is good for you – but do you know just how good it is. Do you know how it also drives longevity, youth enhancement, brain health, sex drive, happiness, greater success……
Do you also know of the latest research around exercise, which demonstrates the ability to achieve highly beneficial health outcomes from short (and we mean really short) periods of exercise – and all things that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Please follow this link to find out more – The SuperAger Life benefits of Exercise & Activity
7. Life-long learning
For some, the term ‘Super-Ager’ is focused entirely on cognitive criteria and references someone of later years (typically 80+), who is able to demonstrate qualities of memory and related cognitive function of someone many years younger. Certainly, continuing to exercise the ‘old grey matter’ through continuation of learning is going to support memory function. For us, life long learning goes well beyond protecting memory (as essential as that is); it is a foundation for wider and enhanced cognitive function, a protection against cognitive decline and a driver of emotional wellbeing & happiness.
The key is continuing learning, through life and particularly, learning that really challenges us. Many think, for example, that a daily crossword or Sudoku is sufficient to keep the mental synapses snappy and sharp. What is becoming clear is that to retain (and even expand) that synaptic sharpness and cognitive health, one needs to push oneself resolutely out of one’s comfort zone – and continue to do so. So, whether the life long learning is focused on conceptual learning, academic learning or hands-on learning (playing the guitar to becoming a Yacht Master), continuing to push those boundaries is the key.
At SuperAger World we are continuing to build a global resource of learning and experiences, all of which support life long learning.
8. Social networks
Time and again, social networks (friends, family, colleagues, club members etc.) are proven to be an absolutely key element in enhancing and driving a healthier and happier life – and enhancing longevity.
- Having people to build experiences with is a wonderful thing
- Having a like-minded community to receive support from (and give support to) is enriching and highly beneficial
- Having social networks you can share experiences with (both the positive and the not so positive) is extremely rewarding
- Expanding your networks of friends, particularly when moving into ‘later life’, is greatly supportive and valuable
SuperAger World is building a global community of like-minded members, enabling you to build supportive social networks for life. Please do come and Join Us.
9. Start to live a SuperAger World Life
If you’ve now decided to set your intention to live a SuperAger Life and live Younger, Longer, Happier & Healthier, the next bit is the acting on it. As we’ve touched upon in this article, the intention and bringing that intention to life (and keeping it alive) can be miles apart sometimes. The good news is that SuperAger World has been created to help you start, and then live, a SuperAger Life every step of the way, into a long and happy future. We look forward to welcoming you to the SuperAger World global community. Join Us.
10. Be inspired and inspirational
We have an increasing responsibility to ourselves, to society and to our planet, to be our best possible selves, to age as well, healthily (physically and mentally) and happily as we can – and to minimise the risk factors for the so called ‘diseases of ageing’. Inspiring ourselves, and others, to live SuperAger Lives benefits everyone.
Living a SuperAger Life is not just about living longer, younger and healthier– it is equally about living happier. It is a fact that happiness is contagious. The more we bring SuperAger Life skills to bear in our own lives, the more others around us, the wider community and yes, even the planet we share, benefit – in so many ways.
We can choose to be inspired and we can certainly choose, by our thoughts and actions, to be inspirational to others – no matter what age we are. For example, the research shows that as we age into later years, we become;
- more appreciative of life’s wonders and pleasures
- more comfortable with who we are
- better at self-regulation and managing our emotions positively
- more honest and open
- more self-assured; less worried
- more realistic
- more appreciative and demonstrative of humour
- and, equally wonderfully, we are proven to become wiser, to demonstrate greater wisdom and to be excellent at resolving conflict.
We have a greater capacity to love and value love, greater empathy and caring skills – all wonderful things to share with others !
With all of these amazing benefits as we progress into later-life and older age (and benefits that look likely to become cumulative and to grow stronger as we age), SuperAgers have a unique opportunity to become an excellent resource for our communities, society and the planet we share.
As more of the world’s population become aware of the benefits SuperAgers can bring to society (and as perceptions and age-bias changes), SuperAgers themselves become better able to offer the resources of their age. So, to become a SuperAger is also to become an ambassador for the benefits of SuperAgeing.
Written by Stuart Bold