I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.
The bad news is stress is everywhere. Burnout is on the rise. And work-life balance has become more of a dream than a reality for most people.
The good news is you have a great deal more control over those things than you might think.
It’s kind of like aging. As Steve Austad, the author of Why We Age, has discovered … people mistakenly think longevity is all about one’s genes. In reality, he says it’s really one-quarter genetic and three-quarters lifestyle. In other words, you have control over three-quarters of the things that determine how long you’re going to live.
In a similar sense, you have control over three-quarters of the things that will determine how the stress in your life will affect your overall work-life balance. And that’s something to be thankful for during this week of Thanksgiving 2018.
Here are six things that research tells us … and people who live past the age of 100 tell us … that you can and should do to live a long, healthy, balanced life.
=> 1. Exercise your brain.
The more you use your brain, the healthier it becomes. So you need to keep on learning.
That’s why I read something educational or listen to something motivational 10 minutes every day. That’s not a lot of time, but no matter how busy I am or you are we can all afford to spend 10 minutes a day exercising our brains.
And those 10 minutes a day turns into 60 hours of extra education per year … which is not only huge but revolutionary. I know that practice revolutionized my health, my marriage, my business, my finances, my spirituality, my relationships, and finances all for the better.
That’s why I’m offering my largest, most revolutionary Black-Friday/Thanksgiving sale this week on every one of my products. The items are so cheap, marked down 72% to 85%, so you won’t have any financial reason to pass up on this exercise-your-brain challenge. Click Here
=> 2. Stay physically active.
Find something that makes you feel euphoric and then do it and keep on doing it. But find something and DO IT NOW.
That something may be your work. As Pablo Casals, the great composer and conductor who lived to be almost 100, said, “The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age.”
That something may be a recreational activity. It may be going for a walk, working in your garden, taking a bike ride, or finding some way to serve others. It doesn’t matter. As Frank Crane puts it, “There are three rules for success. The first: Go on. The second: Go on. And the third: Go on.”
One of the finest examples of staying active, and yet not stressed out or off balance, is my friend and mentor, Dr. Sidney Simon. He’s 92 right now and is as active and healthy as ever. This is the poem he wrote and sent me when he turned 81, called Birthday Ramblings.
“In May I will be eighty one, And in no way am I done.
“Daily miles paradise biking, Summer days of mountain hiking.
“I will keep on teaching, and occasionally preaching.
“Spend some time on the stage, Acting, still a prodding rage.
“Review an off-beat play; write it in my unique way.
“I want to keep on learning, inside me, a scholar burning.
“And certainly, about kissing, not one I plan to be missing.
“I love the hours spent cuddling, talking, truth telling, not muddling.
“I cherish the joys of love making sacred sweet nights partaking.
“No need for love on Viagra, maybe to honeymoon in Niagara.
“Well, in May I turn a ripe old eighty one.
But I won’t be done until one hundred eighty one.”
=> 3. Manage your memories.
Some people are haunted by the past, by what they did or didn’t do. They’re stuck in guilt and regret, and that will stress you out.
Learn, instead, to manage your memories. As psychologist Laura King advises, “Being happy isn’t about forgetting the past. It’s about learning from it and discovering ways to have a better future.”
=> 4. Keep the faith.
Time and again, the research indicates that people of faith tend to live longer and live happier. Faith gives people a courage to live by and a peace to live with.
Indeed, Jonathan Livingston Seagull noted, “When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen. There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”
When Ethel Yarbrough passed the 100-year mark, she was asked about her secret for a long, relatively stress-free life. She answered, “Sing and pray. I pray all the time, thanking God for everything He’s done for me.”
=> 5. Manage your stress.
As creativity expert Natalie Goldberg puts it, “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” And of course, it isn’t.
So one of the most important steps in managing your stress is to realize that not everything that happens in your life is worthy of your worry, panic, or hissy fits. Don’t sweat the small stuff.