A Guide To A Long And Happy Life

“Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it” – L.M. Montgomery

Living until 100 years old will earn you the grand title of centenarian. The chance to live an entire century is spectacular and ensuring you are happy and healthy along the way is crucial. We all know avoiding smoking, eating well and exercising is fundamental to our longevity, but still we ignore this knowledge. Every moment in our life presents choices that will impact our future. By honouring your body and mind, you can work your way to a long and fulfilling life.

With busy and stressful lifestyles on the rise, it’s no surprise that it’s affecting people’s longevity. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on our bodies and can lead to depression and even dementia if left untreated. This is because after years of chronic stress, the part of the brain that regulates a rational emotional response to stress degenerates over time. Another part of the brain that is responsible for producing emotional responses to fear and anxiety often becomes overactive to compensate.

To overcome stress, take time out to engage in some yoga or meditation. These are great ways to clock out of reality briefly and acknowledge how your body and mind are feeling. If you are concerned you may be suffering with chronic stress, it’s recommended you consult your doctor.

Believe it or not, but stress is often caused by lack of sleep. How many people do you know that actually get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night? Chances are, not many. People are increasingly relying on their morning espresso to perk themselves up after restless nights. Do yourself a favour, and plan to get the 8 hours a night needed to reduce stress and let your body repair itself.

Another key ingredient to a long and happy life is eating simply and well. Remember that fresh is always best, so avoiding too much packaged food is a good idea. Many people think that being healthy involves consuming the latest wacky superfoods. In actual fact, enjoying your food is key to sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Ensuring you are getting your daily fruits, vegetables and other key nutrients is extremely important. Also, make sure you enjoy the taste of what you are eating. Healthy doesn't need to equal tasteless!

Lastly, and maybe most importantly is the presence of good family and friends. Laughter is the best medicine, and who can bring a smile better than those you love. Not only because it makes you feel good, it can actually benefit your long-term health. The cultures with the longest life expectancy and later onset of disease are those who have close family ties. Surrounding yourself with people who make you happy is a sure-fire way to keep the endorphins pumping and the good times rolling for many years to come.