More Life to More Days – Guest blogger Janine Mori, Founder of Panoramic Living - Cona Elder Law

More Life to More Days – Guest blogger Janine Mori, Founder of Panoramic Living

In my mission of helping people “Make Longevity Happen”, I have discussions with all age groups – school age children; the worker bees; the recently retired; and older adults.   We discuss the world’s hot spots of longevity.  A National Geographic exploration deemed these places The Blue Zones.   These are places where people are living not just longer but better.   They live up to 10 years longer than the average American, they have ten times the number of centenarians, and accomplish this with a fraction of the disease and illness we have here in the United States.     The people in these regions have not taken any special anti-aging pill.  They do not have any gym memberships, and they are not on any new fad diet.   Their lifestyle practices have been the same throughout their entire life.  Invariably when I speaking with a group of older adults, the first comment is “Well, I made it this far, and it doesn’t make any sense for me to try these lifestyle practices now, and you just told me that the people in The Blue Zones have been living this way their entire life, so it is too late for me.”   My response is consistently “That’s true that the people in The Blue Zones have received the maximum benefit, but by implementing these lifestyle practices now you can add more life to more days.”

Here are five longevity lessons that will help all of us add “More Life to More Days”:

  • Eat More Vegetables – Research has proven over and over again that a plant-based diet is one of the most important elements to healthy living.   A plant-based diet has been linked to not only avoiding preventable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, kidney disease, and colon cancer, but to reversing the causes of these diseases.   Start simple by adding at least one more vegetable to each of your daily meals. 
  • Get Moving –Walking consistently tops the best exercise list.  This natural movement causes minimal stress to our bodies and to our pockets.    People in The Blue Zones do not have any gym memberships, special equipment, or fashionable work-out clothes.   They simply naturally move throughout their day around their homes while tending to household chores, working in their gardens and walking in their communities.  
  • Share Your Gifts - Find ways to continue helping others by sharing your innate gifts.   Don’t make it complicated.   Your special gift may be your smile, your attentive listening skills, or that you’re an amazing story-teller.     Identify your gift, and start sharing it each day with others in your world.
  • Connect – Positive psychology research has proven that those who spend more time with friends, family, and in their community are much happier. On the flipside, loneliness has been correlated with health problems like hyper-inflammation, decreased immune response, and trouble sleeping.   Talking with friends is one of the happiest activities as socializing gives us a lot of positive emotion.  So pick up the phone, schedule a date, or join an activity in your community. 
  • Be Here Now – Learn to cultivate an awareness of the presence moment by recognizing when your mind is wandering to unpleasant thoughts of the past or anxious thoughts of the future.   

When you open up your heart and eyes to the present moment, you begin to notice and appreciate the beauty in your everyday surroundings – the feeling of your breath as air moves inside your nose and into your lungs, the colorful bird in the tree by your window, the uplifting smell of fresh brewed coffee, and the warmth of another’s hand.  

Once you begin to embrace these lessons and incorporate them into your daily life, you will start to see a difference in how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.   But an even more powerful benefit is the positive impact you will have on those who surround you.   Change is never only about you, start helping everyone add “More Life to More Days.”