I recently turned 62 and over the years, I’ve heard and read all the changing wisdom regarding what we need to do to stay healthy. You have a lot of contradictory information being put out on the benefits and hazards of almost everything. When the so-called experts can’t agree on what’s good or bad for you, how can you possibly know. I think you have to make your own decisions.
Based on my experience and observations, I put together some simple ways to stay healthy. Here they are. You may or may not agree with them.
- Have a purpose in life.
- Find things you like to do and do them.
- Laugh a lot. Be positive. Stay grounded.
- Find time to relax. Meditate. Read. Do nothing.
- Get a cat or dog or any pet and love it.
- Appreciate and respect nature.
- Find a good person you can share your life with and love that person.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits and fish than meat. Meat is good when eaten in moderation. So is butter and bread. Try to avoid processed foods. Eat natural foods.
- Make olive oil a major ingredient in your diet.
- Drink plenty of water. Coffee, tea, and especially red wine are good, too.
- Exercise. Exercise is not only running, lifting weights, aerobics. It’s any activity that involves movement and burning calories. Walking, gardening, work, and even sex are also exercise. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to exercise.
I just learned to appreciate the adage “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” For the past three weeks, I’ve gone through life almost deaf.
It started one morning when I was shaken from my sleep by a loud rumbling, popping noise in my head. A few days prior to that, I had developed the symptoms of a cold, so my first thought was that the cold had reached my head. Then, lying in bed, I realized it was something more serious. My head felt like it had been encased in a concrete block. I couldn’t hear a thing.
When people talked to me, I could only hear muffled sounds. I couldn’t hear food cooking on the stove, couldn’t hear the dogs barking, couldn’t hear the car starting, couldn’t hear the alarm clock, couldn’t hear the telephone ring, couldn’t hear the wind blow, and I couldn’t hear the noisy shoppers as I walked through our busy base shopping mall (this last one was not so bad, though). I spent nearly three weeks in underwater silence.
I finally went to the doctor last week. She could not determine what it was, but prescribed some nasal sprays and allergy tablets. She also found wax buildup in my left ear and in the process of cleaning it out, pulled out a nasty little ball of what I will only describe as ‘stuff.’
My hearing is almost back to normal now, but that incident gave me something to think about. We too often take for granted normal things like hearing, seeing, walking, talking, not realizing how important these normal acts are. We wake up every morning assuming that everything is the same as it was the day before. We don’t even think about the possibility that we might not be able to hear or see or walk or talk or any of a hundred things we do to get us through the day.
Life is precious and fragile. Don’t take it or any part of it for granted. Appreciate what you have because you never know when you might loose it.
In today’s fast paced, ever changing, techno world, we’ve forgotten the simple, important things in life. One of those things is human interaction. I did not develop the following list, but I have modified it over the years. When I taught (no matter what the course was), I handed this out to my students as a reminder that we are all humans and should be treated with respect.
- Talk to people. Nothing is as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
- Smile at people. It takes 72 muscles to frown and only 14 to smile.
- Call people by name. To many, the sweetest music is the sound of their own name.
- Be friendly and helpful.
- Be cordial. Speak and act as though everything you do is a genuine pleasure.
- Have a true interest in people. Recognize the uniqueness of others.
- Be generous with praise, cautious with criticism.
- Be considerate of the feelings of others. There are two or three sides to a controversy: yours, the other side, and, at times, the right one.
- Be thoughtful of the opinions of others.
- Be alert to give service. What counts most in life is what we do for others. Give more than you take.