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9 Secrets Of The World’s Longest Living People

What is the secret to longevity, and why do some people attain it while others don’t? Is it sheer luck, or are there some key factors at play here? Are we all born with the same potential to live a long and healthy life or is that determined solely by genetics?

Interestingly, it seems as though people living in specific regions of the world tend to live longer than those living elsewhere. So, what is it about these specific regions that offer people a chance to live a full life? This was the question that National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner wanted to answer.

Through his research, Buettner identified five geographic locations where people have been observed to live the longest. He has identified these regions as “Blue Zones,” and found that even though these zones differ widely geographically, the diets and lifestyles of their residents share much in common.

You don’t have to live in one of these areas to ensure longevity, however, and if you are looking to live a long and healthy life then you may want to consider the following observations.
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What Are the Most Effective Ways to Achieve Longevity?

In Western society, the idea of growing older is not necessarily celebrated or anticipated. It is actually often feared, as we associate old age with chronic pain and disease. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and with some awareness and vision, we too can have a long and purposeful life despite our geographical location.

In the following video, Dan Buettner reveals what he has discovered are the secrets to longevity and the habits and traits shared by those who live the longest. Some of them might shock you, but as Buettner says, “If you ask the average American what the optimal formula for longevity is, they probably couldn’t tell you.” This is a pretty telling statement — many of us are simply unaware of the key lifestyle factors that contribute to health and vitality.

Here are the nine things we can take away from this presentation.

1. Slow Down and Deal With Stress

Common amongst those living in blue zones was effectively dealing with stress when it arises, and in many cases living lifestyles that do not cause a lot of excess stress in the first place. Taking time to slow things down and enjoy life was a common theme throughout Buettner’s studies.

2. Have a Purpose

Having a reason to get out of bed every day, especially for seniors, was essential. Simply put, finding something to do on a regular basis keeps us happy and helps us live longer.

3. Eat Less

Buettner observed the eating habits of various cultures in these regions, and all ate sparingly. The eating habits of the Okinawans specifically demonstrated an aversion to excess. They know that the feeling of fullness comes after the meal is completed so, rather than stuffing themselves until they feel full, they stop eating before they feel full, knowing the feeling will come after. They also eat off small plates and prepare small portions.

4. Eat a Variety of Foods and Lots of Plants 

Common among all Blue Zones was the amount and variety of plant-based foods that were being consumed. Having a diet consisting of predominantly plant-based foods proves to be a key factor in longevity regardless of your geographical location.

5. Be Social

In America, elderly people are often put into care homes and lead very lonely and isolated lives. Something all of the Blue Zones have in common is a strong sense of community that includes the older people. Instead of shunned and forgotten, older people are celebrated and included.

6. Have Faith

A large percentage of those living in Blue Zones had faith. They believed in a higher purpose for life, be it religious or spiritual.

7. Drink in Moderation or Not At All

It seems this one was a bit of a toss up. People either enjoyed a glass of wine or two daily or didn’t drink at all. In either case, Buettner did not see people drinking to excess.

8. Move Naturally

People who live in Blue Zones tend to move a lot throughout the day, but they aren’t making a point to do it — it just comes naturally. Their daily activities include gardening, walking, and spending time outdoors.

9. Put Loved Ones First

People in Blue Zones tend to stay close to their family members. Parents and grandparents play a big role in the lives of their children and they stay connected and close by, remaining an integral part of each other’s lives.

 

ALANNA KETLERMAY 18, 2017
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Tai Chi Might Help Those With Long-Term Conditions

Study shows ancient exercise improves physical ability in those with arthritis, heart failure, emphysema and breast cancer

By Steven Reinberg     HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) – The slow, fluid movements of tai chi – an ancient Chinese exercise – appear to help older adults with chronic conditions improve their physical function, a new review suggests.

Specifically, those with breast cancer, heart failure, osteoarthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, which includes emphysema) saw improvements in strength, balance and posture without worsening pain or being out of breath, researchers said.

“If you’re older and have one of the conditions mentioned in the study, tai chi may be an alternative you can use to increase your fitness level,” said senior researcher Darlene Reid, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto in Canada.

Tai chi is a series of gentle, flowing movements that aim to improve muscle power, balance, posture and flexibility, she said.

In addition, tai chi has a mental aspect, Reid said. “Many types of tai chi have a strong spiritual component,” she said. “So it may appeal to people in a different way than other types of exercise.”

Reid said other advantages of tai chi are that it can be done in a variety of environments, alone or in groups, and doesn’t require any equipment.

Moreover, as one ages, vigorous exercise may be less appealing, Reid said. “Tai chi is slow, rhythmical movements that have been developed over thousands of years and includes movements that require strength of different muscle groups,” she said.

The review was published Sept. 17 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

For the current review, researchers used data from 33 previously published studies. These studies included more than 1,500 people. The average age of people in the studies ranged from mid 50s to early 70s.

The average length of the tai chi training program was 12 weeks, and most sessions lasted an hour. Tai chi was usually done two to three times a week, the researchers said.

Multi-ethnic group of adults practicing tai chi in park. Main focus on senior man (60s).

Tai chi resulted in improvement in a six-minute walking test; muscle strength (measured by bending and stretching the knees); the time it took to get up and move; and quality of life, the researchers said.

Tai chi was associated with improvement in physical ability and muscle strength in most of the four chronic conditions. But there was only a trend toward improvement in muscle strength for people with osteoarthritis who did tai chi, the study found.

Tai chi was also associated with an improvement in pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis, in breathlessness in COPD, and improved sit-to-stand times among patients with osteoarthritis, the researchers said. They noted only an association and not a cause-and-effect link was seen between tai chi and physical improvements.

Samantha Heller is a senior clinical nutritionist and exercise physiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She reviewed the study and said, “The great thing about tai chi is that it is a gentle form of movement that is appropriate for many people suffering from medical conditions that preclude other, more rigorous forms of exercise.”

Tai chi is usually not expensive and many senior centers and other places offer free classes, she said.

“In addition there are videos and DVDs of tai chi so people can practice at home, though I would recommend initially working with a qualified instructor,” Heller said.

Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, also reviewed the study. “Tai chi is accessible even to those who might think exercise out of reach due to their pain or functional limitations,” he said.

Other forms of exercise could likely offer the same benefit, he said.

“For now, though, we have evidence that tai chi confers the benefits of exercise on groups for whom physical activity is a challenge. That is reason enough to include it more routinely among doctor recommendations,” Katz said.

SOURCES: W. Darlene Reid, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Yale University Prevention Research Center, New Haven, Conn., and president, American College of Lifestyle Medicine; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist and exercise physiologist, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Sept. 17, 2015, British Journal of Sports Medicine

source: WebMD News from HealthDay


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How Changing Your Beliefs Changes The World Around You

I always tend to see a basic fault when I hear people talk about hoping for change in the world. It’s the idea that we see the notion of change as something happening outside of us, driven by some faceless group of elite scientists, inventors and leaders coming up with some revolutionary idea that would set the world on a different course.

The fault with this notion is that it comes from the same mould which gave form to the problem in the first place – separation. We feel that we are separate from all the atrocities happening in different corners of the world; separate from shady global deals done in the interest of the few; separate from the marvelous work done by selfless peacekeepers and volunteers; separate from the bloodied hands of our previous generation and the problems of the next generations.

We think that we are helpless, innocent and powerless in the face of all this and that the change we expect ‘has’ to come from others, individuals, collectives or nations.

The Pain of Separation

When we look at the world outside we constantly see problems. We see real world problems such as overpopulation, energy crisis, water scarcity, the destruction of our environment, health hazards, etc. We also see degenerative and auto destructive patterns of behaviour such as greed, materialism, madness, over-consumerism and the general disenchantment with the world and the Universe. In short, we see modern Man as having lost his soul and disconnected with his spirit and the natural world.

When you think of it, in fact, all of these problems we see are rooted in separation.  Humanity seems to be off course because we have separated ourselves from our ancestral wisdom, our enchantment with the magical Universe, with ourselves, with our being. We have increasingly ingrained in us the false idea of individual freedom at the cost of community welfare. We feel that we have the freedom to be separate from our global community and affairs that affect the millions. So the recurrent theme is separation.

Wearing the Inside Out

On another level, we fail to see that our outer world, with all its blessings and problems is merely a projection of our inner world, both individually and collectively. Wars, atrocities, eco-destruction and restlessness is nothing more than a projection of what is happening internally on a deeper psychic level. The state of the world we are in, is nothing more than the state we are in internally on a collective level. Once again, we feel there is a separation between our internal and outer reality which is basically nothing more than a mere illusion. On a positive note, the positive change we are starting to witness is also a reflection of our nascent change in consciousness, first on a individual then collective scale.

Re-programming Your Reality

I feel that the idea to work with is that before we expect any mass changes to the afflictions we see around us in the world, we should start experimenting with changing the immediate reality around us, equipped with the idea that we can bend our personal reality by shifting how we face the world and interact with it. As the iconic quote from Gandhi goes “Be the change you want to see”.

We start shifting our reality not by gaining anything new but by releasing and letting go of years of conditioning and self-limiting beliefs. Here are some beliefs we ought to start adopting, while letting go of their complete opposite, if we really want to start seeing the change happening around us:

1) You are always part of the equation of life

When we feel disconnected we lose our real power. That power is the feeling of being one with life – of being an integral part of the equation. Again, the human dis-ease is that we feel separate from and powerless over the currents of our life stream.

When we realign ourselves with the belief that we are part of the whole eco-system of life with its subtleties and magic, we create a powerful inner conviction that enables us to trust and have faith in whatever is happening. This is the magical ingredient for staying in tune with our highest potential and unblocking those obstacles that keep us from moving forward and changing our reality.

universe

 

2) You can empower yourself to be the change you want

We are embedded in a system that is programmed to disempower us and condition us into believing that change happens outside of us. Yet, when we listen closer to our heart, we realise that this empowerment or disempowerment is only in our hands. If we allow ourselves to be grind down by the machinery of the system, then that is what we create.

If on the other hand we take charge of our life and destiny and encourage ourselves with the idea that only we have the power to make the change, we are turning the tables on the system. We start becoming free hearts and free thinkers. The shackles no longer bind us because we become masters of our own destiny.

3) You are a co-creator of your own reality

It’s a simple but powerful truth really. You are the co-creator of your own reality. Look at your life, the state you are now in – whether good or bad. You had a big say to create all that, whether you are conscious of it or otherwise. Since we are agents in our own life, we make choices, interact, dream and act, we are undeniably co-creators of our own reality. The more we catch up with the idea and consciously take hold of it, the more we can co-create and change our life positively.

4) Healing is losing the sense of separateness & fear

If you consciously look deep into yourself, you will find a constant yearning for healing, for restoring your being. This is a constant spiritual quest that we look for in different ways, at different times in our life. What this healing really means is remembering who we really are – our real power, our humanity and divinity at the same time. Most of all healing is transcending fear and our sense of separateness.

It is important then to always remember that we can heal ourselves by moving away from fear and the belief that we are disconnected and alone in a hostile universe, to one where we have faith that no matter how our life fluctuates, it’s all fine since we are supported by an infinite source of love and power.

5) Others are allies to your co-creations

The sense of separation continues to be reinforced by the sense of ‘us and them’. We feel that others can be a threat to our own wellbeing and happiness. We see them as possible competitors in a limited pool of resources. We enter into the survival mindset.

This is all very counterproductive at best. The more we let go of the sense of fear and separateness (thus being healed), the more we see others as potential allies and contributors to our own co-creations. This cannot be otherwise if we start from the premise that everything is interconnected and that we are an integral part of the equation of life (see point number one).

People who have become conscious co-creators of their own destiny know the true value and power in this. They understand the importance of helping, sharing, trusting and giving out while getting in. They understand human nature more intimately, knowing that each and every person, no matter how his or her outer behaviour can be off-putting, carry the same potential for healing themselves, others and the world around them.

6) You can always change the channel you tune into

Another fundamental truth that has been echoed in various forms is that everything is ultimately energy and vibration at different levels of frequency:  From very low, soul-wrenching vibrations to elevating, exhilarating frequencies of love and bliss. You have ultimately the power and freedom to choose which channel to tune into. Negative self-talk, self-limiting beliefs, fear, cynical friends, etc, will keep you stuck in a reality that vibrates at low frequency, so to speak.

On the other hand, opening your heart to new experiences and adventures, doing more of the things you like, being grateful, surrounding your self with exciting people and not being afraid to love will help you shift into a frequency bandwidth that will make you attract more of the same goodness and excitement. It will literally make you become the change you want to see in yourself and the world.

It’s basically about tuning in to and attracting the energy vibrations you would like to see more of in your reality. Thus while you are tuning in to higher frequencies and tuning out of the lower ones, you are co-creating a meaningful and positive personal reality which ultimately is projected and manifested onto the world. The result is that you would be creating the change you want to see in this world. On a collective level, this would be the beginning of a new earth.

Thanks for reading!

Gilbert Ross,  Soul Hiker


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33 Life Changing Lessons To Learn From Lao Tzu

Jul 16, 2015    Luminita D. Saviuc

“The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things.” ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Not sure if you know this, but Lao Tzu is the author of my favorite book of all time – Tao Te Ching. I am in love with this book. I read it more than 100 times and I know that I’ll continue to read it a lot more in the future. And you know why? Because every time I read it I discover something new. There is so much power, so much wisdom and so much magic in this book and its words really resonate with me. My soul loves it and I do too 🙂 . Anyway, here are 33 life changing lesson to learn from this wise man named Lao Tzu.

1. The world is won by those who let it go.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning.” ~ Lao Tzu

“Therefore the Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying anything. Things arise and she lets them come; things disappear and she lets them go. She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect. When her work is done, she forgets it. That is why it lasts forever.” ~ Lao Tzu

“He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.” ~ Lao Tzu

2. When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu

3. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.

“If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” ~ Lao Tzu

4. Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Lao Tzu

5. If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.” ~ Lao Tzu

6. He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.

“He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.” ~ Lao Tzu

7. Trying to shine you dim your own light.

“He who tries to shine dims his own light.” ~ Lao Tzu

8. He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.

“He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.” ~ Lao Tzu

9. He who has power over others can’t empower himself.

“He who has power over others can’t empower himself.” ~ Lao Tzu

10. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.

“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” ~ Lao Tzu

11. At the center of your being you have the answer to all life’s questions.

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~ Lao Tzu

12. The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.

“The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.” ~ Lao Tzu

“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” ~ Lao Tzu

13. Allow things to flow naturally.

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Lao Tzu

14. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish.

“If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given. This is called the subtle perception of the way things are.” ~ Lao Tzu

15. New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ~ Lao Tzu

16. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” ~ Lao Tzu

who you are

17. Humility is power.

“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.” ~ Lao Tzu

18. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm.

“The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.” ~ Lao Tzu

19. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’”

“The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” ~ Lao Tzu

20. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

“If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.” ~ Lao Tzu

21. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” ~ Lao Tzu

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu

22. The further one goes the less one know.

“Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows.” ~ Lao Tzu

23. Silence is a source of great strength.

“Silence is a source of great strength.” ~ Lao Tzu

24. Be like the forces of nature.

“Express yourself completely, then keep quiet. Be like the forces of nature: when it blows, there is only wind; when it rains, there is only rain; when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.” ~ Lao Tzu

25. Non-being is the greatest joy.

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” ~ Lao Tzu

26. By doing nothing you leave nothing undone.

“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.” ~ Lao Tzu

27. This is the great secret.

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.” ~ Lao Tzu

28. The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.

“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.” ~ Lao Tzu

29. Loving someone deeply gives you courage.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu

30. Kindness in giving creates love.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu

31. If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ~ Lao Tzu

32. When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” ~ Lao Tzu

33. Be good to all.

“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.” ~ Lao Tzu


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What does Namaste mean?

 – Namaste –

An ancient Sanskrit greeting still in everyday use in India and especially on the trail in the Nepal Himalaya.

Translated roughly, it means “I bow to the God within you”, or “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you” – a knowing that we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness.

The more formal greeting Sanskrit Namascar pronounced NAH-mah-scar is also used in India, though less frequently in Nepal. The Hindi “Jai Bhagwan” is also in common use, and carries the same meaning.

namaste