If you want to ensure your health and longevity – studies show these three things are vital

You Have the Power Over Your Health and LongevityI went to see a workshop presented by Nick Hall who is Director of Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the University of South Florida. And he was talking about the immune system—the mind-body connection—who gets sick and who stays well. I'm not going to bore you with all the particulars about the immune system and the different cells. But I do want to tell you some interesting things that I found that would be wonderful information to pass on to you.

The first one is that he was talking about some longevity studies and about who do you think lives longer and stays healthier. And I thought, "Well, I know that. It's good nutrition, positive attitude, exercise, sleep." Well, when he gave us the answers that showed up in the study, it was actually none of those things! Well, not exactly. Not that those things are not important—and we will find down the line that those are important.

But the things that came up in the study, the first one, was a sense of control…meaning that the person could control their own emotions. They could act appropriately in response to emotion. They could understand the emotional or get a sense about what's going on emotionally with the other person. They had what they call emotional intelligence.

The second factor affecting longevity and health was the ability to predict. He brought up the fact that the only emotion that we have that's associated with the future is fear. The fear of the unknown stops more people than probably any other aspect in a person's life. Because, really, the truth is…you can predict, to a certain degree, the more knowledge that you have. Also, the more open-minded you are, the more you can listen to all the viewpoints surrounding an area before you formulate your own conclusion. So really, you can develop the ability to predict more accurately.

The third thing that affected the longevity and health in the people of the study was positive thinking—optimism. We are not the person looking at the world through the rose-colored glasses, where they are in a form of denial and actually distort reality to see just see the positive in everything. But, the person that lived longest was the one that could look at life realistically and realize there are good things and bad things that happen. When a bad thing happened, they could focus on how to resolve it. They also recognize that bad things—and even good things—are not permanent…that all things pass and change and there's an ebb and flow of life. They realize that all things that happen are only temporary. Even if it's a major setback, it does not have to have permanent consequences.

In summary, the three things that affected the longevity of the people in the study were predictability, control, and optimism. So, work on those in yourself and see if that doesn't make a difference.

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of stockimages / Free Digital Photos

If you learn these simple questions you can improve the efficiency of your mind

The Mind Best Friend or Worst EnemyDo you ever notice that when you start to set an intention to create something new the first thing you might run into is “your stuff”—“your mental garbage.” Sometimes the mind and emotions can play tricks on us. They direct us to the reasons why we should not go after our big dreams. Look at the facts. Not enough time. Not enough money. Don’t have the right education or credentials. You aren't smart enough. You aren't talented enough. You cannot achieve it. The odds are against you. I don’t know what to do. It didn’t work the last time. I’m too old. These beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies.

These beliefs can stop you from even discovering what you truly want. If you know what you want, they act as rationalizations and justifications for not moving forward. 

The mind is a wonderful tool that can serve us in many ways. The most important thing to understand about the mind is that it does not want to be wrong. The mind is like a huge supercomputer and operates on the information that has been programmed into the computer.

How does this programming affect your life?

This programming creates a reality built of things you believe to be true. Do you think your reality may be different than Warren Buffet or Oprah Winfrey? Sure. Look around at what is in your life. Is it different than theirs? You can discover your current reality by examining what is in your life. That is the programming that is in your computer. The most important thing to understand is that if you are not completely happy with your current reality you absolutely have the power to change it. You just have to know how to change the programming.

The more hidden the programming, the more powerful it is. If you have been working for years to create something that always seemed outside your reach, your programming may be working against you.

What are some signs that you are running into old programming when you set your intention?

  • You are just suddenly so tired it takes extreme effort to stay awake or move your body.
  • Suddenly you decide that the goal was just not that important to you, or you have a better goal.
  • You will notice unimportant things suddenly becoming very important. For example, winter is coming and you decide you have to clean out the garage. Or all of a sudden it is urgent that you have to clean out your files so you can find things.
  • All of a sudden there are too many burning issues to work on the goal.
  • You know exactly the next step to your success and avoid doing it.

Even without changing the programming, you have the power to control your mind in the present. You are able to control your mind by the questions you pose to it or things you focus on. If you consistently ask yourself, “Why can’t I be successful?,” your mind will help you come up with a bunch of reasons or justifications. For fun ask yourself, “Why can’t I be successful?” What kind of answers did you get? Now ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move to the next level of success?” What kind of answers did you get that time?

Are you seeing the difference? If you continually tell yourself, “I don’t have enough time,” your mind will oblige and you will find yourself busy on a bunch of things that do not move you to your goal. But if instead you ask your mind, “What do I need to do to make this successful?,” your mind will help you reveal solutions. Or you ask, “How can I manage my time more efficiently so I can reach my goal?” The mind again will help you reveal solutions. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in helping you achieve your dreams. It can also be just as powerful in stopping you from achieving your dreams. With that in mind, pay close attention to the questions you are asking your mind and the directions you are giving it.

The mind also has a job to filter out most information coming in to keep you from being overwhelmed.

This is most obvious when you are trying to solve a problem. Let’s say you decide you need a new car. Now all of a sudden you are noticing all the car dealerships and sales ads about cars. But when you were not looking for a new car, you would have just driven by the dealerships and skipped right past the ads without noticing.

The same works for goals. If you present the goal to the mind it will be observing the environment for solutions or opportunities that align with your goal. If you are having doubts that you can accomplish the goal, it will also be observant for things in the environment that can back that up.

So the most important thing to realize is that you are the director and the mind is merely a tool. You might want to write that down. “I am the director of my life.”

 

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos

Teach your children to be resilient so they can enjoy a better quality life

Why it is easier to succeed as a parent than you thinkIn life, much of our stress can come from attempting to parent children who are responsible, successful, and happy. The stress and worry never helps; in fact, all it does is cause damage to our own mental emotional health and those around us. Our role as a parent has to include helping our children develop skills that allow them to be resilient if they are going to successfully deal with the stress of modern life.

In reviewing three separate studies on resilience—which is the ability to bounce back quickly after illness, change, or misfortune—there are a few common themes.    

In one study, highly resilient nurses identified spirituality, a supportive social network, optimism, and having a resilient role model as essential to cope with stress in their work environment. In another study, resilient workers relied on positive emotions, cognitive flexibility, social support, life meaning, and active coping. And in the last study, workers relied on self-esteem, sense of control, purpose in life, and interpersonal relations.

Having some form of social support was the most common in all three groups. Optimism or a positive mindset was the next most important protective factor. But don’t underestimate the one you have the most control over, and that is being a resilient role model.

As parents, we want to protect our children. But sometimes you just have to get a grip and let the child experience life so they can learn. Bethany was really worried about her teenage son until one day a dear friend asked her how she knew her needs were all taken care of. She replied, “Through my connection with God.” Her friend wisely asked, “What makes you think your connection to God is any less powerful than his?” In that moment, Bethany realized that not only could she trust God to watch over her son but that she had been role modeling that behavior for her son in living her own life. She was able to relax and let go of the stress. The circumstance that created the stress did not change; only the perspective through which the experience was looked at changed. Sometimes it takes an external person to help us reframe our circumstance, and sometimes we need to ask ourselves if there is a more empowering way to look at this.  

The moments where we can talk to our children grow fewer and fewer as they get older. However, there will be moments where an example of some life lesson sits right in front of you and your child. In that teachable moment is the time to tell them, “In life, not everything is learned in textbooks. Sometimes you have to live life and learn through your experience.” Teach them to draw on the resources that make them resilient.

Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.” Teach your children to be resilient so they can enjoy a better quality life.

 

 

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

Article Photo: courtesy of photostock / Free Digital Photos

 

You don’t need to blame circumstance or the past, you can create the support you need right now

If You Really Want to Succeed – Form a Mastermind GroupMy mastermind partners and I are meeting today for lunch. As I sit here inscribing the book I bought for them, I reflect on the immense value of having this kind of support. This is the fourth time in my life where I have been part of a mastermind group. The support, encouragement, and insight have been priceless in each and every instant.

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, defined a mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” A mastermind can be as simple as two friends setting the intention of losing weight together and talking daily or weekly to support each other in that intention. It can also be as large as a group of scientists gathered together to reach one goal such as solving the problem of world hunger.  

There are the tangible benefits of having a supportive mastermind such as:

  • A broad base of knowledge and perspectives from which you can draw.
  • Resources and connections to help you accomplish your goals.
  • Accountability and support to help you to move forward even when things get tough.

But what I valued most with this group was our ability to hold the faith and vision for each other of what we were each truly capable of. This world is full of people who will gladly find fault and commiserate on how difficult things are. Napoleon Hill also said, “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” You see, we can intentionally create a third mind or mastermind by setting up a group of people that supports us in becoming who we are capable of becoming, or we set up a group by default that agrees with our limitations.

I recently shot a TV show in the TED talk format. I had one take, and it had to be timed to 15 minutes. I remember standing there nervously, and the host said to look at the camera and picture the audience on the other side of that lens. In that moment, I pictured my two mastermind partners and immediately went into a state where the talk came easily and effortlessly. I knew they believed in me and that I could knock it out of the park. That is the kind of support I am talking about.   

How different would your life be if you had that kind of support? As you evolve and your goals change, you may even change mastermind groups. If you set up the ground rules for the mastermind and be true to the intention of the group, the bonds you form will be lifelong and the results life changing. Each group has its own energy. When you decide to put a group together, be sure you are clear on your intention – what it is you really want and what support you need.

 

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being and experience more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse on Secrets to a Stress-Free Life.

Article Photo: courtesy of ddpavumba / Free Digital Photos