Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Keeping Young

I think in many ways many people are searching for the fountain of youth. We want to look young, act young and live young. Much of the advertisement in our world is focused on this concept and is counting on this principle to encourage us to buy products that promise to help us achieve this goal.

I too, want to stay as young as possible, and I believe our bodies are actually designed to do this. I want all life has to offer me and I want a body that will keep up with my mind and a mind that keeps exploring possibilities.

My desire for youthful living has been inspired by seeing folks around me with ailing bodies, aches and pains, stress and depression. You would think in this land of ours, where information and resources flow freely, we would have access and opportunity to maintain our health in an organic - easy way. But, I have found that it is not as easy as it would seem. Much pulls you toward being unhealthy, lethargic an overall passive entity. I think my kids are feeling the pull. My fear is that they will find comfort and complacency in sitting on the couch playing the Wii and choose this activity over playing outside, throwing a ball or scootering around the neighborhood. But I digress.

I really want to share my plan to pay attention and encourage health in my world. Little things that I can do on purpose and without tons of effort to increase the quality of my life and ultimately the longevity of my life. And these are things that I have done before and can easily pick up again.

The first thing I want to do is define how much I do these things currently and then define a goal for each thing. Here goes my current top 5:

Drink water. They say 8 glasses a day is the way to go- the site listed gives a formula for how much water you should drink based on your circumstances. Asthmatics need water more than most. I fall in that category. The work of breathing requires more water- maybe due to mouth breathing or needing more support/hydration to decrease inflammation. Regardless, water is a way to keep everyone from shriveling up- literally.

Get 8 hours of sleep. I am a happy girl when I get this, but all too often, I fall short- usually craving more time to do things while I am not working- either chores at home or fun stuff- trying to squeeze more quality time in.

Meditate/Pray/ Become Mindful. Take a few minutes each day for silence or focus. I have a quiet fear of silence- I am afraid God will talk to me. Sounds funny I know, but it happens now, even when I am filled with thoughts and distraction. I can only imagine what would come if I slowed and experienced the stillness. Deep inside I know that periodic silence is a good way to de-stress and achieve balance- I am making a commitment to myself to be brave, try it out, see what comes.

Yoga- my current focus is on Salutation to the Sun. I am trying to do 5 rounds of it each day. It does not take much time at all and you can really feel the stretch. I will move onto more routines in the future, but I thought I would start simple. The concept here is to pay attention to breathing while you are in different positions.

Journal- I am doing a gratitude journal. There was a period of my life when my journal housed all my negative thoughts. I now am trying to focus on all my blessings (which I have many). I think this is a good principle and I often fall out of practice- drained by everyday mishaps, disappointments and doubts regarding my purpose in life (you know the little things in life).
So it is my plan to track these things and encourage myself to do more, feel better and reach for the ultimate health. I know there are more things to pay attention to- love to hear your thoughts. I just wanted to start somewhere (I have been neglectful of late).


Merrycricket said...

I think you're on to something there. Especially the gratitude journal. I've been so focused on the things that are stressing me, I'm not concentrating on what is good and right with my life. Today, I will think about what's good, what I am grateful for... I may have more energy. I'll let you know.

Erin said...

My journal was filled with negative stuff and I did start writing about the good and it has been working for me. My energy is more positive since then.

Truth is, there is much to be grateful for.

Sad part is that I need to keep reminding myself to do this. It is a type of discipline--gotta bring it up to the front burner- for it to really work.