“A lot of people think we’re biologically programmed to die, but the truth is that we’re biologically programmed for survival. There is no mechanism inside us that turns on to kill us when a certain period of time has elapsed.
—Dr. Thomas Kirkwood
Aging is inevitable and Yoga can help us to age gracefully. Healthy diet, regular exercise, avoidance of negative thoughts & habits and cultivation of the positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle can help us to age with dignity. Yoga can also help our ‘silver citizens’ retain their mental ability and prevent degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and various other aging problems. Swami Gitananda Giri, Yogashri Krishnamacharya, Kannaiah Yogi, Swami Suddananda Bharathi, Yogeshwarji, Yogendraji, Swami Ram Dev and Padma Bhushan BKS Iyengar are but a few of the Yogis who have shown us that its is possible to grow old without losing any of the physical or mental faculties of youth.
When people talk about good health habits they usually have physical things in mind… eating right, exercising and so forth. But good mental habits may have positive effects, too.
A long-term study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine explored possible connections between specific personality traits and mortality.
In the study, more than twenty-three-hundred volunteers took a test that describes personality in five broad categories… agreeableness, openness to experience, extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness.
Conscientiousness involves things like self-discipline and resourcefulness.
About two-thirds of the volunteers were men, who were followed more than forty years. Women were tracked twenty-four years.During the study, forty percent of the volunteers died. By cross-referencing death statistics with personality test scores, researchers found several trends. Some personality traits had no effect on survival… agreeableness, extraversion and openness to experience. But there was a payoff for those who scored moderately high for conscientiousness and emotional stability, the opposite of neuroticism. On average, they lived two or three years longer than volunteers who scored moderately low for those traits. People who scored high on general activity, a facet of extraversion, also tended to live a couple more years.
These series of recent studies indicates that emotions, particularly stress, anger, and depression, are important factors with serious and significant implications for health.
Please draw the conclusion that staying focused and coping with stress may help you live longer.
For many of us, there’s lots of room for improvement.
Live longer, stay healthy