Just as we may plan a great vacation, enjoying life requires planning and effort.
Enjoying life is a journey and not a destination that one arrives at when one takes his last breath. To live fully means having both the health and the energy to engage in sports and activities that we enjoy. It also means being engaged with society in meaningful ways where we are contributing and therefore feel valued. Life is all about relationships and we need people to fill our emotional tanks, such that we are loving others and being loved in return. We need to continue to grow in our mental and spiritual capacities. With age, many things may change that may severely impact us in detrimental ways and rob us of the joys of life. There are five particular areas that we should prepare well for.
1. Physical strength and body
Loss of muscle mass at an average of 5% every ten years after the age of 35 years occurs as a result of ageing. This is also known as sarcopenia. This happens when we do not consciously engage in weight resistance exercises: what we do not use of our muscles, we lose. If we do not intentionally rebuild muscles through exercise, we will need to eat 150 to 450 fewer calories daily every 10 years to maintain our current weight. If we are eating the same way after the age of 35 without doing resistance training, it is no wonder we put on weight. Doing weight bearing exercises also helps us to drive calcium into our bones to keep them strong. Invest in some dumbbells to do lunges or arm rotations or even to carry when you walk.
Our production of coenzyme Q10 declines as we age. Hence, it is good to use supplements to maintain our strength, especially if we suffer from fatigue. It is especially important to supplement with a full spectrum multivitamin that delivers optimal levels of micronutrients to ensure healthy body functions while minimising oxidative stress. Quality supplements also aid in coping with hormonal changes that come with age, affecting our metabolic rates and body processes. It is best to eat smaller quantities of healthy nutritious food, paying attention to our intake of vegetables, fruits and protein.
2. Social connections
Studies have shown that having friends can add both joy and years to our lives. It is important to have a number of friends that we can socialise with and even confide in. Having the right friends can increase our meaning and outlook in life as they may help us to see life from different perspectives. However, as we age, maintaining friendships may become more challenging as some friends may move overseas or pass away. Sometimes, having healthy social connections requires us to actively and purposefully set out to meet new people by doing new things. Sometimes it takes willingness to risk rejection by trying to get to know others better. Studies have shown that a lack of social connections more than doubled the risk of high blood pressure, increasing it by 124 percent. By comparison, having diabetes increased the risk of high blood pressure by much less at 70 percent. Hence, it pays to have friends when it comes to improving your quality of life.
3. Financial preparation
Unexpected twists in life such as illness or loss of loved ones or assets in life can set us back. It pays to practise the principle of delayed gratification by saving and working towards a sound financial situation for the future. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and the same can be said for doing the same things and expecting a different outcome in earnings or savings. We need to recognise that our mindsets have to change to embrace new learnings and doings that will enable us to have more in life. We may need to increase our skill set now to be able to earn more in what we are doing. We may need new successful mentors to help us to troubleshoot and do things differently.
4. Mental health
Cultivating gratefulness is vital in promoting mental health. When we are filled with gratitude, life takes on a happy glow. Being happy enables us to enjoy whatever we do more and even strengthens our immune system. We need to love and give to others to increase our mental health. For example, having a pet to care for means that we need to think about others’ welfare and this stimulates the brain nerve cells. It is no wonder the saying is that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving to others strengthens our mental health through boosting our self-confidence.
5. Spiritual health
To enjoy life, we all need to prepare well with the eventuality of death. Issues of what happens after death should be explored in advance so that we can be at peace with what lies ahead. It can be unsettling when we are not prepared for our final farewell to the world. Hence, we need to get connected with our spiritual selves and dig deep into the following questions:
a) Who am I?
b) What is the uniqueness in my
contribution to the world?
c) What is my life purpose
d) What can I do to increase peace
in my life?
Having a bucket list that you attempt courageously to fulfil is another great way to make sure you are living your life to the fullest. Remember, we can all live a full life of no regrets if we prepare well.
Founder of Wellness Consulting Pte. Ltd.
Ms Elite United Nations International 2016
Mrs Singapore Planet 2015
+65 8118 3912 | Lisa@wellnessconsultingteam.com