Most of us dream of living a long and happy life. Yet, we speak and think as though somebody else determines this for us. Not true. We do. You do!
As a physician and scientist, I am astounded by how much control we have over our own lives. I am repeatedly impressed by the extent to which we control our destinies – including our longevity. The way we think affects our future in profound ways. And the exciting thing is that our thoughts are largely in our own control.
Perhaps the most impressive evidence for this truth comes from longevity studies such as the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. In this research, almost 4000 people between the ages of 52 and 79 were studied over a period of 5 years. The purpose was to define the biological predictors of death.
Many factors invoked early death in this population. The most obvious and expected include the presence of disease, and negative lifestyle influences like cigarette smoking.
One research question triggered my particular interest. The scientists used a very sensitive test to evaluate each individual’s sense of well-being over the course of a full day. Well-being can best be described as a person’s belief in their overall health and happiness. It is not simply a reflection of mood, although a positive mood is definitely associated with a positive sense of well-being.
The research showed emphatically that a positive sense of well-being has a strong correlation with longevity. Positive people simply live longer. Over the 5-year period, those with the greatest positivity had a 35% greater likelihood of survival than those with the least positive outlooks.
This is an extraordinary revelation, and reinforces for me the incredible power we have over our own destinies. Our views become self-fulfilling. When we believe we are robust, we are robust! Of course, I understand how other biological factors influence my longevity. BodyWHealth describes a simple regimen for controlling most of these (see the 7 keys that unlock WHealth).
Most powerfully, BodyWHealth teaches us the Power of Belief.
You have the ability to learn, practice and perfect skills that can positively impact your daily life. This is the road to a long, healthy and happy life – and it’s in your hands!