Are You Young At Heart?
My first born turned 55 this past week. He has outlived my own father by 2 1/2 years. Thinking about that I see all of what my son is experiencing and looking forward to in the coming years with family and career and realize that my Dad missed all that.
When my faher passed away I was already a young mother of three and remember thinking he was old. Now that my son is even older than that now it amazes me at how I perceived aging. My father had 2 heart attacks in his 40’s and it was the third one that took his life. I know that is why I saw him as “old”. As a child I also knew that he was not well. I missed knowing my Dad as an adult and now that I have lived over 20 years longer than he did it makes me want to live my life more in the moments and treasure each one.
One of my favorite songs growing up was sung by Frank Sinatra ~ Young At Heart (I have included the words at the end of this post for those of you who have not heard it). Young at heart is defined in the dictionary as having a youthful spirit no matter what one’s age. (*Typically: act ~; be ~; keep someone ~; stay ~.) I am over 70 but I still feel young at heart. I love that, particularly since I am over 70 and feeling great! Not always so, however. At 50 I was feeling old and facing health issues. Fortunately I made some lifestyle choices which made a huge difference for me. I have often wondered if my father would have taken the same path I did, would he have lived longer? Stress, unfortunately, was a big factor in his life, so perhaps not.
In thinking about being “young at heart” I do believe the steps to healthy living includes exercise and staying active, a connection with friends and family, reducing our stress load ~ living and enjoying those precious moments of life, getting a good night’s rest (at least 7 hours), maintaining an ideal weight, focusing on a bigger purpose in our lives, following a healthy lifestyle and making sure to get the right nutrients through quality supplements. The last step I believe is crucial simply because one of America’s deadliest diseases is chronic inflammation which leads to pulmonary, cardiovascular, auto immune and neurological diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and Arthritis. One hundred years ago we were not plagued with bad water, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, mercury, PCB’s, hormones and antibiotics, bovine growth hormones, and genetically modified foods in our food supply. Our meals in the past were more nutrient dense and antibiotic free, coming from rich soil. We did not stop off at fast food restaurants but instead ate home cooked meals.
I particularly enjoyed an article written by Dr. David R. Hamilton whose philosophy is “kindness can change the world.” He states “Positive people don’t get stressed as much in day-to-day life, so they produce less inflammation. When stuff doesn’t go to plan, they just get over it and get on with life. Less stress means less inflammation, which in turn promotes a longer life. It’s a simple formula….. How do we turn our minds to more positive things? Counting blessings is a simple way. Make a list of five to ten things that you are grateful for that have happened in the last 24 hours, and do this every day for a month. Or challenge yourself to go three weeks without complaining, moaning, or criticizing.” His book, Why Kindness is Good For You, describes that when we’re kind, our bodies are healthiest. This groundbreaking book is filled with fascinating new discoveries, including: how kindness developed in our genes; that love and kindness can make a damaged heart regenerate faster; how kindness and compassion alter the neural structures of our brains; and that gratitude can make you at least 25 per cent happier.
I was fortunate to be introduced to quality supplements when I made those lifestyle choices 25 years ago. If you would like to learn more about how to choose a high quality supplement go here for an informative e-book on the subject.
Here are the words to my favorite song by Frank Sinatra ~
Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.
You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on it’s way.
Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it’s much better by far
To be young at heart.
And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive!
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.