51 – Are you ready to live a long and happy life?

Hey everyone, I hope you have had a fulfilling week and that you are looking forward to a long weekend.

Last week I had the privilege of attending the DoTERRA European convention in London and I was literally blown away by the generosity and authentic desire for a corporate company, that has 5 million customers, to make a positive impact on the lives of others. In the two days that I was there, not once did I hear about targets or sales. Instead I had the honour of listening to the chief executive and other founder members talking about the charities they support to help improve the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves.

I am a Wellness Advocate for DoTERRA which means I talk to women about how these highest quality essential oils can be incorporated in their lives to support their health, emotional wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing. In doing this I not only empower that woman to take control of their wellbeing, I know that I am enabling farmers and distributors in developing countries to get access to fresh water, medical care and education. I also know that I am supporting several incredible charities through the DoTERRA Healing Hands Foundation. Some of the charity projects include:

Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) – a charity that liberates children from the child sex trafficking trade and gives them the opportunity to a life of freedom and care. The proceeds of every bottle of HOPE are donated to OUR

Days for girls – a charity that provides sanitary packs for girls in developing countries who would otherwise be sent away to live in basic huts and away from their own communities each month. DoTerra leaders create packs and send them to where they are needed.

I could not be prouder to be aligned to this organisation; an organisation that puts PEOPLE at the heart of everything it does.

You can find out more about the Healing Hands Foundation HERE. I think you will be blown away be the impact they are having in the lives of so many people who just need help.

Anyway, why I am telling you this? It’s because supporting people to live a life focused on wellbeing is part of my reason for being. Over the past few weeks I have been sharing insights on how to live a more fulfilling life and  I wanted to pull all the themes together into some practical steps you can take to live your BEST life.

A recent study was undertaken about ‘Blue Zones’ – countries that were identified where people live a long and healthy life. The research identified several factors that contribute to people living a healthy and fulfilling life. These factors are listed below with some questions for you to consider…

1 – Stay active and don’t retire

I have seen so many examples where people have worked hard all their lives so that they can enjoy a long and happy retirement only to find that within weeks of retiring they feel like they have lost their purpose and become almost recluse like. Some people go back into employment, some fall in to depression and in extreme cases some people die. Continue to do things of value and that contribute to the world even when your professional life has come to an end. The film The Intern is a great example of this!

Ask yourself this…

  • How active are you?
  • How can you build more activity in to your current routine?
  • How will you continue to contribute and remain active when you retire?

2 Take it slow

The pace of life seems to be ever increasing. We never just slow down and take a moment to enjoy what we are doing and being fully present in the moment. We are always focused on the next thing!

Ask yourself this…

  • When was the last time you really stopped and focused on your breathing?
  • How regularly do you have a proper break at lunchtime? Do you grab lunch at your desk?
  • Where do you spend most of your time, is it thinking about the future or being fully in the present?

3 – Don’t fill your stomach

Obesity is at an all-time high and associated illnesses are on the rise. Our portion sizes are ever increasing and we are often encouraged to opt for meal deals or to ‘supersize’. We are constantly overloading our bodies and putting our internal system under stress. Convenience food has become so accessible and our food does not have the same level of nutrients it used to have so we eat more to compensate. In countries where people live longest, they adopt the 80% rule. They eat until they feel about 80% full and then they stop.

Ask yourself this…

  • When did you last feel genuinely hungry?
  • What percentage of your food is fresh food?
  • How often do you even consider what you are fuelling your body with?
  • How do you think you diet is contributing to your overall health right now?

4 – Surround yourself with good friends

Our sense of community is diminishing. Social media enables us to be more connected however it means we have no need to go outside our homes or pick up the phone. Loneliness is on the increase and becoming a significant factor in mental health related issues. Our more senior community sometimes go days without connecting with another person.

Ask yourself this…

  • When was the last time you phoned a friend for a chat?
  • How much do you rely on texting or social media for keeping in touch?
  • How well do you know your neighbours?
  • How connected do you feel to your community?
  • When was the last time you spent focused time nurturing your friendships?

5 – Get in shape for your next birthday

Our lives have become very sedentary. Our body is ours for the whole of our lives and yet we don’t always take of it in the best way. This does not necessarily have to be about putting hours in at the gym. In fact, research now suggests that as little as 7 minutes of high intensity activity each day can have a profound and long lasting health impact on your health and fitness.

Ask yourself this…

  • How satisfied are you with your health and wellbeing right now?
  • How regularly do you focus on being active?
  • What activity do you enjoy doing?
  • How could you build more of this in to your life?
  • How could you easily build more activity in to your day?

6 – Smile

Smiling can alter your mood dramatically. It can make everything feel better and it will attract people to you. When you smile, you look younger and you look more relaxed. You also release happy hormones in to your system! So, turn that frown upside down.

Ask yourself this…

  • What puts you in a good mood?
  • Is there a song that always makes you feel good?
  • When was the last time you really laughed?
  • Who makes you smile?

7 – Reconnect with nature

The beauty of nature surrounds us all the time but sometimes we get too busy to notice. Being in nature helps you to recharge your batteries. If you are in a city, you can still find a green space or even just ensure you get out in to the fresh air for just ten minutes.

Ask yourself this…

  • When did you last feel grass under your feet?
  • When did you last have a picnic in the park?
  • When was the last time you stopped to listen to a bird singing?
  • When did you last look up at the clouds or the stars and just breathe in the air?

8 – Give thanks

This is one of my favourites. Having an attitude of gratitude is a game changer. If you focus on what you constantly lack, you will always be lacking. If you focus on what you are grateful for, no matter how small, you will always feel richer. Even if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, think again. If you are breathing, you have something to be grateful for.

Ask yourself this…

  • What can you be grateful for right in this moment?
  • How grateful are you on a daily basis?
  • Who do you need to thank?
  • How can you build more gratitude in to your day?

9 – Live in the moment

You can’t change the past but you can learn from it. It is inspiring to have aspirations for the future and to be working toward your vision but don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of the moment you have right now. So often we either dwell on the post or pin our hopes on a brighter future and we miss all the gifts of the here and now. Ask any parent who is concerned that their child is growing up too fast!

Ask yourself this…

  • What do you spend most of your time thinking about, the past, the future or the present?
  • What excites you most about the here and now?
  • How could you be more present?

10- Follow your IKIGAI (your reason for being)

There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end. If you have not discovered your IKIGAI yet, your mission is to discover it. Over the past 4 weeks I have shared a model that helps you discover your ‘calling’. Finding something that you are good at, the world needs, that you can get paid for and aligns to your unique skills sets you up for a life that you will never want to retire from.

Ask yourself…

  • What makes me feel alive?
  • What do I love doing most?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can I get paid for?
  • What are my unique gifts?

So, there we have it. The ten secrets to living a long and happy life are yours.

Why not pick one or two of these areas to focus on and see what difference it makes?

Until next week

Be extraordinary

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