At some point in life we all think about death and dying. We all know that all humans are mortal and that death is as inevitable as day becoming night.
“Is there anything we can do about our mortality?” This may be a question that many of us would like to ask ourselves.
First of all, man’s perceptions of mortality always change with age and time. If you ask a young adult if he or she would want to live long, probably the answer is “I don’t know” or “I just don’t want to grow too old and decrepit, like my grand-parents.” A young adult’s perspective of mortality also explains why many of the younger generation are
living a reckless lifestyle “as if there is no tomorrow” for them.
Naturally, their perception of mortality would change over the years as they grow older with a family of children, or if they have a successful career with all the trimmings of a luxurious lifestyle that they would like to continue. A longer lifespan would then become
an extension of their own legacy or continuation of their enjoyment of the fruits of their own accomplishments.
Indeed, many people may have different perspectives of their own mortality, depending on their upbringing, the life experiences they have gone though, their religious beliefs, as well as the meanings of death and dying to them. As a result of the differences, some may
focus too much on death to the extent of creating death anxiety, while others may deliberately deny the existence of death, just like the ostrich burying its head in the sand.
There is a critical question we should all ask ourselves: Why do I or don’t I want to live longer?
If you want to live longer, you have to be happy. Maybe you should also ask yourself another question: How do I become happy?
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
To be diagnosed with cancer is stressful. To cope with cancer stress, one needs wisdom–profound human wisdom.
Life is stressful, and thus many negative and unpleasant experiences are recorded in the subconscious mind as memories and thoughts of those experiences. According to James Allen, author of As A Man Thinketh, men are “makers of themselves,” and the human mind is the “master-weaver” of his future experiences; in other words, the thinking mind may make him become what he thinks.
Therefore, a toxic mind with toxic thoughts may have composed a toxic personality over the years. It begins with the ego-self, which is your self-identity—that is, who you “think” you are—based on your memories and past experiences. As a matter of fact, your whole being comes from your memories, which control your life by making you “believe” that you are really who you “think” you are.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are seven emotions that disharmonize the body and the mind: anger, fear, fright, grief, joy, worry, and pensiveness or over-concentration. At first glance, “joy” may seem to be the only positive emotion among the seven negative ones. However, even joy may also become toxic, especially in an inflated ego. A case in point, the once-celebrated-but-now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs to win his races in order to sustain and protect his ego of winning. It was his self-inflated ego that led to his ultimate downfall in his career.
Toxic emotions may also easily lead to the Seven Deadly Sins of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Toxic thoughts from toxic emotions become toxic memories stored in the subconscious mind. Toxic memories cause the conscious mind to make toxic choices and decisions, leading to toxic behaviors, actions and reactions that further exacerbate the toxic mind.
All in all, stress is the underlying cause of many diseases, including cancer. Stress can often worsen the symptoms of cancer. Therefore, it is important to have good sleep to reduce the stress level. Sleep is vital to wellness. A gold fish deprived of sleep will remain still for a prolonged period to make up for its lack of sleep. Natural sleep holds the key to living a stress-free life. The paradox is that we cannot have natural sleep if there are too many stressors in our lives. Living in this day and age, stress is an everyday phenomenon. In contemporary living, nearly every aspect of life and living involves speed, so much so that many of us have become addicted speed, and thus become time-stressed.
Remember, the body and the mind are interconnected. If you continuously think of cancer or worry about getting cancer because of your family history, you may end up having cancer, because cancer is a disease that may be caused by many factors other than the genetic factor. As a matter of fact, cancer fear may read to many actions taken, such as the actions taken by actress Angelina Jolie.to remove her breasts because of cancer threat.
A cancer diagnosis may be stressful, but use your mind to overcome cancer stress.
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in coping with the traumatic experience of a cancer diagnosis but also in overcoming the disease itself. In addition, I present detailed information on what an individual must do on the cancer journey of cure and recovery. A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Rather, it is an opportunity for growth and development. Harness your mind power to combat cancer.
It is important to develop a sense of purpose and future-oriented goals to help you along your life journey as you continue to age. To meet the challenges of aging, you need a healthy mind for your longevity living.
How to Help Your Mind Help You
If, unfortunately, you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease or cancer, you may need help. More specifically, you need to help your mind help you.
First and foremost, healing from any disease or disorder begins with the mind, and not the body.
How can your mind help you? How can you help your mind help you? And how can your mind help your prognosis, healing, and rejuvenation?
First of all, admit that any disease or disorder you may now have does not result from a single causal factor. At this point in time, do not strive to find out what might have caused it. Instead, use your mind to eliminate all potential disease-contributing factors.
To enhance your mind power, you must develop and sharpen your mental awareness.
What is mental awareness?
Other than manifesting its intentions, the mind also expresses its power as mental awareness, which is acute attention of the mind and the body. Most of us do not really pay much attention to the body—except when we are experiencing physical pain—let alone pay much attention to the mind. But mental awareness is important to longevity living because the mind and the body are interconnected. Mental awareness is essentially body consciousness or mental attention to the physical conditions and the needs of the body in relation to how the mind thinks. Mental awareness holds the key to both physical and mental wellness of an individual.
The brain and the body are interconnected. The body is created to support the mind. Your thoughts affect your body sensations. For example, if you are kissing someone you love, it is more than a physical sensation: your mind becomes elated, and your soul rejoices as well.
Accordingly, sharpen your mind power to enhance your awareness of your body first. If you feel that your body, mind, and soul are not connected, most probably you lack body awareness by your mind in the first place. Indeed, many people are not really paying conscious attention to their bodies at all times. To illustrate, how often we look at something without seeing it at all because our minds are somewhere else. When the mind is not paying its full attention, the body becomes incapacitated; when the body becomes fully conscious, the mental capacity becomes sharpened. It is just that simple.
Body awareness is simply paying full attention to what your body is doing at that present moment. In other words, be conscious of what your body is doing when you are eating, walking, or doing just about anything. Unfortunately, at most times, our minds are distracted by past thoughts and projections of those thoughts into the future; rarely, do we focus our minds on the present moment. If you are more aware of your body, you will learn to breathe better (that is, breathing with your diaphragm with longer exhalation than inhalation), to have a better posture, and to slow down.
Mental awareness brings about a healthy mind, which plays a pivotal role in longevity living.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Does money bring longevity? Can money make one live longer?
Before answering those questions, let’s look at what contributes to longevity. To live longer, you need holistic wellness of the body, the mind, and the soul. In other words, you need to feel good about your overall being. If that be the case, then comes the next question: what makes you feel good about yourself? Is it abundant wealth, good health, or a satisfying love relationship? Be that as it may, they are only the byproducts of happiness; they do not make you happy.
Money cannot make you live longer. The only thing that money could probably do is to enable you to have access to more expensive medical treatments when you fall sick. Other than that, money plays a little role in your living longer.
Many lottery winners attest to their experiences of temporary ecstatic happiness, and nearly all winners confess that winning has ultimately made them miserable and unhappy for various reasons. Maybe once the initial stimulus of sudden wealth and the drastic changes of lifestyle have worn off, they ultimately return to their original baseline level of happiness or unhappiness. Or, maybe, according to some experts, having too much pleasure, what is known as “eustress” can cause, ironically enough, stress, just as lacking in pleasure may be stressful to the many have-nots.
Longevity requires a healthy mind that controls the body that lives in the physical world. Inter-connection between the body and the mind may lead to a healthy soul that oversees the mind and the body. Total alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul holds the key to longevity.
To learn how to realign your body, mind, and soul, click here.
To live long is a desire of many. Longevity is more than just about genes. It is also about attitudes towards life and living. Empower yourself with knowledge in the art of living well in order to live better, younger, and longer.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Believing in yourself is important in life and living. You have to believe that you can do certain things; after all, life is about “doing” and feeling of in control” that leads to feeling good about yourself.
According to Dr. Ronald Nathan, coauthor of The Doctors’ Guide to Instant Stress Relief, the essence of control is your “feeling of in control.” That is to say, you confidently believe that there is a purpose in your life, no matter what. With that mindset, you will begin to see things in different perspective: even temporary setbacks will no longer interfere with your long-range visions now that you feel you are in control. To cultivate that “feeling of in control,” you must learn how to act confident in your attitude and body language in whatever you do. Dr. Nathan believes that 80 percent of communication involves body language, while verbal only accounts for only 20 percent.
To enhance your confidence of “feeling in control,” cultivate awareness of self and others. Learn to live in the present to develop that awareness. Unfortunately, many of us don’t live in the present but in the future with “expectations” that often fail us, creating fear of failure, and hence the daily stress to do more that makes life careen out of control.
In addition to awareness, learn to take little bites in your life to facilitate living in the present; that is, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Doing one thing at a time, instead of multi-tasking, not only decreases pressure but also increases adaptability as well as productivity. Don’t create the vicious circle of accomplishing one goal after another.
Set your goals but with no expectations.
Setting goals and having expectations are not the same. According to the ancient wisdom of Tao, (Tao is The Way, which is the profound wisdom of Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese) expectations often become the stumbling blocks to accomplishing your goals. Why? The explanation, according to Lao Tzu, is that .the greater the expectations, the more efforts you will exert, and the more stressed you become—ironically enough that may lead to failure in achieving your goals. What Lao Tzu would recommend is “doing what needs to be done” but no more and no less, and with “no expectation”.
There was the story of a drawing competition in which candidates were asked to draw a snake. One candidate finished his drawing well ahead of others. Thinking that he would get extra credit, he added a few beautiful legs to the snake he had drawn. As a result, he became disqualified in the competition. The moral of the story is that enough is enough, and more than enough may not be good.
Believing in yourself—with “no over-doing” and “no expectation”—holds the key to setting your goals and accomplishing some of them despite some drawbacks to build up your self-confidence, which is necessary for
success in doing anything in your life.
Believing in yourself is letting go of all pre-conditioned thinking about yourself, that is, with an empty mind.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Exercise for the elderly is especially important. Do not stop exercising just because you think you are getting older; instead, exercise more as you grow older.
Exercise detoxifies the body, and body detox holds the key to holistic health and wellness. Exercise not only stimulates blood circulation and the movement of lymphatic fluids, but also promotes the reduction of fat reserves, thereby instrumental in facilitating the removal of toxins stored in the body. Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as jumping rope or a bouncer, significantly improves the body’s circulation to benefit detoxification.
As you become more advanced in age, you will continue to lose muscle mass. The good news is that exercise may induce building muscle mass. Mass muscle mass not only maintains your body shape, but also helps you lose weight. The more muscles you have, the more calories you will burn, even while you sleep. To keep body shape, you must exercise your body.
The Oriental exercises for natural health
Qi Gong is a set of self-healing exercises designed to balance your qi (internal life energy), bringing you back into harmony with Nature. These exercises incorporate your posture, movement, breathing, meditation and visualization to move oxygen and nutrients from your blood to organs and tissues. Distress and anxiety are dispelled during meditation; positive thinking with great confidence is affirmed; and concentration is emphasized. Through qi gong, you gain control of your body and mind, thereby instrumental in stimulating the circulation of your blood and qi for optimum health.
Tai Chi is all about movements to circulate your body invisible energy called qi. Smooth circulation of qi energy ensures a healthy body. Stagnant and blocked qi energy causes all sorts of chronic disease. Tai Chi is an ancient exercise that has been practiced for thousands of years as an effective alternative healing for the body and the mind. By strengthening the immune system, Tai Chi can improve your chronic disease slowly but steadily. More importantly, it can relieve your stress and calm your nerves.
Stretch exercise aims at improving your flexibility in order to extend the range of movement of your joints so that you can perform everyday activities with minimum effort and maximum effect. Flexibility is a great asset to your overall health and fitness, especially if you are a senior:
- Stretch exercise relieves muscular stress and mental tension, both of which result in toxicity that may cause lethargy.
- Flexibility reduces the risk of lower back pain. Flexibility stretching enhances the quality of the protective lubricant for optimum joint movement, the decline of which is the major cause of arthritic conditions. Also, increased lumbar and pelvic movements reduce the risk of lower back pain.
- Flexibility training encourages postural balance and awareness, which are important to overall well-being.
- Improved joint strength reduces the degeneration of joint structures in the body, which may lead to adverse arthritic conditions.
- With improved physical performance, there will be less tissue resistance, which decreases the chance of injury during movements.
- Flexibility exercises, through stretching, improve neuromuscular coordination, that is, the reduction of time taken for messages to go from the brain to the muscles.
If you wish to live longer with a better quality of life, you must continue to exercise. When you were young, you might have been very athletic and sportive. However, as you continue to age, you may have become less active physically: instead of participating in sports, you may have become only a spectator. Your sedentary lifestyle only reinforces your lethargy and sluggishness in everyday life. Even if you are busily engaged in running errands for your family, you are exercising only certain muscle groups of your body. You must exercise your entire body. Go for Oriental exercises or flexibility stretching exercise. or both. Exercise for the elderly is a must!
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Luigi Cornaro, a Venetian nobleman, was one of the most celebrated centenarians, who lived from 1464 to 1566 AD.
In his youth, Luigi had abused his health, resulting in an extremely weak health, accompanied by many physical ailments. At the age of thirty-five, he was given up by his physicians to die. Luigi’s physicians prescribed him a calorie-restriction diet of only twelve ounces a day of solid foods of bread, a vegetable soup with tomato, an egg yolk, and a little meat, divided into two meals, and fourteen ounces pure grape juice, also divided into two servings.
He lived on that minimal diet of calorie restriction from age thirty-five until eighty-five, when his relatives urged him to eat a little more. Luigi reluctantly agreed to increase his food intake from twelve to fourteen ounces. Immediately, he became seriously ill with high fever. Eventually, Luigi had the longevity wisdom to revert to his former anti-aging living with a diet of calorie restriction. As a result, he lived in a state of unbroken health and happiness until the age of one hundred and two.
When he decided to embark on that course of anti-aging temperate lifestyle with calorie restriction, he did so with great enthusiasm and determination:
“. . . I entered upon my new course so heartily that I never afterward swerved from it, nor ever committed the slightest excess in any direction. . .”
Life had become a real joy for Luigi, and his later years of life were by far the best, enjoying complete freedom from pain, ailments and diseases because he simply ate only as much food as he needed to survive and no more—a calorie-restriction diet.
Maybe you need not eat as little as Luigi did. But it is important to be mindful of what you eat. There is much wisdom in eating: knowing what to eat, knowing that food addiction or binge eating is an emotional and mental problem of not letting go.
We are living in a toxic world with many attachments in the form of careers, relationships. and material things that become components of our ego or self-identity. These attachments are no more than our security blankets or distractions in life from what we don’t want to face. If you go shopping simply because you’d feel better by doing so, or you’d like to down a glass or two of wine to make you feel more satisfied, most probably you have attachments difficult to let go of.
The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to overcome life challenges with the mind. It may not be too easy, but with the spiritual wisdom of the Bible, nothing is impossible.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
The Nine Openings
According to ancient Chinese medicine, the human body has nine openings: the body, like a house, has seven windows, a front door, and a back door. The seven windows are the five sensing openings: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and the mouth; the front door is the genital, and the back door is the anus. These openings are the thresholds through which the body interacts with the outside world, and through which energy, information, and matter from the outside world are assimilated by the body.
The back door
The colon is the most important opening to manage in the physical body. Like the body’s sewage system, it is responsible for the absence or presence of all the toxins in the body. It affects the brain and the nervous system (mental health), the heart, the lungs, and the whole body system.
Internal cleansing is the key to a healthy colon. It is detoxification, involving dislodging body toxins and waste products from within and between cells and joints, and transporting these wastes from the body for disease prevention and treatment, for joint and muscle flexibility, weight loss and weight management, softening blood vessels and reducing blood pressure, as well as clean and clear skin.
Fasting is voluntary abstinence from foods and drinks, except water, for an extended period. Fasting is internal cleansing and rejuvenation—one of the most efficient ways to detoxify the body of toxins. Fasting is to recovery, as sleep is to recuperation.
Detoxify and cleanse the colon through fasting and internal cleansing. Never overwork and overuse the colon; in other words, eat less, or eat only when hungry.
The front door
The front door includes the urinary system (the kidneys, the uterus, the bladder, and the urethra), as well as the genital system (penis, vagina, ovaries, and testes). The urinary system maintains the levels of water, pH, hormones, and minerals of the body, while the genital system is responsible for sexual and reproduction activities.
Manage the opening of the front door—both the urinary system and the genital system—with the balance and coordination of all body organs associated with digestion, absorption, and elimination of the digestive system.
All in all, take good care of all the nine openings to slow down your health decline as you continue to age. Your digestive system is the most important body because it affects nearly all the major organs of your body, including your heart, your brain, your kidneys, and your liver.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau