Wisdom from Books

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Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Biological and Chronological Aging

We do not all age at the same pace: some age much faster than others, and some hardly age at all. This is most evident in a class reunion after two or three decades, during which many have not seen each other for some while. The speed of aging varies considerably in different individuals.

We all want to slow down our aging or stop our biological clock. But how?

Our chronological age is unalterable. Therefore, it has little significance on how you feel or experience. Chronological age is merely a number on one's lifespan. The only significance it has on the aging process is psychological: it is a subjective experience of how old you feel. For some people in their sixties, they report that they feel better than they did two decades ago; for others, they feel they are degenerating too fast, as if they were in their seventies or eighties. Chronological age is merely your subjective experience of how old you feel.

Our biological age is a measurement of how old we are according to our physiological performance. Your biological age is a true indication of how old you feel and look. Cosmetics and plastic surgeries may mask the ravages of time, but they cannot disguise the malfunctioning of your physiological systems. Your biological age is based on the average population of people who have the same chronological age that you have. In other words, it is a direct comparison of how you look and feel in reference to an average individual of the same age group. 

How to stop biological aging?

Your biological clock is solely responsible for how old you feel and look. If it ticks faster, then you age faster, and vice-versa. It is just that simple. Therefore, if you are concerned about your aging, stop or at least slow down your biological clock. To stop biological aging, you have to understand the physiological actors responsible for the ticking of your biological clock.

Here are some of the physiological factors of biological aging.

Watch your numbers indicating your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They may significantly affect your heart health. A healthy heart efficiently pumps blood into your body organs and tissues, providing them with oxygen and nutrients, and therefore responsible for their overall wellness. In addition, a healthy heart means a healthy brain, which controls your thoughts and actions, which influence your lifestyle. A healthy heart and a healthy mind play a pivotal role in biological aging.

In addition to brain and heart health, control and manage your body weight. An ideal body weight contributes to an ideal body shape. A distorted body shape has an adverse psychological impact on aging: it makes you not only look but also feel old. If you are obese, you don't feel like moving, and that affects your aerobic capacity, reducing in rapid loss of muscle mass and muscle strength, and thus forming a vicious circle of accelerated ticking of the biological clock. Regular exercise not only increases bone density but also regulates blood sugar and body metabolism rate. They help defer the aging process by avoiding immobility due to bone fracture and preventing the early onset of age-related diabetes.

Your body reflects your biological age, and so does your mind, which controls your perceptions, your actions and reactions—in sum, your life choices. Remember, the body and the mind are interconnected: they affect and control positively or negatively each other. They should always be in balance and harmony. More importantly, they should be supervised by the soul, which provides a blueprint for them. The alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul enables an individual to live as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Attitude of Humor in Longevity

Being younger for longer is a state of mind. If you are disease-free, there is no reason why you should not live to a ripe old age and still remain young in heart, mind, and body.

Obviously, genes play a pivotal role in being younger for longer. Other than what you have inherited from your parents, the rest is all up to you: you are responsible for your being younger for longer. Diet, exercise, lifestyle (drinking and smoking), and stress (interpreting and coping with daily stress) are health factors contributing to being healthier for longer.

But how do you make yourself younger for longer?

The attitude of humor

The mind is most powerful in that it controls how you think, and what you do. The key is to learn to control you mind, instead of letting your mind control you.

Humor or laughter is a good tonic for treatment of diseases. According to the 2006 International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, a sense of humor can significantly improve the survival rate of end-stage renal disease patients by as much as 30 percent. The reason is simple: positive distractions from stressful situations, such as dialysis, have salutary effects on the patient.

Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, was able to cure himself of terminal cancer by exposing himself to as much humor as he could get from movies and comic books.

Develop a good sense of humor.

If you wish to be a happy and successful individual, develop a good sense of humor. A good sense of humor helps you solve your problems, improve your relationships, and have a positive outlook on virtually every aspect of your life, especially issues of health and getting old.

Developing a sense of humor requires a different perspective on things in life. Changing your perspective means going back through your entire life and looking at all the belief systems that you have inculcated through different experiences in different stages of your life. It is not as simple as you may think, but it is worth the effort, because a good sense of humor may help you in your adversity. Life is full of problems. A good sense of humor controls how you see your problems in your life.

There are several ways to develop a good sense of humor:

Always see yourself not in the center of things, but rather a part of it. Your problems may not be uniquely yours; others may have the same problems, and worse, for that matter. Do not be too self-centered.

Never take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself – your mistakes, your foolishness, and your weaknesses. 

Remember, nobody is perfect.

Live in the present. The way of Zen is a healthy outlook on life. According to Zen, everything is constantly changing, including your body and thoughts, and if that is so, then what you really are, can only be experienced in each moment. Zen philosophy is to live in the present moment, and this is the only reality. Live in the present moment, appreciate it, and enjoy it to the fullest.

Always putting a smile on your face not only helps you develop a sense of humor but also gives joy to others. Smile is contagious.

Make a list of all the things you enjoy in life – things that really make you happy. Remember and recall them at all times.

If you can laugh at yourself and join in with the laughter of others, it can bring not only much more joy but also many more years to your life.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau