We’re convinced the fountain of youth is in the brain.
Oh sure, what we put in our stomach and how we treat our body play a large role. But it’s that oh-so-powerful muscle-like organ between our ears that we’re convinced makes the difference between early death and a long life well-lived.
Take stress, for example.
We all have it.
But what do we do with it?
Ah, that’s the critical question. We’ve wrestled with it even within this very e-letter. Remember, what you’re reading is part of a business we recently created. It’s been great fun (most passions are)… but there’s also been great stress.
We must meet deadlines… deal with suppliers… and pay our bills… And we work long hours to make it all happen. But perhaps the scariest and most stressful idea… we had to quit our good, well-paying job to focus purely on Manward.
As we sit here typing – long before the sun pokes over the eastern horizon and the rooster crows – we could let the stress take its toll.
But we don’t.
Thanks to the secrets we’re about to share, we’ve trained ourselves to recognize stress… and shun its harmful effects from our life and our business.
HOW TO LOWER STRESS IN THREE SIMPLE STEPS
We know that stress can be a killer.
It ruins relationships, slashes productivity, and leads to hypertension and early aging. But by following three simple strategies, we can dissolve stress and remain healthy and productive.
The first trick to lowering stress in your life is something scientists simply call having “an attitude of gratitude.”
Researchers at the University of California recently found that folks who simply take time each day to focus on what they’re grateful for produce an average of 23% less cortisol – the hormone most closely related to stress.
If you’re not familiar, cortisol is the fight-or-flight chemical. When it’s released by our adrenal glands, our body’s nonessential activities slow. The way we digest food… how our body repairs itself… and even our sexual drive are altered.
Avoiding unnecessary and prolonged cortisol dumps is key to good health.
In this case, all we have to do is take time to ponder what we’re grateful for. Journaling at the end of each day is a great way to do it.
Another trick to reducing stress and prolonging your life is to shun the idea of “cynical hostility.”
We all know folks who suffer from this killer trait.
These are folks who are always angry and don’t trust anybody. If they get cut off in traffic, they’re the ones yelling and perceiving the move as a personal attack.
They’re the ones in the office who don’t trust the sincerity of their colleagues.
And they’re the ones who get heart disease and die at an early age.
In a recent study from Great Britain, researchers found that men suffering from cynical hostility had shorter telomeres at the end of each strand of DNA.
This is vital because each time a cell divides – a normal human process – the telomeres at the end of each strand of DNA get shorter.
Once these key parts get too short… the cell can no longer divide. It becomes inactive – a process that’s been linked to cancer, heart disease and premature aging.
Think of telomeres as a fuse leading to a deadly bomb. It’s already lit… but it’s up to us how long the spark takes to get to the powder.
By simply changing the way we think – by eradicating patterns of hostility from our conscious thoughts – we can slow the fuse and add years to our life.
CHANGES IN LATITUDE
The final trick to lowering stress levels and restoring our health is to simply change our perspective.
This is a trick we learned in the northern woods of Alaska.
There we were surrounded by beauty, away from the stress of the dollar-a-day world, living our dream… and yet stress was high.
We had to keep clients happy… we had to show them our very best… and we had to live up to their very high expectations (they paid big money to be with us).
The stress was killing us.
While we never lowered our standards, we certainly changed our perspective. We had to.
We made it a habit to remind our conscious brain that even on the worst day, we were still doing what we loved, with folks we enjoyed, in a place we’re convinced is magical.
By simply focusing on the way we thought about each day… our stress levels plummeted, we lost weight and our energy level soared.
It proved that one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost our health doesn’t come in the form of a pill or even with extra sweat.
No, the fountain of youth lies within our brain.
Train yourself to think healthy… and you’ll be healthy.
P.S. Stress has been called the quiet killer. But recent research shows there’s another potential carcinogen that’s threatening to wreak havoc on all of us. Here’s a link to research that could save your life.