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10 Top Ways to Increase your Life Expectancy

10 Top Ways to Increase your Life Expectancy

We all want to live as long as possible, but the quality of life is just as important as length. From stress management to having dietary discipline, there are many ways in which you can prolong your life.

Take a look at these top ten ways that will help ensure your well-being as you age. Try and internalise each area and apply it into your day-to-day life, ensuring you restore a healthy and balanced lifestyle along with having a smile on your face every day.

1. Be Wary of Stress

Stress can be a killer, leading to heart disease and inflammation in the body which can cause a range of health problems including asthma; diabetes; and depression. There are ways to tackle the stress, however, so take practical action as soon as you recognise your stress triggers.

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2. Eat Well

When we are younger, it’s possible to get away with an unhealthy diet but as we age, bad food choices take their toll. It’s easy to ensure you are eating well – just stick to foods which are unprocessed. You can never go wrong with fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, healthy fats and the occasional treat.

3. Quit Smoking

More than 5 million smokers die every year globally due to smoking and another 600,000 non-smokers die from the effects of second-hand smoke. Therefore, by quitting this habit you are not only looking after your own health but that of your loved ones too.

There are a wide variety of methods available to quit smoking but recently many people have found success through vaping. There are also a variety of eliquids to choose from to suit your taste buds. This allows you to cut your nicotine levels down slowly and involves none of the negatives of smoking tobacco.

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4. Sleep Well

Everyone has slightly different needs when it comes to sleep but getting chronically little sleep over long periods of time can lead to illness. Aim for between 7 and 8 hours per night and always try to get up at the same time every day to maintain a good sleep cycle.

5. Drink Responsibly

There are studies which have shown that if you drink in moderation it has health benefits, however, excessive alcohol is also linked to many diseases including cancer. Therefore, be aware of weekly unit guidelines and give yourself a few alcohol-free days per week.

6. Get a Pet

This might not be for everyone but if you are an animal lover, having a pet has been shown to help keep you healthy. On an average pet owners have lower blood pressure, better cardiovascular health and suffer less from depression.

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7. Keep Active

If you have a dog, this one will be easy as you will be out walking them daily. However, everyone needs exercise so ensure you keep active. Any form of exercise you enjoy will probably be something you stick with. If you include weight-bearing activities, this will help protect your muscle-mass as you age.

8. Keep Your Mind Active

Your mind needs to be kept as active as your body if you want to stave off dementia in later life. Learning a new skill such as a second language; or even the brain-training games which are available now will all help.

9. Social Life

We all flourish when we feel we have friends and family around us who are supportive. Don’t let your social life suffer through the stresses of work or other commitments. A happy life depends greatly on the community in which we live.

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10. Be Optimistic

Optimism has been shown to improve wellbeing throughout life, so look to the future with positivity and be a glass half-full type person.

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James Timpson

Marketeer

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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