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The most positive action we can take about the past is to change our perception of it.


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July 29 2012

The Real Secret to Staying Healthy for Life (Part 2)

Category:  SF Gate

Read Part1 of this article HERE!

What is the best way to insure that you will remain healthy your whole life? America has led the world in medical research that gave rise to the best advice on how to prevent lifestyle disorders. This trend has only increased, and the evidence for it has kept mounting. Up to 90% of cancers may be preventable, for example, a complete turn around from a decade ago. Lifestyle changes would reduce the rates of overweight, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke as well. If more people actually complied with the recommended changes, general health would take a leap ahead.

But that isn't my focus. As important as it is to take care of yourself, letting your body take care of you is the real secret.

In the last post two things were crucial to giving your body the best chance to do what it was designed to do: survive and thrive at any age. Here I want to deal with the first critical ingredient: Create a matrix for a positive lifestyle. You can't make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.

The flaw in the whole prevention movement has been non-compliance. We are a nation suffering from an epidemic of obesity, turning more and more sedentary despite the good advice, which is constantly drummed into our heads. Unless they've been hibernating, everyone knows that long-term health depends upon a sensible diet and moderate physical exercise every day. As a first step, let’s stop thinking in terms of discipline and self-control altogether. Some people are prevention saints. They consume only one tablespoon of total fat per day in their diet, because that’s the ideal amount for heart health. They ignore wind and rain to get in five hours of vigorous exercise a week. Saints are inspiring to the rest of us, but deep down they are also discouraging because they remind us that we are a hundred miles from being saintly ourselves.

Change without force is certainly possible. What you need is to create a matrix for making better choices. By matrix I simply mean your setup for daily living. Everyone has a matrix already. Some people live inside a setup that makes positive choices much easier than it is for others. A cupboard that doesn’t contain any snack foods would be part of such a matrix. A house without a television or video games would be another, but you aren’t being good to yourself by jogging every day because you have no entertainment at home. In the end the physical side is secondary. A matrix is more substantial and sustainable.

The real key is to live in an environment where the mind feels free to choose the right thing instead of being compelled by habit and inertia to choose the wrong thing.

Matrix for a Positive Lifestyle:

  • Have good friends.
  • Don’t isolate yourself.
  • Sustain a lifelong companionship with a spouse or partner.
  • Engage socially in worthwhile projects.
  • Be close with people who have a good lifestyle – habits are contagious.
  • Follow a purpose in life.
  • Leave time for play and relaxation.
  • Keep up satisfying sexual activity.
  • Address issues around anger.
  • Practice stress management.

Deal with the reactive mind’s harmful effects: When you have a negative reaction, stop, stand back, take a few deep breaths, and observe how you’re feeling.

These items have been well correlated with longevity. One thing that links them is very basic: success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone. A spouse or life partner who keeps an eye on your diet (“Haven’t you already eaten a cookie today? Have a carrot”) is better than wandering the supermarket aisles alone and impulsively grabbing a week’s worth of frozen dinners. A friend who goes to the gym three times a week gives you more incentive than all the promises you make to yourself as you watch Sunday Night Football. It’s important to establish your matrix early and keep it going. Studies have shown that losing a spouse suddenly leads to isolation, depression, higher risk for disease, and ultimately shortened life span. But if you have a wider social network beyond your spouse, you have a cushion against these baleful influences.

The Real Secret to Staying Healthy for Life (Part 2)
The other items on the list should be perused carefully, asking yourself honestly how you can improve your matrix. The goal is to practice what is good for you while making everything as effortless as possible. This only happens with positive reinforcement. The good news is that as you change your lifestyle, you are training your brain in a positive direction. In time, all the right choices become second nature. Research has shown that the best way to be happy is to make each day happy. The same holds true for the highest state of health, which is well-being. Build it day by day and the results will last a lifetime.

Your outer environment is only half the story. In the final post I'll discuss the second key to lifelong good health, which is to create the right inner environment, a journey that begins with making the mind-body connection as strong as possible.

Top comments

  • Go to bed everyday with one promise to yourself for the following day and forgive yourself if you do not accomplish everything you`d have wanted to accomplish. Smile more often. Maintain your relationship with your family (including close friends) if they represent your Truth. Say thank you for all what you have in life; gratitude will open the door to more positive things to come into your life. Let go of resentments, burdens, old draining attachments, Surrender to what Is. Dance.

    yasmine // 2012-08-02 23:14:01 // //
  • great sex, healthy food, and proper exercise... lots of hugs and kisses also

    Steve Wein // 2012-07-30 07:41:49 // //



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All comments

  • This is all good advice. However, the environment we live in does not support making the healthy choice. Everywhere you turn the unhealthy choice is easy. Cheap unhealthy food. Lets not forget the unhealthy drugs and additives that are in the food system. Many of the diseases we suffer from are not because of our personal choices, but due to the toxic environmental experiment we are all living in. This article blames the victim - not healthy. Please take a look at some government policies that support obesity, and cancer.

    monica // 2012-08-10 08:30:59 // //
  • knowing that the body and spirit are separate and living for the growth and life of your spirit and not your body

    Shidon Alford // 2012-08-08 15:53:39 // //
  • Gotta improve my matrix

    Jiwan Grg // 2012-08-07 21:02:28 // //
  • Good Article I know all of this from years of studying Natural and Alternative Medicine and Healing from the age of 17 and I am attuned to and practice Reiki. Even with all I know and continue to learn I still leave and come back to a healthy life style. My biggest road block and it has always been is the futility of this life the big WHY part. I help and give till it hurts I always have, I am a Spiritualist and have read volumes on what I believe to be true I am a Spiritual Being having a human experience. Yet still in the stillness of meditation I feel like I want to climb out of my body and go home, I feel like I am just tired of what and how we live on this Earth. I stopped drinking wine 17 months ago to really work on my psychic growth and have been in extensive therapy and done over 200 hours of Nero Feed back for severe anxiety and the ravages of Menieres disease. Now more than ever this existence feels as sharp and sometimes overwhelming as ever, and I have done the work and continue to do so. My Mother was a vegetarian,vitamin popping insane health addict who died of pancreatic cancer a slow miserable death at 79. I never left her side till the end. As I lived and experienced her slow painful death then looked at her whole life after it was over, I don`t know how to put into words what I feel inside about the this experience we call life. I just wonder sometimes, some of us work so hard to be so healthy, and perfect that we miss the point all together, that maybe it is how we live how much we love in however long we have not how many years we are here. I don`t know it is just what I struggle with each day it is just a thought.

    Jesse James Speed // 2012-08-07 18:56:46 // //

    Mary Rose Carlington // 2012-08-07 17:22:46 // //
  • Dont believe in this

    Inanna Ki // 2012-08-07 12:27:12 // //
  • sex, healthy food, half an hour exercise a day, honesty and greatest of all empathy................

    Sunil Sapkota // 2012-08-07 10:35:32 // //
  • Bahahahaha- Terri Williams...

    Lynn Griffith // 2012-08-07 10:12:58 // //
  • "Keep up satisfying sexual activity." In my case it would be a self help project.

    Terri Williams // 2012-08-07 10:11:42 // //
  • hav a peaceful life or rather create one if u value good health...

    Shefali Bakshi Sharma // 2012-08-07 10:05:42 // //
  • Changing negative concepts about ourselves feels like taking off clothes 2 sizes smaller and put on another one just our size. It feels so good! ♥ ~ Gaby~

    Light Healing For All // 2012-08-03 10:31:31 // //
  • Respect Juan......

    Nick Martin // 2012-08-03 09:25:17 // //
  • Very intersting and motivating.Thanks for sharing.

    Veronica // 2012-08-03 01:35:23 // //

    Juan Reyes // 2012-08-02 23:31:05 // //
  • Go to bed everyday with one promise to yourself for the following day and forgive yourself if you do not accomplish everything you`d have wanted to accomplish. Smile more often. Maintain your relationship with your family (including close friends) if they represent your Truth. Say thank you for all what you have in life; gratitude will open the door to more positive things to come into your life. Let go of resentments, burdens, old draining attachments, Surrender to what Is. Dance.

    yasmine // 2012-08-02 23:14:01 // //
  • So inspiring!

    The News Stand // 2012-08-02 23:13:58 // //
  • Wonderful truths

    Julia Bechtold // 2012-08-02 22:57:50 // //
  • kiero cambiar para mi bien y el del mundo por mas pekeña k sea kiero ser ese granito de arena k aporta las buenas cosas para un mundo mejor

    graciela najnudel // 2012-08-02 22:56:00 // //
  • Walking with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the key to a healthy life.AMEN!

    Benjamin Kimuyu // 2012-08-02 22:29:46 // //
  • Love the matrix idea.

    Karen Whynott // 2012-08-02 22:29:05 // //
  • the key to health is never 2nd guessing yourself.

    David Warren // 2012-08-02 22:26:01 // //
  • Good and smart advices, thanx

    Ignacio Dinamita // 2012-08-02 22:21:17 // //
  • i will read it. Tnx sir

    Sushil Panwar Sen // 2012-08-02 22:15:57 // //
  • Love it !

    Judy Mott // 2012-08-02 22:14:46 // //
  • The key to healthy positive life is giving unconditional love , Remember you are the creator of your own destiny , Forgive everyone ,Accept everyone .This will put you in permanantly in a Happy State away from illness .

    Vitalenergy // 2012-08-02 07:32:28 // //
  • C-o-m-m-u-n-i-t-y of open minded souls is the strength of our matrix. It feeds the soul, keeps the spirit aligned. Much love to you Deepak. Namaste

    chiaroscura // 2012-08-01 12:20:31 // //
  • This is so inspiring and if you start to think what you like to do or even prepared ahead a few minutes before you are going out will help you with the stress levels. I detest the idea of Gym stay on those machines working out like a crazy. And people think that if everybody does must be good. Just to think about it give me stress. I love to walk when I feel like and so far it is working for me. Also I am a busy mom running around the house all day and writing, Thank you very much. The life style that is good for some is not always the best for others. So we have to respect us selves and try do have a health life with good choices not just for your body but mind also. Andrea

    Andrea // 2012-07-31 21:21:04 // //
  • whoooo, you da man deepak!!!

    imsohighrightnow // 2012-07-31 21:06:29 // //
  • Prior to hearing of the Utube initiative, via Gotham & Malika on the Morning Joe. I never entertained myself,remotely a Chopra adherent. Yet I find myself open !

    Voxpopuli99 // 2012-07-31 20:21:11 // //

    Ajay singh // 2012-07-30 11:51:05 // //
  • great sex, healthy food, and proper exercise... lots of hugs and kisses also

    Steve Wein // 2012-07-30 07:41:49 // //
  • sharing happinesss....

    Mahnoor Farooq // 2012-07-30 05:07:22 // //
  • Being happy and joyful no matter what when one offers these vibrations then one does not experience dis ease for when you are happy one is at ease.

    Joshua Temple // 2012-07-29 22:48:15 // //
  • no way to insure

    Shefali Bakshi Sharma // 2012-07-29 22:36:35 // //
  • nothing....

    Shefali Bakshi Sharma // 2012-07-29 22:14:29 // //
  • Don't harbor grudges.

    Annita Whisman Rackley // 2012-07-29 22:05:41 // //
  • Think good thoughts.

    Annita Whisman Rackley // 2012-07-29 22:05:30 // //
  • Eat less meat & fast often.

    Tracey Arlene Williams // 2012-07-29 21:50:34 // //
  • Grow your own food & drink lots of distilled water....???

    Sheki Williams // 2012-07-29 21:46:07 // //
  • Do you think you link should to the SFGate since they probably paid you for the article?

    Lee Klawans // 2012-07-29 21:33:10 // //
  • Understanding all the things we ingest is important as well as how the things we ingest affect the vehicle(our body).

    Jennifer Renae Cosby // 2012-07-29 21:31:48 // //
  • :)

    Icela Pabon // 2012-07-29 21:31:09 // //
  • Eat appropriately and exercise appropriately for the vehicle you were given for this life. some thoughts.

    Jennifer Renae Cosby // 2012-07-29 21:30:32 // //
  • be born to healthy parents, in a country that practices industrialized medicine

    Dan Brown // 2012-07-29 21:30:03 // //