If you’re like most people, you already know you need to quit smoking and eat more fruits and vegetables if you want to live longer. And you plan on getting around to it someday. The horrible truth is that being human often involves blocking out the constant drumbeat of messages coming your way, especially if they are in your best interest.
Some of the surprising things you can do to live longer may have a better chance of getting through your mental filters and getting you to act on them.
Avoid fatal accidents
You must be alive to live longer. This simple truth may often go unsaid, but heeding its warning can help you get through to your “golden years” so you’ll at least have a chance to enjoy them.
Let’s say you’ve made it through your terrible teens, and are now trying to get sensible about living a long and enjoyable life. The Center for Disease Control says that the leading causes of death for white males from 20-44 are what are known as “unintentional injuries” consisting largely of the following:
• motor vehicle traffic deaths
• work accidents
So, if you are a white male, quit hiking up cliffs or leaning out too far from high-rise balconies. Slow down and drive more carefully. Read labels on everything before ingesting. Stay out of dangerous areas, like the bad parts of town. Most of all, if you are working in a field known for a high rate of fatal accidents, find something safer to do to pay the rent.
If you are blessed with being born female, of course, your chances at making it through your younger years are considerably improved.
Avoid killing yourself
Death by suicide comes in second place as a leading cause of death for white males 20-34 years old. Among the risk factors that lead to suicide, substance use and abuse are tops, especially for youth and younger adults. People dependent on substances (like alcohol and drugs) often suffer from some other risk factors for suicide, such as money problems, depression, and a tendency for impulsive self-harm.
In other words, the best way to keep from killing yourself is to get off drugs and alcohol.
A side benefit, which can greatly enhance the quality of your life is the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual rewards that come from applying the most successful approaches to getting off addictive substances.
Spirituality and all its benefits can be yours with the daily practice of a few things which might be new for you, including:
• spiritual readings
• practicing gratitude
When these simple techniques become part of your day-to-day practice you could notice your stress levels falling, your sense of purpose improving, and your outlook on life growing brighter. These are the exact results that can lead to a more enjoyable life.
You might even find yourself wanting to do the little things that reduce your physical risk of injury, promote your health, and generally enhance (and perhaps lengthen) your existence.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of all the excitement in your life reduced the risk of unintentional injury, gotten off drugs and alcohol, and are now meditating every day you’re going to need to put a little spice back in your life. That’s fortunate because certain spices in your food have been shown to bring considerable health effects.
Take cinnamon and turmeric. By improving insulin sensitivity in your body, cinnamon can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help lower levels of LDL cholesterol. Sprinkle it into everything you can think of, from breakfast to main meals to after-dinner desserts. Turmeric, a flowering plant of the ginger family, could be your best friend when it comes to fighting inflammation (which can accelerate aging). Use turmeric as a healthy alternative to sugar or salt in cooking.
And what adds the most spice to your diet? Spicy chili peppers, of course! A recent study discovered that because of the capsaicin the little devils contain, eating spicy chili peppers can extend your life by reducing blood pressure. By lowering your blood pressure, you are less at risk for heart problems, strokes, and even dementia.
You’ll be happy to know you can now healthily add more pep to your newly-humdrum life by drinking coffee. Just don’t overdo it. Studies increasingly show that drinking coffee moderately is good for you. Coffee fights the onset of type 2 diabetes, and it might even work to lower the risks of heart disease and dementia.
As a stimulant to the human nervous system, moreover, coffee revs up your metabolism which can help you lose weight by oxidizing fatty acids. And the less overweight you are, the longer you might live.
Whatever it may take for the you to change your behavior, most of us want to live happier, healthier, and longer lives. Maybe for you, that means keeping it surprising and fun. Don’t worry. These tips prove you don’t need to take all the spice out of life. Just try to do it without killing yourself!
-“Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, White Males-United States, 2010” Center for Disease Control
-“Does alcohol and other drug abuse increase the risk for suicide?” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
-“50 Easy Habits That Help You Live Longer, According to Science” by Tina Donvito; EVERYDAY WELLNESS, Reader’s Digest