I love the dawning of the New Year. It symbolizes new beginnings, an opportunity to make a clean break with the old and start over. Best of all it feels hopeful and uplifting. If radical change is what you’re after here’s 5 things to say YES to in 2014!
GET MOVING – Here’s the skinny — Fifteen minutes of daily exercise adds 3 years to your life! A 2012 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that when middle-aged people made a modest improvement in fitness (150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week for six months) by age 50, their chances of developing chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s decreased by 20 percent. That’s motivation to get moving!
GET CONNECTED – Researchers from Brigham Young University calculated that being a loner is an equivalent mortality risk to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Yikes! That’s worse than not exercising. Join a service club, book club, garden club, cooking class, knitting group, go back to school or take a class. Last fall myself and three friends met weekly for an e-course with author Brene Brown (Gifts of Imperfection). Not only did we each register surprising shifts, sharing the experience fed our souls. We’ve agreed to continue meeting. The course is repeating in 2014
SEEK ADVENTURE – Expanding horizons could help expand the brain: German scientists found that mice who explored NEW environments grew more new neurons in the hippocampus an area of the brain that supports learning and memory, than mice who were passive and adventure-resistant. If jumping heard head first into being an adventurer is too much try small steps. It accomplishes the same thing!
FIND PURPOSE – We can choose to focus on leading a remarkable life that will be remembered. We can celebrate each day that we’re able to leave a lasting effect. We can strive to leave the world a better place because we’ve lived in it. A sense that what we do matters may actually protect the brain from the eventual effects of Alzheimer’s disease, concluded the authors of a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Researchers from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have been following more than 1,400 people aged 50 + since 1997, and found that those who believe they’re living for a reason showed a 30% lower rate of cognitive decline. *I just found Pack for a Purpose if you are travelling in 2014 you can make a difference in the lives of children around the world as you go.
BREATHE – I learned to breathe in 2013! I know…. sounds crazy after doing it for 58 years. Well it turns out I was doing it wrong. I likely started off right but over the years I evolved into a shallow breathe-er and (heaven forbid) a breath holder. I’m pretty sure I can trace the development of this to the parenting years. Last year I discovered my breathing was actually creating anxiety, locking me into the fight or flight mode and completely wearing out my adrenal glands. So I learned to breathe. Now I’ve expanded to meditating. I highly recommend both! Radical change!
Wishing you a prosperous, joy filled awesomely wonderful New Year!