Many have studied longevity. Why do some people live longer than others? Is it genetics? Is it culture, or perhaps lifestyle?
Science says that your diet, how much you exercise, and your genes all play a role in determining how long you’ll live. Those who have lived to be 100, however, say they’ve also used other strategies to achieve their old age.
Two pills a day
A centenarian living in a Boston adult care facility is happy and has a lot of energy. Despite his situation, he remains active every day. People often ask him the secret of his longevity. He replies:
“I take two pills every day for a long life. In the morning, I take a pill of contentment, and at night, I take a pill of giving thanks. If you can persist in doing this, it will do you a lot of good too!”
He is very funny, but he also shared the truth of his hard-won experience. Contentment and thankfulness seem to somehow do things in your body that strengthen your immune system, boost positive emotions, decrease pain, and provide stress relief. Taking these two “pills” may not extend the life of everyone, but they will certainly put you in a good mood every day.
Although it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving, being thankful throughout the year can have tremendous benefits on your quality of life.
In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money, and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.
We sometimes meet people who always seem grateful for what they have despite their situation in life. No matter how much hardship they have to endure, or how high they have to climb socially and financially, they still remain happy. They are grateful for what they have and feel the world owes them nothing.
Do life’s daily struggles seem overwhelming at times? If they do, you may want to follow the centenarian’s advice and take two pills a day — contentment in the morning, and gratitude at night.
Translated by Yi Ming and edited by Kathy McWilliams.