What if you knew that you would live to be over a hundred years old and still healthy? How would it change the way you view your life? My guess is, if you could miraculously receive such a promise, the first thing you’d do is breath a long sigh of relief. You’d stop worrying every time you had pains that you might be getting cancer like your father had. You wouldn’t be so concerned about financial trouble or medical expense. Instead, you’d think about the long years ahead of you to spend in joy and peace, doing things you love with people you love. Of course, the breath we draw is never really a guarantee. There’s always the unforeseeable, whether it comes in the form of a semi-truck or a bad fall. But I believe there is a common thread, a single habit shared by those who live to be a hundred years old and healthy.

The largest study on this subject in history was performed by Boston University and supervised by Dr. Thomas Perls, MD, over the course of several decades and thousands of participants. They were looking for commonalities in those who remained healthy even at advanced ages, so that people of all ages could apply those habits and hopefully keep their health. After completing and publishing the story, they had found only one. Can you guess what it was?

If you’re like most people, you might say diet and exercise. Sorry, thanks for playing. It helps, sure. But it wasn’t shared across all their healthy centenarians. So what was the only common thread they could find? The people that were still healthy at 100 didn’t worry.

I’ve talked before about concepts like this. Those of you that follow me here know that it’s a pretty rare week when I don’t mention the ill effects of stress. Just like when you’re in mortal danger, stress puts your body into fight-or-flight mode, straining you until you break at your weakest link. Most of the time, our lives aren’t actually in immediate danger, but of course that doesn’t stop us. There’s always something we can worry about.

Now, you may be thinking, “Well, I’m a natural worrier, so I guess I’m sunk.” Fortunately, you don’t have to leave it up to nature. We’ve spent the last seventeen years helping people fix the deep, unconscious reasons that cause them to naturally worry. Change those, and your “natural state” changes; it’s not a question of willpower. In my experience, the few people who can do it through willpower are the ones who are naturally inclined not to worry anyway.

How much are your worries stressing you out right now? Do you think you can make it to 45 with your health? Sixty? If you’re very lucky, maybe even 80. But you don’t have to take those odds. Fix the source, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t skip the stress, skip the illness, and keep your health until the winter of your life. A hundred years of health doesn’t take a prescription, it just takes work. You CAN replace the stress in your life with peace and love, so why waste another minute?

Have a blessed, wonderful day!

Alex

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