Live Longer and Healthier – Savor What Matters Most!
Do you feel overwhelmed almost daily due to the never-ending pressures of life, work, and personal commitments? Maybe your mental health is suffering as a result of unchecked stress. You’re not alone! Studies suggest that somewhere around two-thirds of Americans experience extreme stress every month, leading to physical and emotional fatigue. Fortunately, there is no need to live in this state! There are simple ways to manage chronic stress, like savoring what matters most to you and creating positive experiences, all while increasing your quality of life. Make lasting changes today and reap the benefits years down the line with these tips on how to live longer and healthier through mindful appreciation for what matters most.
I believe that we are spiritual beings experiencing life on planet Earth, and our bodies are like the vehicles that we use to navigate this world. Some of us may have a fancy limousine, while others may have a more modest car like a Ford Pinto. Regardless of the type of car we have, we must take care of it to ensure that it runs smoothly and gets us where we need to go.
However, it’s important to remember that we are much more than just our bodies. We have unique personalities, thoughts, and emotions that make us who we are. We are capable of loving, being kind, and having compassion for others. We have the power to create meaningful connections and make a positive impact on the world around us.
Saved by our Sense of Smell
When we experience the world around us, our brains process all the information that comes in through our senses. This data goes to the frontal lobe, which is responsible for analyzing and interpreting it.
But when it comes to the sense of smell, it’s a little different. The aroma molecules that we breathe in go directly to the amygdala, which is often referred to as the “fear center” of the brain. This is because, throughout our evolution, the ability to quickly detect and respond to certain smells was crucial for our survival.
For example, if we smell smoke, we know to evacuate the area to avoid danger. And if we smell something rotten, we know not to eat it, which could potentially save our lives.
So while other senses like sight and touch go through a more complex processing system, the sense of smell is more direct and instinctual. It’s a powerful tool that helps us navigate the world and protect ourselves from harm.
Do you remember that one scent from your childhood that immediately takes you back to those safe and comforting times? For me, it’s the smell of Jergen’s lotion, with its sweet cherry-almond fragrance. My grandmother and mother used to put it on me all the time.
I’ve found that revisiting that scent from time to time, even as an adult, can have a calming effect on me. When life gets stressful, I’ll take a whiff of that lotion, and it’s like I’m transported back to those simpler, more carefree days.
I believe we all have those comforting scents from our childhood, and tapping into them can be incredibly beneficial for our mental health.
A Hyperactivated Amygdala
The amygdala is a small, almond-shaped part of the brain located in the central region, just above the ears. It plays a key role in our emotional responses and is closely connected to the hippocampus and the limbic system, which are responsible for regulating our memory and mood.
When we receive a message that triggers our survival instincts, such as a threat to our safety, our amygdala can become hyperactive. This can cause us to constantly live in a state of fear and anxiety, even when there is no real danger present. When the amygdala is overactive, it can overwhelm our executive functions, making it difficult to think clearly or make rational decisions.
This state of mental confusion and difficulty focusing is often referred to as “brain fog.” It can be frustrating and even debilitating, affecting our ability to work, socialize, or enjoy life. However, there are ways to calm the amygdala and regain control of our thoughts and emotions.
Moments Are All that We Are
As someone who has lived a long life, let me share with you what I’ve learned. We all have moments in our lives that we hold dear and cherish. These moments may seem insignificant to others, but to us, they are everything. They are the memories we hold onto and recall with joy and nostalgia.
Looking back, I realize that the stresses and hard work that once seemed so important have faded away. What remains are those precious moments in time, and they are what I live for.
When my boys were still little, they once said, “Mommy, is God in charge of outer space?” So then I will tell them, “Well, I’m not really sure. What do you think? Well, if heaven’s on top, he must be.”
It’s amazing how insightful children can be, even at a young age. I remember another story that has stuck with me over the years. One of my children once told his babysitter to sit down on the floor and play Hot Wheels with him because that’s what his mother was paying her for.
This simple moment may seem insignificant, but it speaks volumes about the wisdom and clarity that children possess. They have a way of cutting through the noise and reminding us of what truly matters in life: connection, love, and playfulness.
I urge you to create those moments for yourself and your loved ones. Take the time to enjoy the little things, the moments of laughter and connection, and the shared experiences that make life worth living. These moments are what will stay with you forever and will bring you comfort and happiness in times of struggle.
The Connecting Power of Hugs
I recently met a young woman who was having a tough week. She was feeling stressed out about her child’s schoolwork, and on top of that, she had a lot of work obligations. She told me that sometimes she puts too much pressure on herself and tends to blame herself when things don’t go as planned. But despite all of this, she finds comfort in cuddling up with her 6-year-old child at the end of each day. It helps her feel like everything is going to be alright and gives her the strength to face whatever challenges come her way the next day.
One of the quickest ways to feel calm and centered is through a simple gesture: a hug. When we hug someone, chest to chest, we create what’s called “heart coherence.” It’s why we hug our children—to comfort and soothe them.
But we can also use this powerful tool to connect with our partners. If they’re busy on their phones or distracted, make a deal to hug each other heart-to-heart for just 60 seconds and breathe together.
You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel afterward. The stress will melt away, and you’ll both feel more in tune with each other. It’s a simple but effective way to improve your evening, and it’s a great way to connect with your loved one as much as with your child.
Give it a try; you might be surprised at the difference it makes.
The power of taking a pause to savor important moments like connecting with loved ones, being grateful for small things, appreciating the beauty around us, and recognizing how powerful our sense of smell can be is often underestimated. So it’s worth taking the time to make conscious choices that bring more carefully chosen moments into our lives. Whether it’s finding ways to incorporate smells or hugs into your day that leave a positive effect on your well-being or simply looking up at the stars each night, all of these efforts can have a meaningful impact on helping you lead a longer and healthier life.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to get started on this life-enhancing journey or need additional support on implementing tools that can help you live longer and healthier, please schedule a discovery call with us today. We’d love to assist you in reaching your desired outcome!
Are you feeling like stress is your constant companion, stealing away all the good things in life? Don’t despair, we can help! Let’s schedule a free discovery call so we can identify the root of your stress and develop a personalized plan for you.
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional