Friday, June 12, 2009

Live Past 100!

Hi Mom & Dad - please print this out and read it at your convenience.

We had a fun class last night where we listened to an audiotape of cutting edge research in the mind-body field of science (technically called Psychoneuroimmunology or PNI for short, if you care).

I thought some of this might interest you - "they" (the research team) did an in-depth study of people that live to be more than 100 years old and here's some of what they found:

1. Centenarians live a life based on joy (rather than deprivation).

2. Centenarians don't obsess about health or healthy living. They do generally eat and live in moderation, but because it's what they like and prefer - not because they're afraid of aging and dying. (Interesting note - there were no vegetarians or vegans among them. Apparently vegetarians don't live past 100.)

3. If you are healthy now, the probability of growing older and staying healthy actually increases. (The reasons this doesn't happen to many people is very interesting! It has more to do with cultural belief than anything else - and there are many scientific studies to back this up. If you live in a culture that believes you decline in health as you get older, that's what happens. BUT... If you live in a culture that believes that the older you are the stronger you are, THAT'S what happens.)

4. The brain and the mind do not deteriorate together. You can have an aging brain with deterioration that has no impact whatsoever on the quality of your mind.

5. Most centenarians have a "ritual" - something they do on a regular basis that identifies their joy in life.

6. The majority of centenarians rarely seek medical advice (outside of emergencies and traumas). Many have not seen a doctor in more than 45 years! They feel in control of their own health and would rather figure out how to change their lifestyle than have someone else control their health by giving them a pill. (It was brought out that all the advances in medical science has had absolutely no effect on these people living to be more than 100!)

7. Most centenarians are seen as "rebels", and are seen as wise. They don't like to be around "downer old people" and would rather hang out around youth because "youth is contagious".

8. They believe in a higher power. If religious, their god is kind and loving, not wrathful. If not specifically religious, they have a strong sense of spirituality.

9. They believe middle age is somewhere between 75-90. One person said "You can't know what middle age is until you die - that's when you find out."

10. They negotiate with life and find meaningful reasons other than disease for things - for example, one man admitted to waking up several times each night to urinate. The researchers marked him down as having prostrate issues, but he corrected them by saying that his prostrate is fine - he sleeps with dogs, they have fleas, and the fleas wake him up. Since he's awake he might as well go to the bathroom.

11. They have an absence of envy, live in the present, and are optimistic about the future.

12. They love their jobs, or love what they are doing. There is no concept of retiring and doing nothing.

13. They have no sense of aging. (My favorite response from one woman, asked how old she was: "My age is none of my business!")

14. They feel that they are liked and loved by others. (This was important regardless of whether or not they actually were liked and loved by others.)

15. They have a good sense of humor and laugh often.

16. Most centenarians die easily and peacefully in their sleep.

17. Advice tidbits from the centenarian group:

- Never take advantage of senior citizen discounts. It makes people treat you like you're old.

- Always ask "what can I do to help myself?" rather than "what can you do to help me?"

- Live as if you will be around forever. Imagine you are ageless.

- Be at peace with yourself.

- Forgive easily.

Love, Cynthia


TetVet68 said...

Remember Pearl Harbor -- Keep America Alert!

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 100th year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, U. S. Navy (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

(Now deceased) 'Navy Centenarian Sailor', 103 year old, former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Radioman (ACRM, Combat Aircrewman), later wartime commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Julio 'Jay' Ereneta, U. S. Navy (Ret.), is a thirty year career veteran of World War One and World War Two. He first flew aircrewman in August 1922; flew rearseat Radioman/Gunner (1920s/1930s) in the tactical air squadrons of the Navy's first aircraft carriers, USS LANGLEY (CV-1) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2).

Visit my photo album tribute to these veteran shipmates and other Pearl Harbor Survivors:

San Diego, California

Cynthia McMullen said...

Check out this news article with photo clips of people over 100:|main|dl2|link3|