10 tips for a long AND health AND happy life!

10 tips for a long AND health AND happy life!

Learn some great lessons from the world's oldest people! 

by Emina Bajra 

Deep in the heart of Japan’s countryside lived the oldest person in the world.  His name was Jiroemon Kimura and last Wednesday, he died at 116.

I had a chance to meet Kimura on the brink of his 115th birthday in a tucked away seaside village of southern Japan, a half-day journey by train from Kyoto City.

This pristine region called Kyotango, bordered by jade coastlines foaming onto pine-blanketed hills, was home to a startling number of human beings who had stood the test of time. In Kyotango alone, there were 54 centenarians, three times the national average in a country already renowned for longevity.  These old, resilient souls were scurrying down narrow cobbled streets, napping under the heavy weight of futon blankets, even karaoking at the corner bar.

Since that day, I still hear my conversation with Kimura jostling around in my head, surprised to find myself carrying around its wisdom like a handy pocketbook on life.

In memory of a man who spread happiness from his remote corner in the world, I recount ten things Jiroemon Kimura taught me about living long and living well.

1.     Exercise Every Single Day

Kimura claimed his secret to longevity was exercising everyday.  “It’s important to make daily exercise a discipline, “ he said.  “A habit.”

Kimura kept this habit well into his 100s.  When his legs grew too weak after 110, he did a hundred bicycle motions each day while lying on his back.  At 114, he still took time each day to wiggle his hands and legs repetitively, always making sure his muscles stayed active.

2.     Eat Small Portions

The Japanese have a saying : hara hachibunme. (eat until you’re 80% full). Kimura lived by this philosophy, preaching his self-made slogan of “eat less and live long.”  Pacing himself with small portions paid off.  At nearly 115, he still enjoyed a good appetite and ate whatever he wanted. He took no medication at all.

3.     Let Adversity Make You Strong

When something unexpected happened and things didn't go the way he wished them to, Kimura said he reminded himself that the experience, "is good for you, it helps you grow."

No matter how hard things got, he said he faced difficulties with “endurance and perseverance.” He told people to never let worry or suffering consume them because "after every storm, peace always comes."

Kimura had a philosophical context that allowed him to accept adversity without feeling as though his world is being threatened, according to John Daishin Buksbazen, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Psy D. from Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute.  When people see adversity as a challenge that they can work with and eventually overcome, they have better outcomes. With repeated practice, the neural pathways associated with this calm kind of coping can be reinforced and become more intuitive, tending to arise when adversity is encountered again.

4.     Read the News Everyday

Kimura’s favorite part of the day was after breakfast, when he read the newspaper with a magnifying glass for two or three hours.  He also enjoyed following congressional debates on television.  In a 2009 interview with Yomiuri Online Kimura said he believed it is important for a person keep up with the times.

Reading the news and comprehending complex issues not only exercises the brain, according to Buksbazen, but also creates a sense of belonging to the larger world and connectedness to the human race, keeping loneliness and boredom at bay…

…keep reading the full & original story HERE