How wonderful would it be to live a long and healthy life beyond 100 years of age? It’s something we all dream of yet rarely prepare for on a daily basis. In the past 5 years, I’ve witnessed Laurentine’s grandmother live until 103 with supreme mental clarity and excellent physical ability. And I’ve also seen her father pass at 73 with dementia. Being a ‘food guy’ I’ve put a lot of my anecdotal analysis of these disparate cases down to what they ate (and what they avoided) however since diving head-first into the world of Gregg Braden on Gaia I’ve come to realize there are many mind-body elements which science is now proving helps to turn back the clock. Here’s Gregg’s top 9 longevity hacks from his series Missing Links.
1. Harmonize Your Heart-Brain Connection
Harmonizing the heart-brain connection is at the core of Gregg Braden’s research into radical longevity, and should be embraced as the first point of call. Our heart, the center of our intuition, is capable of picking up vibrational energies in the universe and communicating to our brains exactly what chemical reactions should be set in motion. By harmonizing the heart-brain connection, through the nervous system, we are able to tap into our greatest state of peace and knowing, and the process is quite simple. First, we shift our awareness from mind to heart with a gentle touch on the heart space. Next, we slow down our breathing to make our brain aware that we are safe. Finally, we begin to feel the feeling, cascading from four keywords; appreciation, gratitude, care, and compassion. You can find out more about harmonizing this connection in Missing Links on Gaia.
2. Take Care of Your Telomeres
As we have come to understand the role of DNA in longevity, taking care of our telomeres is vital to thrive with radical longevity. Telomeres are best thought of like the plastic bits on the end of a shoelace - they contain nothing special, but they protect the ends and without them, the whole lace would unravel. Telomeres are the blunt ends of our DNA that protect the cell’s information from harm, but as the cells divide, our telomeres shorten until there are none left. They are finite. The traditional lifespan of a telomere is around 120 years, known as the Hayflick Limit, but there are ways we are able to extend this exponentially. Telomerase, the recently-discovered enzyme that heals and repairs telomeres, can be produced by harmonizing the heart-brain connection and a number of lifestyle factors. You can read more about telomeres in our article here.
3. Kick Back and Stress Less
We’ve all heard the saying, stress kills, but the research agrees. Knowing what we do about the science of telomeres, telomerase, and our life expectancy, the evidence agrees. With the discovery of telomerase, the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, research showed that one of the main factors affecting enzyme production was stress. The biochemical reactions of stress inhibited the production of telomerase, meaning telomeres and inherently DNA, are unable to heal. There’s plenty of cases for ditching a high-stress lifestyle, even if it is as simple as our frame of mind, but according to Gregg Braden - it may extend the length of our lives.
4. Calm Your Mind; Meditate
One way of harmonizing the heart-brain connection is through meditation - complete presence in the moment. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress levels, and in Gregg Braden’s examples of long lives, meditation has been a recurring factor. Sure, it might get slightly boring and non-fulfilling spending our entire lives meditating, but nothing bad ever came from simply breathing for 10 minutes each morning.
5. Bring Heartfelt Purpose Into Your Daily Life
Another commonality between people living well into their hundreds is embracing their heartfelt purpose. Whether it is compassion, a calm heart, or caring, all of these come from the heart. For some, like me, their great purpose in life may be simply summed up as love. It’s not possible for everyone to turn their purpose into their daily routine when working 9-5 or facing any of life’s challenges, but we do have a choice in each moment to engage with our heartfelt purpose. Let your life be one of love, and longevity will be abundant.
6. Forget Everything You Think About Aging
One of Gregg Braden’s first teachings is that, if you think about illness, age as a finite resource, and your inevitable death, that is what the universe will give you. And it manifests in your physiological self. But if you begin to think of the moment you are born as the start of longevity, rather than the beginning of the end, you are setting yourself up for success. The first step to stop worrying about illness and fearing death; where the mind goes, the energetic body flows.
7. Switch To A Mindset of Self-Healing
It has been accepted that the mind can heal the body, through widespread modalities and epigenetics, so embracing this approach can extend our radical longevity by tenfold. Once you no longer approach life as the amount of time you may have on this planet, but a lifelong journey of healing and rejuvenation, you have the tools to achieve an abundant life. Self-healing looks different for everyone; it may be through meditation, EFT, yoga, or the foods we eat… But your future is in your hands.
8. Eat Brain-Nourishing Foods
Good brain health is vital for good body health, so by nourishing our mind with the essential nutrients, a vibrant life of longevity is headed our way. At Food Matters, we have long been advocates of a diet that assists our body in natural ways of healing, and that doesn’t stop here. Healthy fats, essential micronutrients, widespread sources of proteins and plenty of fruit and vegetables are vital for brain function. Removing foods from our diet that are packed with artificial flavors, preservatives, additives, and stabilizers gives our brain the best chance of survival. While there is a multitude of cases for each diet, if we eat as close to nature as possible, we are destined to thrive.
9. Seek Connection; Valuable Relationships & Spirituality
Your life is only as meaningful as you make it, so when finding purpose and presence, fostering relationships with people around you and the greater universe is of the utmost importance. Seek out relationships that serve you, that better you, and advance your place on this planet, in whatever way is important to you. Thank those that do not for the lessons they have taught you, and let them carry on their way. Dive into your spirituality, your greater understanding of the universe, and the endless realm of cosmic connection. Find whatever resonates with you and sends you to a further state of being, and do it.
Learn More From Gregg Braden on Longevity
If you're interested in learning more from Gregg Braden on Longevity and healthy aging you can stream his Missing Links original series on Gaia or upgrade to a Live Access Pass to stream his live longevity event this March 14 & 15. I'll be attending the event in person can't wait to share some of my insights and takeaways with you. Click here to start your 7-day free trial and continue your healing journey on Gaia.