1. Have a purpose in life. Women who enjoy long, fruitful lives inevitably feel that they have a reason to live and a purpose that they are meant to fulfill. This is different for every woman, because each of us is unique. If you are not clear about your purpose in life, begin by following what brings you joy and helps you to feel a part of the whole. Know that it is never too late to begin doing what you love and to cultivate listening more to your inner wisdom than to external “shoulds.”
2. Accept and love yourself. There is no one quite like you in this world, nor is there likely to ever be again. Focus on appreciating the incredible gift of life that you have been blessed with, and remind yourself daily that you have something special to offer to the world. Loving and accepting yourself just as you are will free your energy to care for yourself in healthy ways.
3. Learn to relax. Learning to flow with life is essential for your well-being. No matter how healthfully you eat or how much you exercise, if you are chronically stressed your body and your mind will suffer, and your enjoyment of life will be dramatically diminished. Stress literally attacks your body and your brain by creating cell-destroying free radicals. Nourish a sense of physical and emotional calm through relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, and other practices that you find balancing.
4. Eat a diet of whole, natural foods. Forget restrictive diets and focus instead on nourishing your body with a wide variety of delicious, fresh, whole, nutrient-dense foods. In addition, supplement your diet with extra vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients that are known to support health and longevity.
5. Move your body daily. Regular exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, muscles, and bones, keeps you flexible, improves your circulation, brightens your mood, and helps you to maintain a healthful weight. Develop an appreciation and enjoyment of moving your body and experiment with different forms of exercise to find what is right for you.
6. Avoid exposure to toxins. Chemicals in foods and water, poisons in household and garden products, and environmental pollutants are major causes of free radicals, which damage your body’s cells, cause degenerative disease, and accelerate the aging process. Make a deliberate effort to eliminate these harmful substances from your life.
7. Cultivate joy. Your mind plays a critical role in not only your mental health, but in your physical well-being. There are many ways to nourish a positive attitude, including consciously cultivating gratitude. The healthiest people are those who see challenges as opportunities for growth, instead of as obstacles. Feed your spirit daily in simple ways such as spending time in nature, being with family and friends whom you enjoy, and meditation. Discover what feels good to you, and do it every day.