I have just finished watching a programme on TV where a group of celebrities undertook an experiment where they tried to reduce their physical and mental ages over a period of three weeks 100 years younger in 21 days
It was fascinating to see how the aging process was affecting them all very differently due to either current habits or prior lifestyle bad habits having taken their toll. Throughout the three-week period some individuals needed to focus on their mental capacity while others had more health and physical challenges.
The physical challenges where they were encouraged to exercise more and eat better weren’t surprising as most of us know what we should and shouldn’t eat and that we need to keep moving. What I learnt most were the changes that occurred that radically improved some of the participants mental health scores in such a short period of time.
There were dramatic improvements in mental ageing in fact reversing the effect resulting in three key activities the celebrities were made aware of
- Learning new skills
- The sense of belonging that came from being part of a group
If we take each I turn there were just a few take home messages that I think are useful to us all.
Meditation doesn’t appeal to everyone and certainly in the programme the person that benefited the most initially demonstrated a lot of resistance to even the idea let alone the practice of it. It took another person in the group who had personally benefited themselves from the practice to buddy up with the individual and persist gently through the initial reservations and difficulties to the point where it started to become an enjoyable habit with huge quick positive effects that reinforced the new habit further. The correlation between the habit of regular meditation and improved sleep quality was amazing and without question a good reason to continue.
When it came to learning new skills, the key point was it doesn’t have to be a particular type of skill. Initially the group were introduced to learning a new language however if anyone struggled with this challenge then other more practical rather than cerebral activities were suggested to get a similar result. The key message here aww keep the brain active by exposing it to new challenges.
The final factor was the sense of belonging and the obvious communication involved from being part of a group or team was evident. The mutual support they gave each other at various stages of the process especially when an individual was finding part of the regime tough was an equally important bi product of the process.
- So, are you continually learning?
- Do you actively engage in a community/group that provides support and encouragement?
- Have you explored a meditation practice? maybe just try for 5 mins a day for a couple of weeks see if you find it beneficial
Sandra works as a coach for both businesses and private clients. She is also author of the book Own It – regain control and live life on your terms. More info can be found at www.sandrawebbercoaching.com