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The Only Thing that ALL Centenarians have in Common

What’s the secret to living a long, healthy life? Haha. Sorry for laughing, if it was only that easy. Does the answer lie in our genes? Researchers have found more than 281 genes that are 61% accurate in predicting 100 year olds. Who wants to dive down into the weeds and break apart these genes that you either have or don’t have? Not me! Instead, let’s focus this content on something that you CAN take charge of and that almost all centenarians have been actively pursuing for more than half of their lives.

SO WHAT IS IT?

Rest. Seriously. That’s it. If you found yourself disappointed with that solution, you should reconsider how highly your prioritize rest. I am NOT talking about sleep. You have heard me ramble on about how crucial good quality sleep is to everything you do. Rest is different. The rest I am talking about can come in many different forms.

7 TYPES OF REST

  1. TIME AWAY
    Schedule time to leave your everyday life. Most of us call this a vacation. The time away that I am referencing here involves more than just a day away from your work obligations. Travel is the most effective form of time away. When we separate ourselves from our everyday environment, we tend to use less mental energy on our to-do list. Travel also separates us from obligations that come up. Being a part of a community is important, but it can be just as important to separate from time to time. Time away gives us an excuse to say “no.”

  2. SOLITUDE
    Escape and find time to be alone. This is a daily recommendation. I personally escape to be by myself for 20-30 minutes each day. It isn’t always easy with a young family, but I get my time in before the rest of my house is awake. It is tempting at times to wake up early and start being productive or get a workout it, but this time of solitude helps to set the tone for the entire day. So what do I do during my time of solitude? I pray. I read my Bible. I take deep breaths. Oh, and yes I do this all while sitting 6 inches away from my red-light therapy device!

  3. STILLNESS
    Does this mean to just sit still? You’re catching on! We are busy bodies. Our days can move at a million miles per hour. When we are moving, we miss out on a lot. The greatest ideas and the most effective solutions are formulated during moments of stillness. If you are looking for guidance from God, it can be easy to miss if you are always on the move.

  4. CONNECTION TO NATURE
    Everyone needs to find connection with nature. For some, it may be hunting or fishing. For others, it could be bird watching or hiking. For others it could be sitting outside and painting the hillside on a canvas. We were created to be outdoors. I encourage everyone to do something outside every single day, even when the weather is suboptimal. If you are going from elevator to parking garage to the next parking garage and elevator, please rethink how to schedule time outside every day.

  5. FASTING
    Does fasting mean a break from eating food? Yes and no. For the purpose of this, yes. I am talking about taking a break from eating food. Our digestive systems desire periods of rest from having to break down our food. Beyond that, our minds deserve a break from the decision fatigue that happens with shopping, planning, cooking, and preparing food. Lastly, our relationship with food improves when we step away from it. I have personally found myself with a grateful heart after an extended time of fasting from food. As well, my mindset around food shifts. I find myself trusting God to provide instead of always assuming that food will just fall into my lap.

  6. A BREAK FROM RESPONSIBILITY
    Sometimes what we need is just a break from having to be responsible. Do you remember being stressed out as a kid? I sure don’t. Responsibilities pile up and can overwhelm our time and even our thoughts. I encourage you to find someone that you trust (or hire one!) that you can allow to “man the ship” for you for a period of time. For many of us, it can even be our spouse. It is healthy to take some “me” time every once in a while.

  7. FAMILY TIME
    This is the opposite of “me” time; this is “we” time. The family time that I am referring to here requires a commitment to be fully present. This means separating yourself from your cell phone, work responsibilities, and tasks at home. This can be with your spouse, kids, parents, or even close friends. This time should be spent with the people that know you best. Our inner being craves this time with those that we are close to. My favorite form of family time is sharing a meal and playing a game!

It isn’t ironic that one of the most read, most studied, and oldest pieces of literature known to man aligns it’s advice and recommendations very closely to what you just read above. According the Bible, we should be taking one day each week to rest. Have we forgotten all about that commandment?!

My challenge for you is that you take a moment to examine yourself. Are you finding moments to rest?