What makes you young and alive

7 Secrets To How You Can Get Younger And Live Longer

Deepak Chopra

Just a few decades ago, conventional medicine saw the body as a machine that sooner or later gives up the mind. As a medical student I learned that the body is controlled by random chemical processes, that mind and body are separate from one another, and that health and lifespan are genetically predetermined.

Today medical science comes to a very different conclusion. The body is more than just a tangible field of energy and intelligence that is closely related to the mind. The mind affects every cell in the body. "Normal" aging and the associated progressive loss of physical and mental abilities is largely learned. The human aging process is changeable, it can accelerate, slow down and be reversed.

There are many studies on how the way we think affects aging. For example, a pioneering study by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer showed that supposedly irreversible signs of aging, such as loss of hearing, vision, dexterity, muscle strength, and memory, can be reversed through changes in thinking and physical and mental training.

Genetic predispositions do not determine our health and how quickly we age. How we behave and where we direct our attention changes our physical experiences and can lower biological age.

With the following seven tips we can find our inner source of limitless energy, creativity, aliveness and love.


1. Change how you perceive your body and think about getting older

To perceive means to make a choice, to consciously direct one's attention to something and to interpret it. Our perceptual habits shape the “reality” of the body and of aging. Instead of seeing the body as an immutable, biological machine, see it as an ever-renewing field of energy, change, and intelligence.

Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself, about your body, and about aging. Do you say things like, "At my age, I need reading glasses," "I'm too old to practice yoga" or some other activity, "I inherited my father's back"? Change the way you look at how you talk about your age. Your cells listen to everything you say. If you do not want your father's back or any other family disease, you would not see those intentions in their consciousness. A powerful statement is

"Every day I strengthen my mental and physical abilities"


2. Relieve stress and meditate

Fatigue and pent-up stress make you old. Meditation is a simple and powerful tool to experience deep relaxation. During meditation, the breath and heart slow down and stress decreases. The body relaxes.

Research shows that people who meditate regularly are less likely to have high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and other stress-related illnesses. New research shows that meditation also renews the brain. According to a study by the Massachusetts General Hospital, after just 8 weeks of meditation, the areas of the brain related to memory, compassion, self-image and stress management grow. This study is further evidence that the brain can change and grow at different stages of life. Regular meditation strengthens the brain and gives a youthful spirit.

How do I start meditating?

It is best to learn a traditional meditation practice from a trained teacher. Instead, if you learn to meditate on your own or from a book, you may pick up the wrong technique or give up in frustration if your expectations don't come true. The Chopra Center offers the ancient sound meditation that goes back thousands of years to the Vedic tradition. Or try the 21-Day Meditation Challenge for 21 days (in English).

3. Restful sleep

A key to health and vitality that is often overlooked is restful sleep. Some people use it to show how little sleep they need. Lack of sleep disturbs the body's inner balance, weakens the immune system and accelerates the aging process.

People need between 6 and 8 hours of restful sleep every day. Restful sleep means being able to easily fall asleep and stay asleep without taking sleeping pills or alcohol and feeling alive when you wake up. If you feel tired and sluggish in the morning, you have not had a good night's sleep. We sleep best, in harmony with the rhythms of nature, when we go to bed at 10 a.m. and wake up at 6 a.m.

Ideally, you should only eat easily digestible foods before 7 p.m. so that digestion does not disturb sleep. Take a leisurely stroll after dinner, then go to bed at 10am.

It helps to write down thoughts of the day in a journal so that the ghost doesn't keep you awake.

4. Eating healthy

There is “dead” food, which accelerates the aging process and decomposition, and food, which renews the body. Stop eating canned, freezer, microwave, or processed foods. Eat a variety of freshly prepared foods. A diverse diet contains all 6 flavors: sweet, sour, salty, hot, bitter and tart. The typical American diet is sweet, sour, and salty, which corresponds to the taste of a hamburger. If consumed in excess, such a diet can slow down the metabolism.

Hot, bitter and tart is anti-inflammatory and increases metabolism. These flavors are found in radishes, ginger, mustard, pepper, spinach, mushrooms, tea, lentils and lettuce, for example.

In addition to the six flavors, fill your plate with the colors of the rainbow if you want to be healthy and live long. Deep blue, purple, red, green and orange-colored fruits and vegetables are pure nature and contain many nutrients to strengthen physical resistance and ensure your health.

Examples of rainbow food


Red tomatoes, red peppers, pink grapefruits, watermelons, red grapes, beetroot, red cabbage, apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, cranberries

Orange / yellow

Pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, melons, mangoes, oranges, papayas, nectarines


Broccoli, green cabbage, spinach, cabbage, peas, avocado, leaf cabbage

Deep blue, purple

Plums, blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries, purple grapes, eggplants

5. Fitness exercises

Regular exercise keeps body and mind young and promotes well-being. Dr. William Evans and Irwin Rosenberg of Tufts University described the effects of exercise on various age characteristics such as body mass, body strength, the ability to use oxygen and burn fat, bone density, and cholesterol. In his new book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Harvard University professor and physician John Ratey describes research showing how exercise leads to biological changes and stimulates brain cells to connect with one another. This "spark" or spark, as he calls it, increases a person's ability to learn, adapt and mental abilities.

A complete fitness program makes you flexible and trains your cardiovascular system and strength. Find an oxygen-consuming, fat burning sport that you can do regularly. 3 or 4 times a week 20 to 30 minutes is usually enough for measurable improvements. After warming up, do some stretches for 5-10 minutes and strengthen the main muscle groups in the body.

Start exercising slowly. Find physical activities that you enjoy and do them regularly. If all you can do now is take a walk around the house, go for it. You will be surprised how quickly you can increase your stamina and enthusiasm for movement and breathing.

6. Love and friendship

Isolation and loneliness make you old. Recently widows and men who have been laid off are statistically likely to die earlier or more likely to have heart attacks. The emotional value of social ties is great. In countries like the United States, people have gone in a different direction, where human relationships are diminishing due to high divorce rates, single parents, and a constantly moving population. The trend is worsening as the fastest growing population age 80 and older move into retirement homes. Fewer and fewer elderly people are cared for at home. There are prejudices that seniors are a burden on the young and on society.

It is very important to stay connected to existing contacts throughout your life and to be open to new relationships. Resist the urge to isolate yourself more and more, believing that society expects you to do so. Losing friends and partners is an inevitable part of getting older, especially because many cannot find a replacement or they lack the motivation to enter into new relationships. By “replacement,” I don't necessarily mean a new partner or family, but rather emotional ties that give meaning to your life. No matter how much reading or watching TV there is no substitute for loving, caring and human contact. Older people can get involved in mentoring programs, educational and youth institutions.

7. Keep a youthful mind

“Limitless flexibility is the secret of immortality” is a Vedic saying. To be flexible means to constantly renew yourself. Adaptability reverses the aging process. Children offer the most beautiful expression of openness and flexibility. They play and laugh unabashedly and find the smallest things fascinating. Children are limitlessly creative because they have not yet learned any limitations and limits. Keep your youthfulness. Write down 2 or 3 things that children do or that remind you of your childhood, like eating popsicles, swinging in the playground, coloring a picture, jumping rope, or building a sand castle. What did you enjoy as a child? Forget you are too old for this, and do so today.

As you act like a child, you give yourself the freedom to be the archetype of the carefree, innocent child. They don't want a return to childhood, they want something deeper, as the therapist A.H. Almaas is described. A child radiates abundance for no reason, inner vitality and joy in being himself without having to earn it. Have you lost the vibrancy that you had as a child? Reliving our childlike nature makes us young and connects us with that part of us that was never born and never died - our spiritual side that has always been and will always be there.




Chopra Center sleep routine

Sleep before midnight is the most rejuvenating. Sleeping 8 hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. is more relaxing than between midnight and 8 a.m.


For a good night's sleep, try the following procedure

  • Have an easily digestible dinner before 7:30 p.m.
  • Then take a leisurely stroll
  • Avoid exciting, grueling, or mentally intense exercise after 8:30 p.m.
  • Take a hot bath with a few drops of relaxation oil an hour before you go to bed.
  • Light a candle in the bathroom or listen to relaxing music.
  • Do an oil massage.
  • Have a relaxing herbal tea
  • Diffuse relaxing scents in the bedroom.
  • When you have a lot of thoughts, write them down in your journal so that you don't bother with them
  • Read inspiring literature for a few minutes before going to bed. Avoid worrying reading material.
  • Don't watch TV or work in bed.
  • Once in bed, close your eyes and feel your body. Wherever you feel tension in the body, consciously relax this area. Then watch your slow breathing until you fall asleep.

© Copyright 2011 the Chopra Center for Wellbeing at La Costa Resort and Spa. 2013 Costa de Lar Rd. Carlsbad, CA 92009. Adapted from the American by Dr. Joachim Schneider. Here to the original article in English