From the moment you awake to the end of the day, you are constantly employed with the job of living. Depending on how smoothly time flows, your day might go extremely well or it might bump along until you cannot wait to end it, fall into bed!
No matter what your day contains, how you planned or didn’t plan a given day, and what your attitude is toward the day’s events—time is passing on. You are aging minute to minute:
• your heart continually beating,
• gravity pulling on your body,
• the environment exposing you to damaging elements that could affect intricate organ systems your health relies on.
None of this is on your mind as you make coffee or cereal, check email or begin a list of phone calls, dress and drive your children to school, or race to catch the train or bus for work.
But in fleeting moments when you separate from busyness and just consider living, Deepak Chopra has some guidelines to help make time your friend. His rules will help you soften time’s frantic pace and lessen the negative affects it has on your physical body. Follow these and you will be fighting aging.
• Rule One: Where the mind goes, the body must follow. If your mind is constantly worrying, then your body is constantly being placed under stress. Cortisol runs through your blood stream increasing heart rate in the flight and fight response. You become jumpy and unnerved. Your body is following your mind, aging every minute as you stress out, worry and fret. Lesson to Learn: whenever possible eliminate negative thoughts and relax; work to accept the bumps in your day. Breathe!
• Rule Two: Memory freezes time and makes you relive toxic experience. This is a hard rule to follow, because humans love to hold on to things. With two fists clenched and with a mind set in a firm pattern, you go back to things that are finished, things that happened days, months, years ago. You call up hurts, regrets, betrayals, things that mar the calmness of the present. It’s like taking a beautiful beach scene and wanting a tsunami to occur. All the toxic feelings associated with that event come roaring back. Where there might have been stress-free healthy living, now you are experiencing those very same illness-producing feelings from the past. Lesson to Learn: to fight aging, live in the present and let the past go. Breathe!
• Rule Three: Aging is rooted in stuckness. Linked to Rule Two, this one reminds you that bad experiences leave chemical residue in your cells. Dwelling on divorce, job-loss, a friend’s betrayal allows the flight and fight experience and the cascade of negative chemicals to reoccur, circulating through your body. Your heart races, anger rises shutting out pleasant experience. Stop this cascade of responses. Breathe, think uplifting thoughts, cultivate relaxation. This clears negative chemicals from organ systems. You get unstuck and your mind focuses on the good things happening in your life. Lesson to Learn: breathe out tension when stuck. Embrace the present. That’s staying young.
• Rule Four: A river never ages. Like flowing rivers, embrace change. In order to stay young, your mind and body must accept change. The direction of the change is your choice—are you going to move forward or backward? Are you embracing newness in your life as you garden or make dinner, or are you dragging yourself back into stuckness—angry about weeding chores or grumbling that you’re cooking chicken again. There are forward ways to do both tasks. It’s up to you. Lesson to Learn: Creativity brings change; be creative in your daily life and let change bring exciting challenges.
• Rule Five: Beyond time, the experience of youth can be eternal. Chopra conjectures that someone once said: an ageless body depends on a timeless mind. What is timeless in you? Your soul, your consciousness, your mind freed from memory during meditation? Yes! Free yourself. Your immortality is that timeless part of you that you’ll find through meditation. Chopra says meditation and letting go will allow your mind to find truth. And truth is beyond the confines of time. Lesson to Learn: Stop the dirty dishwasher of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing and find the truth buried within.