Take care of you brain first and the rest will follow

8 essential factors for a long and healthy life

One might think I am a “shrink” to make such a statement. But no, I attended this fantastic lecture at a Rotary meeting in my hometown Lund, Sweden a couple of weeks ago. It was Professor Stig Steen speaking. He is a famous lung- and heart-transplant surgeon and he takes care of the sickest of the patients. I thought it would be a very technical lecture – but I was proven very much wrong …

Professor Steen has taken special interest in nutrition for these patients – and for the organs he is transplanting. He has his own research center in southern Sweden  – Igelösa life science community. The search for the right nutrition has led him into a search for factors for basic health.

Among all the interesting facts he shared with us about basic health he tipped us about a book by Doctor Gary Small – “The longevity bible”.

I want to share this tip with you.

Dr Small is working with the elderly and doing research about longevity. Based on the facts from his research he is recommending 8 essential factors for what are the essentials for “keeping your mind sharp and your body young”.

The eight essentials according to Dr Small are:

Essential 1: Sharpen your mind. Mental activity is the most essential for a long life.

Essential 2: Keep a positive outlook. The optimists win in the long run.

Essential 3: Cultivate healthy and intimate relationships. Good friends are irreplaceable, bad friends are like poison.

Essential 4: Promote stress-free living. Learn the power of No.

Essential 5: Master your environment. Make your surroundings (indoor and outdoor) nice to live in, minimize overload of things, sound, smells and pollution in the air.

Essential 6: Body fitness – shape up to stay young. At least 30 minutes fast walking 5 days a week.

Essential 7: the Longevity diet. Eat food that keeps the blood-sugar at an even level.

Essential 8: Modern medicine for feeling and looking younger – get yourself a good and empathetic doctor in time to be able to get the best help if the needs for it arises.

Dr Smalls own summing up of the book is the line I used as headline in today’s blog post – “Take care of the brain first and the rest will follow”. It might seem a peculiar fact that Dr Small puts such big importance on our intellectual life. The first 5 of his 8 essentials are about the mind and the mindset.

Knowing what I know today from meeting thousands of patients I am fully inclined to agree. Taking care of our mind and adjust our mindset is absolutely essential when forming our lives. And yes – I also believe that the optimists win.

This is of course just a short glimpse into Dr Small’s book. If you are interested in this subject I can recommend you to read it.

If you want to read more about Professor Steen’s interesting work click here 

Until next week – Keep smiling