Few years ago, young looking 90 year old came to me for a gynaecological operation. I sensed her unhappiness from the face when I complimented her young look and told that she didn’t look 90. (Age entered on the chart by my secretary) She said “Doctor I am 95 not 90”. Her unhappiness was about me lowering her age and she was proud of her age. To my surprise she was very healthy in addition to her young look and not on any medications which drew my interest more than the gynaecological problem.
I have come across many similar cases in their 70’s & 80’s and have to mention two more interesting ladies before revealing the secrets behind their excellent health. Our next lady, 85 years told me that she had nine children. Noticing the smile on my face she said, “Doctor all in 10 years.” (Her husband must have done some good karma in his previous birth to have this satisfying wife!!) My 3rd lady again was over 80 in perfect health but had an embarrassing gynaecological problem particularly while exercising and dancing.
When I come across similar cases I spend some extra time to delve further into their life style to find out the secrets behind their perfect health and longevity. Following are some of the reasons which I believe had contributed to their excellent health.
1. All these ladies have their own social circles and friends, often meeting and chatting at each other’s homes, coffee shops and restaurants, at religious gatherings, and social activities at their church etc. My second lady’s many children and grandchildren lived in the same village. Imagine her happiness and satisfaction in seeing them.
2. Go for regular walks usually with their partners, friends, neighbours or family members.
3. Doing some outdoor activities like gardening or indoor activities like playing cards, cooking, cleaning etc. Don’t even bother much about cholesterol or calories. (I am NOT undermining the importance of eating healthy diet)
4. Travelling. Often visiting their children or grandchildren or them visiting these ladies. Also holiday trips if they can afford.
5. They are all ordinary people, not aspiring to get rich and don’t even know how to amass wealth. So no stress of wealth management.
6. What mattered most is their relationships to others and engaging in activities to continue that relationship.
In short, they are all happy and content, enjoying their life and looking forward to living long and enjoying.
When I bring these ladies for surgery my colleagues often grumble as to where on earth I find these ladies to make their life miserable and difficult. I often say age alone shouldn’t be a determining factor for surgery and they all deserve better quality of life to continue enjoying life including that 95 year old. She was the oldest to have her type of surgery. All these ladies were very thankful for improving their quality of life and one even said “Doctor you will be in my prayers.”
Please listen to the twelve minutes talk by ROBERT WALDINGER on TED TALKS in You Tube about a 75 year ongoing Harvard study to realize the importance of relationship for happiness and long life.
BE HAPPY. ENJOY LIFE. FOSTER RELATIONSHIPS. STAY HEALTHY AND LIVE LONG.