My Life’s Journey Ahead

The only journey is the one within.  Rainer Maria Rilke

We are often told that life is a journey not a destination. Then we are told life is not a journey but a process. I believe life is a process of our believing and thinking. This is the journey within. What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us, Henry Stanley Haskins.If we could think of life’s journey as a believing and thinking process, it might improve our believing and thinking. This blog is about my believing and thinking future journey within.  

Maybe my life’s journey is only a test. If this had been a real life journey I would have been given instructions. Or maybe that is what is beginning to happen. Once upon a time, growing old didn’t happen very often. So people didn’t know how to do it. Today it seems to be happening a lot. Therefore the books and advice, even instructions, on growing old are popular today. Instructions on growing old are not hard to find.

 Here is my vote for the best aging instructions: Planting “SEEDS” of a healthy brain. How to be productive for a lifetime. By John B. Arden, from his book The Brain Bible, How to Stay Vital, Productive, and Happy for a Lifetime, 2014. These are five things I try to include in my life’s future journey every day. You might se them as possible future advice.

Socialconnectivity: Good quality social relationships has multiple benefits to our immune system and to our mental health, even down to the chromosomal level. (I have trouble with this because most of my long-time companions are no longer here.)

Exercise:It is the best antidepressant and best anti-anxiety agent that we have; it’s better than any antidepressant medication, better than psychotherapy, and better than psychotherapy and medication combined.

Education: Learning builds an infrastructure of brain connectivity. The more connectivity you have the richer your thoughts — and we call that cognitive reserve later in life. Learning a lot builds your brain and without that, you’re looking in the rear view mirror worrying about the past or the future. Learning something every day keeps your life vital.

Diet:We are what we eat. Our body makes the chemicals that we operate our brains with and they don’t come out of nowhere. Our body makes these brain chemicals based on the foods we eat or do not eat. So diet is absolutely fundamental.

Sleep: There is a sleep architecture to adhere to. So having good sleep practices is critical for mental health and for not developing dementia later on, but most importantly for not having too much anxiety the next day, or too much depression.

Because I am old I am qualified to give advice. Also, because I am old, I need advice. I believe SEEDS is the advice I need and the advice I am qualified to give. Following thisadvice in my life’s journey ahead will be my inner journey. And it will be my advice for others on a similar journey.

The idea is to die young as late as possible.  Ashley Montagu

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