Crisis Management – The Means to a Long Life

How you deal with crises or tragedies affect the length of your life as well as the daily quality.

I once heard a report on the news about a study done with people over 100 years of age. They were expecting to discover a common health link, something those seniors did or did not eat, or some type of exercise routine. Much to the astonishment of those doing the study, there did not appear to be any common denominators in health habits. Obviously, health habits will affect the quality of one’s physical life, especially as you get older. However, the sole common denominator in these seniors who lived to be over 100 years of age was how they dealt with crises or tragedies; they had a commitment to move forward or move past the tragedy and continue to find enjoyment in life. In their view, it was worth living just to be alive, regardless of the events they experienced.

A perspective that sees value solely in being alive will benefit one’s daily life as well.

Though it wasn’t discussed in the part of the report I heard, I would imagine that people who outlived their peers due to a commitment to move beyond tragedy had also lived their daily lives with the same perspective-“This too shall pass,” “Life goes on…,” or whatever applicable saying you have heard. If one has a view to be able to enjoy life just because he or she is still alive, regardless of even facing tragedies, imagine how much less that type of person stresses over the typical daily struggles. During those times in life when daily struggles start coming at you from every side all at the same time-with the children, on the job, with finances, in one’s marriage or other close relationships-many of us become faint of heart (discouraged) and question the quality of our lives.

Learning from these long-living seniors, it would be healthy for each of us to develop a new mindset that values just being alive.

Here are a few thoughts I had. I’m sure you can add some of your own. Feel free to use the comment box below to do so.

1. Build a daily awareness of what is good around you. Greatly appreciate the little things. Not to use too many clichés in this post, but this is a “stop and smell the roses” scenario. I have over 30 rose bushes in my yard. I often stay too busy to enjoy them as I should. On particularly stressful days, I need to stop the rushing, stressing, and bring some roses inside just to enjoy that part of life. A while back, I encouraged some loved ones going through a disheartening time that was out of their control to have their daily cup of coffee or tea in the fine china; enjoy what is right there to enjoy. If the kids have been stressing you, stop and do something you know that you enjoy doing with them-just to enjoy them while they are still children. Daily find the value in just being alive.

2. Don’t “snowball” in your thinking–thinking of troubles that will need to be addressed on another day. Scripture says each day has enough trouble of its own, so don’t stress now over what you aren’t yet dealing with.

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3. Eliminate the habit of imagining the worst-case scenarios which usually never happen.  There is a popular saying of Mark Twain that was along the lines of, “I’ve experienced some terrible things in my life, and some of them actually happened.”  Do not allow yourself to “experience” negative that has not even happened.

4. Focus on the future. Realize, with most crises, this too will pass. Or, in the case of a death or something else permanent, commit to enjoying other aspects of life that still exist other than that relationship-even start new friendships. Envision better days. I’ve read of many authors who had lost everything-their wealth, their careers, their families, their homes and cars-and, and by envisioning and believing in life restoration, moved past the tragedies by believing better days would return; they continued to believe it until they saw restoration come to their lives.

Whether or not you want to live past 100, learn to manage the daily crises as well as major life ones with a view that moves beyond the hardship and believes there is value solely in being alive.

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