16 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Future Self
by Dr. Amy Mercovich
1. Live in the present
We experience life, especially feelings of happiness and contentment, when we are fully aware of the present moment and all that is good right now. Your life marches on one happy present moment at a time. Your future self will be happy you are in good practice of living this way.
2. Throw your shoulders back and lift your chin
You don’t want to look at yourself one day and wonder how you got to be a slumped over old person. You must prevent future crookedness of your spine with daily effort and habits now. Go do Dr. Amy’s “Stretch Break.” Need to learn how? Click here for the video (but wait until you have finished reading this entire article)
3. Floss your teeth
Have you heard the news that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease? Enough said. Go buy some floss (and use it!).
4. Learn a new skill or activity
Don’t put it off if there is something you want to learn. Your future self will get to own that skill, will be good at it, and will be reaping the rewards of having learned it long ago.
5. Eat veggies and fruits
The real stuff that you can buy from a farmer that you have to wash and prepare….that is the food with the most nutrients and fiber. Eat as much as you can of these every day. Your future self will thank you for all the good energy, a healthy blood lipid status, and good blood glucose (and the regular bowel movements – wink wink).
6. Keep the money teeter totter moving
Your future self will be bummed if you have no savings yet you don’t want to live for retirement. Who knows what could happen between now and retirement (or if you will be alive to retire – accidents do happen and death is real). Have some fun now. Your future self will love all the memories and will be happy you did exciting things when you were young and healthy.
7. Cultivate your creativity
Using the right side of your brain helps to keep your entire brain sharper longer. Plus, being creative is fun and maybe your future self will really enjoy some of the creative things/art/music/poems/photographs/furniture that you made.
8. Spend time on friendships
People to love and people who love you make life really awesome. There will be times in your future life that you will benefit greatly from having good friends to lean on. And, you’ll never regret staying connected with siblings, children, and parents.
9. Enjoy something frivolous
Your future self doesn’t want to be too serious all the time. Remember, your future self is older and wiser than you are now. Spend time and/or money on something that other people will think is totally ridiculous. It doesn’t matter what it is, just that it makes you happy.
10. Face your fears
Your future self will be glad you didn’t wait another day to learn to ski or snowboard, change your mind or your career, embrace an adventure, introduce yourself to someone intriguing, take a class, start online dating, join the rod and gun club, give a presentation, drop in on the big skate park ramp (OK, that may just be for my husband and teenagers), or take a solo trip. Just go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? The worst is usually not that bad and not very likely. Your future self will be happier for the effort.
11. Cook more of your meals
Expand your cooking repertoire and, whenever possible, cook and eat with other people. Meals go way beyond their nutrient and energy content. Taking time to prepare home-cooked meals is good for your mental health (not to mention your pocketbook and your blood pressure). It is a way to prove to yourself on a daily basis that you are loving yourself (and your future self) well.
12. Keep your brain and nervous system as young as possible
Anyone who can successfully keep great nerve flow from the body to the brain and the brain to the body as well as healthy brain tissue will likely win quantity and quality of life rewards. In daily life this means…
- get adjusted regularly to keep your spine supple and aligned, and most importantly, to keep your spinal cord free from stress that would hurt the delivery of messages from the brain to the body and the body to the brain: life force/energy flow through the spinal cord is CRITICAL to being alive!
- eat foods that act as anti-oxidants and feed your brain the fats it needs to repair (think blueberries and DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish – search the web for “brain food”)
- sleep 7-9 hours per night to allow your brain to eliminate plaque-causing waste, to put memories into storage, and to make repairs
- exercise at least 30-60 minutes every day because it has been proven to keep DNA telomere lengths long, which means that your DNA can continue to function properly and give you a longer life
- challenge your brain with new tasks, learning, and remembering things
13. Laugh and smile more
If we are going to get wrinkles anyway, they may as well be smile wrinkles and laugh lines! And, unless you have been living under a rock, you know the research points to happy people living longer.
14. Know your values
Acknowledge your core values about what it means to you to be a human being in this world. Use those values to guide your daily habits, actions, and choices. When tough situations arise, you’ve already gotten good at following your moral compass and it will be easier to know what to do.
15. Stop caring what other people think of you
If you are living according to your values and kindness is one of your values (I am guessing it probably is) AND you are being your authentic self, then there is no reason to care what others think of you. Subscribe to the wisdom of this statement: “What you think of me is none of my business.” Along these same lines, don’t waste time judging anyone else. Use that mental bandwidth having fun being you. Your future self will be so relieved that you don’t care what others think.
16. Be YOU
The more you embrace your unique nature, the more interesting you become to others. It’s a lot easier to “let your freak flag fly” than to always try to act/look/speak/perform like someone else or what society dictates as “normal.” The most fun people to be around are the ones who are comfortable with who they are. Be uniquely you! Your future self will definitely be happier for the effort.