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A Simple Secret for a Long, Happy Life

Kindness, love, gratitude and beauty can affect us not just on emotional and spiritual levels, but on cellular levels as well.

A while back I was sitting in the peaceful waiting area at my gym, waiting for a massage appointment. Another woman sat down to my left just as two ladies entered arm in arm, one helping the other into a chair. When I saw their faces, I knew right away they were mother and daughter. The striking resemblance between mothers and daughters (or fathers and sons), physically and in terms of mannerisms, is one of those beautiful wonders in life. What was uniquely special about this pair was that the daughter looked to be in her mid-70s.

The woman sitting next to me asked them if they were mother and daughter, and the younger woman answered, “Yes, this is my mom. She just turned 94.”

I smiled, listening to these sweet ladies converse. The 94-year-old old mom said energetically, “Are we all relaxed today, ladies?” She was full of light and joy.

The woman next to me asked her, “You look amazing and full of life! What’s your secret?”

Without hesitation, the mom replied, “I’ve always surrounded myself with nice people. That’s the secret.”

I was touched by both the power and the simplicity of her answer. I’ve often thought about, and even written about, how allowing unkind, negative people into our lives can affect our emotional and physical well-being. I’m a big believer in being very mindful about what we tolerate. But I hadn’t really thought too much about how it could affect our physical health in the long term, and specifically our longevity, until now.


Could it be that after healthy conscious eating and regular physical activity, the next most powerful key to a long life is kindness?

As kindness is an expression of love, and love is the most powerful force known to us, this connection is undeniable. Psychology affects our biology in powerful ways, and therefore our longevity.

There are numerous studies that support this idea, including a recent study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where half the participants were assigned to take part in a loving-kindness meditation each week for six weeks. The other half was assigned to a control group. 

Participants in the group taking part in the loving-kindness meditation practice increased in positive emotions in comparison to those in the control group, as well as increased in vagal tone (the activity of the vagus nerv which is our longest cranial nerve). In general, the greater the vagal tone, the greater the physical health of the person, especially when it comes to heart health. The study results suggest that positive emotions of loving-kindness, positive social connections and physical health influence one another in a self-sustaining upward-spiral dynamic.

This study shows that increased love and kindness in our lives can affect our biology in impactful, healthy and positive ways. This is great news because it means that we have more tools in our toolbox to increase our physical well-being, as well as our chances of living a longer, fuller, happier life. 

We can eat healthfully, exercise daily and even live a relatively happy life.

But if there are toxic negative people around us on a consistent basis, and we’re allowing their negativity to affect us within — like a slow moving bacterial infection — this alone could bring on disease by weakening our defenses.

On the flip side, even if the negative energy created by others in our lives is at a very low level, I believe our health and longevity can be affected by being closed off to the abundance of love and kindness offered to us from so many sources. The key here is to make a shift to being mindful — consistently remaining in a state of being open to receiving, and deliberately noticing the beauty in the world, especially during rough times. This can mean something as small as taking a moment to breathe in and be grateful for a smile from a stranger. 


Kindness, love, gratitude and beauty can affect us not just on emotional and spiritual levels, but on cellular levels as well.

The simple advice from the beautiful, joyful lady I encountered in the waiting room punctuates this idea. To me, she is living proof.

Here are some thoughts on how we can make a shift to reduce the negativity we absorb from others, and increase the levels of love and kindness we give and receive:

  •  The energy we put out comes right back to us. If we begin to take responsibility for it, and make a conscious effort to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate and more loving toward others — on a consistent and meaningful level — the kindness and love that comes back to us to fill our hearts will be greatly magnified, and will be a source of light for others. Like attracts like.
  • We must look closely at, and be mindful of, what we tolerate. Everyone has ups and downs, but if there are people in your life who are consistently negative, unkind or toxic, changes need to be made. Walk away from, or decrease your exposure to, those people who drain you in negative ways. You deserve to be treated with love in every scenario.
  • Change the way you look at some of the negative people you experience. Know that toxic, negative, hurtful behavior is a cry for love and acceptance. By seeing a person who is being negative or hurtful with compassion and love, we can change the way we respond to that person. Perhaps we can even create a powerful positive shift that will break a toxic cycle (for ourselves and for that person) through our response of love and kindness. This is a great place to start when it comes to healing relationships. 

The message we can receive here is that we have the power to choose to create simple shifts right now, shifts that will benefit both our physical health and emotional fitness (as well as those around us) in amazingly positive ways, and increase our chances of becoming centenarians with ease.

I also believe there is an even greater message here to be considered. The answers science has been looking for to increase the human life span don’t necessarily lie with pharmaceuticals, animal studies or test tubes, but may lie in a kinder, more loving, more giving world.

As citizens of this global community, the call to action from this perspective is to collectively work together to shift our energy to love, compassion and kindness — in purposeful ways, on such a level, that the duration of our lifetime on this earth can be expanded beyond what we ever thought was possible.

Long live loving-kindness.

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Kristi Ling

Kristi Ling is a happiness strategist, transformational life and business coach, and author working to help others create joy and realize their dream life.

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karen suezawa
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karen suezawa

Love this article! ❤ Thank you Bryant & Jenny for sharing your secrets! So inspiring.😊

Keara
Member

I’m always been a nice person even when it comes to somebody doing me wrong I’ve always looked at the good in them and after that stayed this way over the years I am now in my 30s and I still look at people like that but I learn to feed them with a long spoon

Jackie Wilushewski
Member

Very beautiful article, the message is so sincere and insightful. I really feel that connecting to Community and Gratitude is a life saver in so many of the ways you have described here. When I “stand up for” being treated fairly, there are times when I get ridiculed or belittled for doing so… I put a lot of effort into keeping my self respect and knowing of the yearning for help in balance as much as possible. Thank you for this great message @kristiling! <3

*sharing*

Robina fazal
Member

Beautiful article..❤💐Too Stay healthy and happy longer..is the wish of all..To live a long happy life..one should have the inner instinct to let the heart..and Soul connect with positive thoughts..not let any persons..or conditions..there attitudes or behaviour intereçt with the peace of your Soul..it’s you have who have to have the control over self.. to resist any negative attitude or behaviour..with yours a bit smile.. Silence and ignoring things.. and moving forward makes others feel..that they are helpless.to cause any trouble.. +your own health care routines .exercise.. proper intake of foods..prayer..to God..positive and productive activities leads you to a better human.. and Happy contented and relaxed heart and Soul..prolong the period of life..I know it’s not easy to resist tough behaviours and negative people at times but as much you learn the art to take matters lightly and let your mind and Soul pamper with love and kindness….love for all..respect all..care all…you gain an energy that makes your own soul..heart and mind healthy..and happy ..and you live more to help.. care…..others…while having peace with yourself…love yourself and love life….remain happy…life is short…but as much we lead it..we can make it healthy.. and Happy.. just with a cool mind soul and heart …with patience and trust in God Almighty..and his creations…live life.. love all..and make it worth living….Amen

Lucy
Guest
Lucy

I have learnt that happiness is your choice so you are the only one that can help yourself..stop wanting to change people they won’t and stop expecting from others..live everyday doing something you enjoy. Always keep your head high up we make mistakes have downfalls at the end no one is perfect and it’s your life..always just be you don’t change for anyone. It’s not selfish to think for yourself if you don’t love and pamper yourself who will..

Tiffany Newsome
Guest
Tiffany Newsome

I do not know if this is really a secret but, I would like to share it with you anyhow. I have found that eliminating all forms of stress no matter what it is, whether it is people , jobs, or material things. If it causes you an certain level of burdens and pressure. Get rid of it! They proper diet, that is not necessarily going on a diet, but eating better foods and drinking lots of water works wonder. Water helps flush out all that extra waste and matter that your body does not. It helps it to get rid of the toxic elements that work against your body that sends and activate stress signals in your brain. I have also found that exercise works wonders! Do not like to exercise? No Problem! Dance. Walk or play with your kids. Or even if you have pets. They will enjoy it and you will too!

Rukhsar
Guest
Rukhsar

My secret of living a happy life is by accepting the present only n by living your life in the present without messing up your mind in past n future . Just live free ✌️

Karra Theodora
Member

There is a secret key of longevity!! First of all you should be surrounded by people who love you. Negativity, drama and gossip are excluded. We should be kind and loving with people who deserve our love. We should take care of ourselves in a daily basis. We should eat healthy foods and use any kind of exercise which will boost our mood. We should dream big and make our dreams come true. As difficult as it may seems, we can overcome all our problems. All problems can be solved besides health ! If our health is poor we have to take advantage of every single day. Everyday we should get up from the bed and cherish each moment. Because almost all medical illnesses can be cured if we keep a positive aspect. Every trial makes us stronger and wiser. We grew through trials and we become more mature. Maturity has nothing to do with age, it has to do with experience. We should be open to the world and keep our eyes and ears open. The truth will always reveal itself. We should pay attention to the actions of people not their words. People might say i love you but beneath that there are maybe hidden ulterior motives. We should be aware them and protect ourselves !!

Kelli Wallen
Member

Rude lesson in life…

Deb
Member

I’ve always wanted to live/retire on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Having no clue how that would happen. Fast forward 30 years, still having the dream, living in the Mid West, raisng my son there, putting myself through school for a career that would not just pay the bills. My son moves to Florida! I get a call asking me to move closer because they are expecting a baby! You don’t have to ask me twice. I start looking within the company i work for and find a position. I move to Paradise! My point behind all of this is, within the healthcare field, it is a small community. Although I lived in the Mid West, my reputation of how I treated not only my patients, but more importantly my coworkers followed me and I was able to finally manifest my dream of living on the Emerald Coast of Florida, have a beautiful granddaughter and a very blessed(although at times difficult) life!
I have cut the negative people out of my day to day encounters and that includes Social Media! I’m going through some pretty intense health issues and it would be so easy to just give in. I refuse! I just went to a Doctor yesterday that just oozed negativity and now I will be looking for a different Doctor.
NEGATIVITY is UNACCEPTABLE in my life now! Make it that way in yours. My friends are amazed that I am so positive and do what I can to make them laugh 😂!

Angeliki Anastasia
Member

Well the secret is Kristi’s revealing secret!!! Well for me it’s everything Kristi said, first God, the saints,angels, holy spirits, my beautiful children, my lovely family, and I always thank God for sending me Jenni and Bryant. They always uplifted me to unknown worlds of magical art!!! Amazing Healers!!! Since I joined I only received from everyone Love ❤️ and beauty!!! A Whole new extremely lovely World!!! Thank you for loving me!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Angeliki Anastasia
Member

How can I forget my two Angelic babies, my very loving Cats who are both in Heaven!!!

Lawney
Member

These ladies certainly have life figured out. Kindness is so important to a healthy life. Must be kind to ourselves too. Yes, limit our time with negative toxic people for sure! I really enjoyed your article. Thanks.

IonePalmer
Member

An absolutely wonderful article with which I agree 100%. An old song says it best-“what the world needs now is LOVE sweet love!”

Darlene Rese
Member

I absolutely agree with this article. Being kind and loving to others allows for oneself to receive love and kindness and contributes to the overall well being of everyone concerned. This is the Godly way and the way God intended for us to act in imitation of his qualities since we were all made in his image. Thank you for sharing this article.

Anne Gerry
Member

Great article. Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing 😊

Jean Buske
Guest
Jean Buske

Be with someone that your happy with, can make you smile, laugh & love you dearly. I’ve had that for 53 years, love him lots. We love going on trips together.

Terry
Guest
Terry

My advice is “stop expecting and start accepting”…. Tis how I live happily… 😉

Suzan
Guest
Suzan

Beautiful article it is true that when you surround yourself with nice people this will help to lift up your spirit and gives you encouragement and help you to live healthy long life also we need to stay away from toxic people who can’t change their behaviour inspit of we treat them kindly

Matapalo58
Guest
Matapalo58

Kristi’s rainbow and unicorn outlook is GREAT in fairy tales, and whatever gated community she lives in…
But the rest of us have to deal with REALITY…
GRINDING poverty, drug addiction, alcoholism, out of control and almost totally ignored homelessness, physical and mental assault/abuse, violent crime, the disintegration of the family, the attack on religion, ect
AGAIN, great article for those living comfortably and have the luxury of picking and choosing the “negative/toxic” people around them..just get into a different YOGA class or health club…drop a dollar into a homeless persons cup, and get back into your SUV and go luncheon with friends at the club!
How bout put down the pen and your latte and actually help a TOXIC person…Help a negative, downtrodden person..
instead of judging them at arms length and fleeing

Mousumi
Member

A beautiful and simple secret that you have shared with us is excellent!! Love to read more…thank you…

patricia jacksom
Guest
patricia jacksom

thank you for this article, it really gets me thinking about planning and sticking to my plans. I do think eating well and exercise are key to are over well being. I dance a lot in my kitchen I love to dance so it doesn’t feel like exercise. but I used to take Zumba and it is so much fun and it gives you the cardio workout you need. and mixed with weight lifting it can be small weights at first, and you eventually get stronger and lift more. this three times a week is a great exercise plan! and usually everyone thinks it is fun. I have learned some Zumba steps I do at home, but if I cant get there to the ymca there are many tapes or videos you can do it with. so I need to stick to this plan, weights are cheap to buy at Walmart I need to get some. moving on to nutrition which I go up and down on eating healthy, it is mostly down cause I eat way to much sugar. medicine I know can make you crave and want to eat like all the time which one particular medicine I am going off because of it and think with my other medicine I will do just fine. it also makes me tired. when you are on medicine you do need that extra energy boost, I know I do at times. so starting in april before I go shopping I am going to plan out meals. I need to research more some healthy meals I can make and I know there are a ton out there. I want to buy a powered engery drink one with low sugar. eggs, fish, leafy greens vegetables need to be in my diet. but you can eat healthy and things still can taste good. i am able to drink coffee without cream or sugar i know i need to watch my caffeine intake but i am working it , it can be difficult at times cause as i mentioned sometimes my meds make me tired or some of my mental health issued in general. i need more fiber and protein and a lot less sugar. i am going to start putting a healthier diet together plan it and stick to it!! i know overall with a good diet and exercise will make my over all being better. I can really relate to how being around negative people can really affect your overall health. My overall health severely declined when i was with a severely negative abusive person now this is to the extreme but I lived in fear, sadness i suffered bad all different kinds of abusive that even day i felt like i was gonna have a heart attack i lost so much weight i smoked, drank i went to mental hospitals, my chronic pain was all the time, i did have many panic attacks that i went to the hospital for, but just the feeling everyday was horrible i slept for days or i didn’t sleep for days because my mind would not shut off my body was so physically exhausted i could really feel it in every part of my body my mind finally let me rest after a three or four day period. i am blessed that i didn’t have a heart attack and die or a stroke or many things. after i got rid of this abuser things didn’t disappear but they lessened a lot. but even on a lighter note if i am around a person just having that negative attitude before i could find myself feeling the same way and if i was in a good mood i let that negative person bring m down which even in a slight way causes physical damage to you as well as mental. today I don’t let negative people bring me down, or i don’t lash out at them and start a fight, because the reality is there is negativity and we need to like this article said try say words of kindness, maybe try an give them good advice to uplift them. try and creative a negative situation into a positive one. spread the kindness. i am far from perfect i am human negative thoughts creep in but i can quickly turn them around today. i am able to do this by good support, therapy, feeling truly blessed and grateful for all my loved ones, and how much i am loved. I am blessed to live in America we have a great leader who I strongly believe in President Trump , Congress, the FBI, having great faith in them is huge because they want to live in the a great country and have the same values as the American people do, that is why they fight for us each and every day to do better to make America stronger safer and happier. this brings me great peace in believing in them. I can have this great faith and belief because of God. I am in God’s care and I have great faith in him that I can put things in God’s hands and it will be okay. I believe in the power of prayer. he make me always believe in myself and keep my faith. God Bless Everyone. o hope this helped even one person!!! it is a beautiful thing helping other. “a million dreams for the world were gonna make.” God Bless Everyone! I know my nutrition plan might be hard it first, planning in itself can be hard for me but i may have a few slips at first..ice cream lol..but I am determined and sure gonna TRY!

Marilyn De Leon
Guest
Marilyn De Leon

At the age of 55, I’ve learned a lot.. to live life in its fullest because God give me life to celebrate. To live a long and happy life is to focus on all God’s blessings, to look on a bright side in every trials we suffered. Focus not on material things because it will just pass by and you can never hold of it. Share your blessings to others, smile in every person you meet, make your life simple and not complicated, that’s how I live my life…
I am married for 35 yrs and still counting.. with 4 grown up kids and 1 little and beautiful girl. We are not rich materially but I can say we live comfortably. My husband and I still in love with each other, though we been through storms of trial, holding each other’s hand means a lot to us as God the center of our life and family. God bless us all.

Lorena
Guest
Lorena

Yes you are absolutely right, I always put God first until one day until one day I went to my little great-grandson daddy’s funeral, died so young, love their very angry… within two months my world fell apart yes… never walk away from God… I know in my heart he did not leave me I left him, I have peace before this a few more things took place, I realize now, how much I need my heavenly father in my life, may God bless you , thanks for sharing bennion Lorena at gmail.com

nikola
Guest
nikola

Absolutely true.. always appreciate good and beautiful things, learn from bad things, be contented for what you have, help others, always smile, appreciate the goodness of other people, and most of all always put God first in everything..💟

Jytte Svensson
Guest
Jytte Svensson

Lovely article. <3

Anne Velevski
Guest
Anne Velevski

Got no secret rather have weighed up just about everything in life, the good, the bad, the ugly & the ultimate pits on just about every social platform having observed you find a different scenario, different reactions & interactions even although you maybe with the same people & who may or may not be your friend or just an acquaintance, & I am saying this because they either influence you in a good or bad way or if you really are a strong minded person with your own beliefs then you obviously will see that you just don’t fit in either circle. With that said some may realise that & then all of a sudden you think wow they’re all joiners in their groups & you tried to be a part of them & blend in but it just didn’t work. That’s me & as a result of being this way I have no regrets because I get to be me, love God, be at peace, but the most important thing I found was “balance” in everything you do.
With every good thing you got to expect a little bad, with every good happening a few hurdles may come along too, & the list goes on resulting to no perfection. I chose to be rich in my heart & mind not in my pocket so come what may & then with writing I found my way & I never want to look back this is my life of glory & happiness, my true of where I want to be thank you God for blessing me. I wish much the same blessing to all of you out there sprinkled with angel feather dust from God…Amen
Money connects greed & power, but kindness, goodhearted, spiritual loving caring souls as some of us are need to be connected in a Godly way & it’s hard to meet this kind of breed cause time is ticking & of the essence hope we all connect & kindness, love, respect & caring is given back to this earth to make it good & restore it’s life of fair & safe living.
Always remember kindness & appreciation are heart felt & go a long way making us feel enriched but the hip pocket is quickly emptied & can cause negative thoughts, depression, anxiety etc.,.

Syanne Widjaja
Guest
Syanne Widjaja

I love the article. Based on my experience, the key to have a happy, healthy and long life of lives are to love and do good to ourself first then we can spread love to others. The kind of activities for daily living like exercise, yoga, take dog out, reading for self improvement, gardening, cooking, have afternoon tea or coffee time alone or with friends and get organized everyday at home and office make me happy and feel comfort. And I also always involve kids for doing the same for daily living, so I hope they will learn and have the same vibrant happy, healthy, comfort feeling and living.

Lalie Nieto
Member

Hello Jristi, Bryant and Jenni 💕
I agree with this article that it’s important that we are surrounded by loving and kind people in order to live longer and at the same time being loving to those who are unkind because they need love the most.
I remember having a boss before who was so toxic that I dreaded reporting for work. So what I did was just to change my attitude towards him by not allowing myself to be sucked by his negativities. I have a long patience for people when I was younger. .What a relief when we had to part ways. 🤣😄 But it turned out that he was a nice person too with quirks. People are basically kind by nature. Thank you.

Janice Wayne
Member

What a wonderful article! ❤️

Glenda Johnson
Guest
Glenda Johnson

My mother lived to be 96. She didn’t have an easy life but she had a busy life. She was the oldest of 11 children so she became a mother figure at an early age. When she wasn’t helping at home she was cooking, cleaning or baby sitting for the local doctors or lawyers. She never met a stranger and faced many
Challenges in life. She loved to cook, loved people and loved the Lord. She had to deal with negative people throughout her life.
I

Mara Farnham
Guest
Mara Farnham

We all need love and understanding!! ❤ you never know what one kind word or just a listening ear can do for someone

Tami
Guest
Tami

What is the main sources of negativity in your life come from you and your spouse?

Angeliki Anastasia
Member

Your words are oasis of heavenly ecstasy!!! They reached under the seas of my heart!!! Waves of happiness increased my vagal tone!!! My endorphins are exploding in dynamic force!!! Abundance of love to you, Amazing healer!!!

Melissa Rose Rothschild
Member

Surrounding ourselves with kindness and positivity certainly seems to make a difference with mental health . It seems that it would certainly add to our overall health . This is a great article . It is a great reminder about what taking care of ourselves means.The way in which we take care of ourselves is more than diet , exercise and our personal mind set but it is key to have boundaries to separate from any toxicity or negativity. The healthier we are (in every aspect),the more we will invite and surround ourselves with other healthy people .
Thank you.

Melissa Rose Rothschild
Member

“As citizens of this global community, the call to action from this perspective is to collectively work together to shift our energy to love, compassion and kindness — in purposeful ways, on such a level, that the duration of our lifetime on this earth can be expanded beyond what we ever thought was possible.”
Perfect !

Laurie Lankins Farley
Member

Great article!

Gail Liming
Guest
Gail Liming

I know a beautiful elderly woman who will be 101 yrs old soon. She also attributes her longevity to being surrounded by positive people she who also says negative people slow down her down mentally and physically by weakening her ability to fight back, so be generous with compassion, patience and praise. Let generosity reach into every area of your life so that through you miracles are able to work. Astonish the people who cross your path with your generosity, it’s the most practical way to bring Christianity to life.

baya elbey
Member

so amazing article benificial advice

Deb Baillargeon
Member

The article on, ” Simple Secret for a Long Happy Life”. I have learned in past to stay from negative and toxic people.
I understand that they are looking for Love and kindness. When I start to feel unhealthy (not my self) it is time to see less of my family members. I have even walked away from friends who were toxic. I wanted to be myself not a person that was feeling unhealthy.

Excellent article you have written!

Barbara Vercruysse
Member

This is so beautiful <3 Thank you!! Will be sharing on my page <3