Right now there at least 48 companies working on possible vaccines for the Covid-19 problem. Most of them are relying on the medical industry standards set on past accepted methods and protocol, but the front runners are a new breed of innovators, who hope to try out something truly unique, that’s never been done before. It’s based on cutting edge bio-engineering techniques, and I am here to explain the basics of that term as it has been presented to me.
What exactly is an mRNA vaccine? We all know what DNA is, it is the blue print of life-your genetic code. RNA is what translates, or reads the code, and responds to the directive, mostly creating proteins that activate or de activate everything about your existence. mRNA is created during the process of transcription, editing that code. An enzyme is activated and converts the gene into primary mRNA. It theorizes that using your “junk” DNA slots, it will insert a line of synthetic code. (You know, as if you where a computer).
That synthetic addition will be assimilated, read, and responded to in the appropriate way-in a process called “transcription”, going to work on producing an enzyme reaction that will result in the appropriate protein, creating an immune response that will not only be yours, but your descendants as well, as it is now part of your genetic coding, and will be duplicated in your offspring.
Sounds pretty cool, right?
Congratulations, you, and your bloodline, have just become the first generation to be genetically modified. You know, like the infertile mosquitoes. Lets hope there aren’t any freakish side effects.
Up to this point in medical history, a vaccine was administered based on the theory that if small molecules of a disease that were inert, or live cells in minuet amounts were introduced to the blood system of an individual, your natural immune system would identify and codify the intruder, and make it’s own antibodies, so when and if you were ever exposed to a ‘”live” version of the virus or bacterium, you would be essentially immune from infection, or if you did contract the disease, it would be a less harmful version.
There are a few types currently in use:
*Live, attenuated vaccines fight viruses and bacteria. These vaccines contain a version of the living virus or bacteria that has been weakened so that it does not cause serious disease in people with healthy immune systems. Because live, attenuated vaccines are the closest thing to a natural infection, they are good teachers for the immune system. Examples of live, attenuated vaccines include measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) and varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. Even though they are very effective, not everyone can receive these vaccines. Children with weakened immune systems—for example, those who are undergoing chemotherapy—cannot get live vaccines.
• Toxoid vaccines prevent diseases caused by bacteria that produce toxins (poisons) in the body. In the process of making these vaccines, the toxins are weakened so they cannot cause illness. Weakened toxins are called toxoids. When the immune system receives a vaccine containing a toxoid, it learns how to fight off the natural toxin. The DTaP vaccine contains diphtheria and tetanus toxoids.
• Inactivated vaccines can also fight viruses and bacteria. These are produced by using cells of germs that have been killed during the process of making the vaccine. The inactive polio vaccine is an example of this method. Inactive vaccines produce immune response in a different way than a live, attenuated one, and often , multiple doses are required to build up the proper immunity.
There is also a standard protocol in place to ensure the safety and efficacy of these products before they are given to actual humans. The requirements were put in place in 1944.
Before a vaccine is approved and administered, it must first pass through certain requirements.
Stages of Vaccine Development and Testing
In the United States, vaccine development and testing follow a standard set of steps. The first stages are exploratory in nature. Regulation and oversight increase as the candidate vaccine makes its way through the process.
Stages of Vaccine Development and Testing
In the United States, vaccine development and testing follow a standard set of steps. The first stages are exploratory in nature. Regulation and oversight increase as the candidate vaccine makes its way through the process.
First Steps: Laboratory and Animal Studies
This stage involves basic laboratory research and often lasts 2-4 years. Federally funded academic and governmental scientists identify natural or synthetic antigens that might help prevent or treat a disease.
Pre-Clinical Stage1-2 years
Pre-clinical studies use tissue-culture or cell-culture systems and animal testing to assess the safety of the candidate vaccine and its immunogenicity, or ability to provoke an immune response. Animal subjects may include mice and monkeys. These studies give researchers an idea of the cellular responses they might expect in humans. They may also suggest a safe starting dose for the next phase of research as well as a safe method of administering the vaccine.
A sponsor, usually a private company, submits an application for an Investigational New Drug (IND) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The sponsor describes the manufacturing and testing processes, summarizes the laboratory reports, and describes the proposed study. An institutional review board, representing an institution where the clinical trial will be conducted, must approve the clinical protocol. The FDA has 30 days to approve the application.
Once the IND application has been approved, the vaccine is subject to phase three, phase 1.
This is when it goes into phase 1 of Human trial test subjects. The accepted protocol is 2-7 years blind placebo comparisons, monitoring for side effects, safety and interaction.
However, On April 27th, 2020, Moderna was granted an IND approval for the mRNA vaccine, skipping the first three phases altogether-perhaps feeling time was of the essence.
Moderna Announces IND Submitted to U.S. FDA for Phase 2 Study of mRNA Vaccine (mRNA-1273) Against Novel Coronavirus
April 27, 2020 at 4:30 PM EDT
600 participant Phase 2 study to begin upon IND acceptance and safety data from ongoing NIH-led Phase 1 study
Planning underway for Phase 3 study; study expected to begin in the fall of 2020
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Apr. 27, 2020–Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today announced that it has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug
Gates Foundation’s $20 million funding could potentially grow into a total $100 million commitment—including the HIV antibody project—toward development of additional mRNA-based treatments for various infectious diseases, Moderna said.
“The foundation’s mission to help all people lead healthy and productive lives is well aligned with Moderna’s mission to deliver on the promise of transformative mRNA science to bring new medicines to patients,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.
Moderna said the development effort would be led by its infectious disease–focused venture company, Valera. Launched in January 2015, Valera has focused exclusively on using Moderna’s platform to advance vaccines and therapeutics for prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial, and parasitic infectious diseases.
Valera’s efforts have resulted in the demonstration of preclinical efficacy of Moderna’s mRNA-based vaccines in multiple viral disease models, Moderna said.
In the partnership with the Gates Foundation, Valera will apply its mRNA vaccine platform as well as Moderna’s drug platform Messenger RNA Therapeutics™. Designed to produces human proteins, antibodies, and entirely novel protein constructs inside patient cells
In fact, within 42 days of getting the green light, they had a test vaccine in hand.
mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was selected by Moderna in collaboration with investigators from Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the NIH. The first clinical batch, which was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, was completed on February 7, 2020 and underwent analytical testing; it was shipped to NIH on February 24, 42 days from sequence selection.
There’s some Warp Speed action, right?
As of this date,the “success” rate in active human trials conducted is 80%. That is apparently good enough to be declared a success, and billions of these doses are now in production.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are apparently in the phase three trials already after just a few months of research.
Because vaccines are technically not a medicine, they are legally free of retroactive damage liability and under no obligation to publish public double blind placebo trials or adher to any regulatory standards except their own. Medicines have very strict standards and must show data on repeatable results. Vaccines do not fall into this category.
The problem is-although the vaccine may or may not have a positive effect on Covid -19, we have absolutely no idea of how this will effect each individual, in the short or long term. A one-size-fits-all genetic modifier, administered to the entire human race at once, sounds a lot like using a hammer to open a rose. It’ll do the job, but…..is that really our only option?
Also, for the record, biological creations, in whole or in part, can potentially be patented, the laws are very sketchy, and you may need occasional upgrades to continue to function properly.
I am not an ant-vaxxer. I am against Big Pharma pushing untested, unregulated and potentially unsafe gene altering materials on the human race, and mitigating our sovereignty in exchange for cold hard cash, under the guise of making people safe and healthy. That is strickly my opinion. I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong, and see a successful cure come out, with complete transparency and restoration of our shared health and happiness.
This article is factual, the links to the websites are provided.
I care deeply about the fate of my fellow Earthlings, and I have no motive, but love.
There are pro’s and cons to everything for sure, so use your own best judgments, and be safe and happy. Do your own research (while you still can)..currently this information is publicly available.
Post Corona, Mid Protest and Political Chaos. Where do we look for fun now?
Now that the romance and novelty of the trauma-bonding over Zoom calls and high profile Together Alone fund raisers have cleared, we are collectively confused, annoyed, and perhaps even angry or unemployed. What’s worse-we are just not having very much fun. Not the kind we are used to having anyway, so I guess we are going to have to get creative, if we don’t want our society to collectively turn into a bunch of clean freaks with bad home haircuts who can’t make eye contact any closer than six feet from another human, lest we invite the CV., we all know from every good Fairy-tale, that once you make eye contact, the monsters have gotcha.
So, I think about the things I’ve done all my life, for joy, and entertainment, and for the purpose of simply experiencing life. Not through a screen, or thru a window, or at a distance, but in real time. Throwing caution to the wind, we got drunk in mosh pits, went camping in vague groups and shared cigarrettes and sleeping bags with acquaintences, and we went to sporting events, crushed in giant hugs by the guys at the Stadium on either side of us after a touchdown, or ‘High Fived’ at a minimum. We went to concerts, and casinos, and joined groups of strangers to go rafting and learn to salsa dance. We had celebrations. Weddings, funerals, graduations. Large crowds, all dressed up, no space between us, willing to stand like that on a hot summers day for hours, to congratulate or commiserate with those we love.
Granted, I read, and paint, and make jewelry, which are fairly solitary activities, but even those interests have an end point in exchanges with others. I participate in shows and festivals, I go to see other artists, or meet with friends to talk about the books we’ve read. Posting on Facebook is an empty and shallow substitute for intimacy. I use it for business, and spewing my opinions, as censorship allows. Which it doesn’t. Young people most especially, do not realize that these platforms are private companies. You can say whatever you want, but they don’t have to post it. You can search for whatever you want, and you will be presented with evidence of what that company would like you to know, or the opinion they would like to promote.
Will our children or grandchildren ever know the thrill of being forced to touch the sweaty hand of some weird kid in their class during some bizarre gym class activity, like tag? Are sleepovers, soccer, and gaming parties all but lost to memory for the next generation of tots? I hate to imagine them, each quietly bouncing a ball, alone in their own driveway, like Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time. Will they still question the truth, or blindly accept the path of least resistance, the newest pop star, and Google said so? Will the words, “go outside and play with your friends” draw a questioning and horrified stare? (Alexa, please translate that phrase).
What about us adults? How am I supposed to get a date when there are only ten people allowed at a cafe at a time? And, I guess I can just forget about Meet ups, Happy Hour, neighborhood BBQ, and getting fixed up with your co workers brothers’ best friend. Well, I guess there is always
online apps, or political gatherings, but speaking for myself, I’m about sick and tired of watching people argue, and do stuff on tiny screens.
It’s not fun anymore. It wasn’t all that fun to begin with, living online. I mean, I’ll be glad when I can actually go to a real tai chi class. Following along with some chirpy stranger, alone in my garage is somehow not a spiritual experience, aside from the fact that the neighbors are watching.
I also belong to a social group, and to rat myself out, I have been a wretched and absent member at the Zoom groups. It’s better than nothing, for sure, but there is a power in relationships, there is power in a physical group of like minded individuals, unedited, in person, and not being recorded. Zoom is like watching TV, and since I mostly don’t watch TV., it seems very impersonal, and doesn’t hold my interest. You can go ‘off screen’ and no one knows if you are making a sandwich or using the toilet during the meeting, and no one is going to ask, because that would be rude.
In these last few months I have seen more adults spending time with their children outside, more couples taking walks in the evening, and more businesses realizing that they can save a lot of overhead by just letting a certain percentage of employees continue to work from home.
I have also seen an increase in drug and alcohol dependence, overeating, mental health issues, and xenophobic co dependent relationships. Social tipping points are at an all time high, with issues that truly need to be addressed, but that’s not fun either.
Shopping online was fun for a minute. Until I realized I had nowhere to go, no one to impress, and my money might well be better spent on dirt and soap making supplies. Besides, now we are all aware that the World could go to Hell in a hatbasket at any moment, and I might wish I had bought dried beans, and multi skin toned band-aids instead of leggings.
It was fun to try to figure out what the hell is actually going on, until I got obsessive about it, and I still don’t know what the truth is, and possibly never never will. Alrighty then, not fun. But it was fun to change channels and hear totally different opinions, as well as conflicting science and medical opinions.
I must admit, it is fun to be in Missouri right now. It’s fun to be alive, and witness the events at hand, of which, I believe, are most like the circus has just pulled into town, and hasn’t even begun to unload. I had planned to have a seat a little higher up, but this will have to do for now. (In case you are wondering, I’m sitting on the ground, in the middle, holding the sign).
So, have fun. Be alive. Stay alive. Don’t be a dumb ass about it, use caution and respect, but also use your head. Use your talents and skills, or develop some new ones. Find ways to connect with people, and stay in contact with them. Make your physical and mental health a priority. Question everything that doesn’t feel right. (sorry, but that’s kind of everything).
Yeah, have fun.!
Crystal of the day: Blue Kyanite. Encourages compassion and communication, establishes bonds. It is a self-clearing crystal, and therefore does not retain negative frequencies, just passes them right through.
Available on the Empath Protection Designs, bracelets or necklaces.
Every night around 8pm, in cities, states, and diverse countries all over the world, a howl goes up into the darkness. It starts off softly, like a question, maybe soulfully thrown up to a purple desert sky, from a tiny window, by a single figure behind a closed door, and is answered by a low rumble, and followed by thousands and thousands of howling human voices. This is us. We, the people.
What do you do when you go to sleep in your regular life, with friends and social groups, and activities you enjoy, and a job, and a date planned for the weekend next, and you wake up locked in your own space, with the Zombie Apocalypse you’d always joked about, allegedly outside your door? Suddenly you find yourself wondering if anyone will ever know that you are using your fancy undies as ecologically responsible (and washable!) toilet paper, and wishing you had gotten your hair cut a lot shorter at your last appointment.
That isn’t, of course, the only thing I am wondering about, there are much larger problems afoot, and believe me, I am going to start talking about them. I have had a lot of down time lately, and before I started posting again, I had to get my head out of my butt, and lock up my self righteous indignation at the entirety of the freak show I woke up in.
I began to lose the one thing that might keep me sane-my sense of humor.
I was madly flipping through Google Scholar and reading science abstracts in search of my own personal validation for some truths, (found many, will share later, and yes, that is what I do for fun.) when someone beeped in with a video of a jiggly toddler doing some kind of freestyle Shiggy, and laughing his head off. I smiled. Very cautiously. Then my newly formed perma-resting-bitch face started to laugh, for real, and I had a dazzling moment of clarity.
I was acting like a crazy person. I just wanted to be heard, and not feel so alone, and find some way to let my feelings and all of this literally, pent up energy out, without damaging the furniture or taking hostages….and…oh, lookee here…there’s a Facebook Group for that. A really BIG one. A big, hairy, snarling, loud group of humans that reach across the globe in solidarity, owning their power and making a lot of noise.
My cold icy heart started to melt, just a little, like the Grinch, on Christmas morning..”Could it be, that people could get together in one voice united?” I asked the walls, twirling my pen. “With no jobs?” I asked the refrigerator. “With no income, no political agenda, and making no discernible difference in their predicament at all??” I asked the plant, incredulously, pulling a big leaf toward me, so it could hear me better.
Yeah! Hell yeah, we can, and it IS making a difference. It gives me hope.
The popular FB group was started by Shelsea Ochoa and Brice Maiurro on March 27th, 2020. It caught on quickly, and went viral, if you’ll (cough cough ) excuse me, and now there are well over 576K members in the original group, and chapters in many US cities and several other countries. The original group’s mission statement was simple: Go outside at 8p.m. and howl. Members are also encouraged to share posts, wolf stuff, talk about why you are howling.
Verbalize your feelings, no haters, no overtly sexual or drug related references, no politics, no personal or business promotions. It still stands that way. A good, clean, healthy way to connect with other people, share your feelings, and take affirmative action, without causing more damage to a global society that is already conflicted, confined, and stalked by an invisible predator.
Being the creative pack of wild things that we are, many spin off groups followed close on the heels of the original. Amusingly, even in a non-special interest group, we tend to want to connect more closely with people who are more like ourselves.
Here’s a partial list: Go outside and….
Howl at 8p.m.
Howl whenever the F you want to
Howl for adults only
Howl (your City)
Interact with your neighbors
For the creepers, there’s the ever popular
. Go outside and listen to others Howl.
And, for the adventurous- just “Go Outside”.
This is by far not a complete list, and it’s growing every day. I have never been so proud of Us.
We don’t even have to be part of FB, or anything else, I think we would be just as loosely organized and as tightly connected under any circumstances.
In spite of my inclination to try to figure out the ‘what, why, when and who’ of everything. Sometimes I have to accept that I don’t know, and even if I did, I couldn’t change what I am observing right now, today.
I didn’t manifest this situation because of any unresolved negativity, or lesson I haven’t learned, or bring it into existence through lack of self awareness or any other B.S. you might have heard. It just is, until it isn’t. That doesn’t make me a victim. It doesn’t make you one, either. We have not lost our power.
I have opinions. I’m sure you do to. We will all get a chance to express them, soon enough. So if you are frustrated, pent up, feeling alone, and you need to be heard..
Some Wolfie Crystals for you…Howlite. It teaches patience and helps to eliminate rage, pain and stress. A calming stone, Howlite calms communication, facilitates awareness and encourages emotional expression.
I have resolutely sat down to write on several occasions over the past few weeks. Such inspiring articles on important topics as “my favorite face masks”, “what is nuerolink” and “all about fluorite”, but found myself instead, entangled in a quagmire of uninspired paralysis, looking at the world around me, and feeling powerless and inert.
I have to ask myself, does any of it matter, and what could I add to this endless sea of sales and headlines, and overload, that wouldn't make me feel like I wasn't just throwing one more piece of plastic at the trash barge, as it sailed away to dump more crap that nobody wants into an already tormented ocean.
I watched one commentator on youtube, Some More News who summed it up really well, in his post “The First Week of 2020”. An accurate if cynical look at what is going on worldwide, and I could relate. It's depressing. Like myself, he started off with a forced lovechild plastic smile that faded into a snarl as he recapped what is actually going on. It feels disingenuous to rave about the 25 amazing benefits of baking soda, and give you my favorite raw cookie recipe, when the planet is literally on fire, algorithms are telling me what to think, politics are created and fueled by social media, our data is being mined like coal, people are getting dumber and number and everything I ingest may or may not be toxic.
Everyone is talking, yelling, selling, and yet there is little true understanding of the importance of swift implementation positive resolutions.
I had another unfortunate Ah-Ha moment when watching another show I like, The Sensible Prepper, talking about survival hacks from the homeless. It was indeed sensible, and realistic. I was forced to look at my own pollyanna view of a survival situation. Chances are, no matter if the S.H.T.F. situation derives from an Alien invasion, or a sudden economic downtrend, the reality is most likely not going to be a society of like minded preppers, hunting game and helping each other build log cabins, but a city full of dirty, hungry, scared, humans, who don't know how to function when their lights go out, their Bank of Whatever card is meaningless, and they have no plan B.
All of these things began to weigh down my spirit, and make me feel like the assault of information was just as meaningless as whatever I would add to it.
I sat with that thought for a while. Allowing myself to wallow in morbid reflection. I realized I was adding to the collective fear, feeding the apathy, throwing the door open for the zombies to come in and have a beer and watch Netflix and chill.
But like the Mother Teresa quote, we have to do it anyway. We have to get off the couch, continue to talk, to share what we think is true, what we think is helpful, and needs to be heard by somebody. Just like the people I previously mentioned who had an impact on me. I needed to hear that information. I needed to evaluate it, decide if it was relevant or important to me, and be thankful that somebody is out there sharing the things that they do, and that I am not alone. It was important that I feel the sadness. When we are witness to despair and we fail to have an emotional response, that is when we will begin to lose our humanity.
So, to make myself feel better, I made a bad video, put on my big girl panties, and bravely decided that I will keep talking. On one level I really do believe that what we need will come to us, and that if there is one person out there who benefits from something I share, then I have made a difference. If I made you laugh, think, or look something up, I am part of the solution.
The Problem is too big and too complex and impersonal to fit inside my head, or yours. So, for now, I will do my small part to stay sane.
The mice have not solved the puzzle yet, but one Japanese research team is making promising strides.
Have you heard all the recent buzz about the newest and most exciting advances coming out of every corner of the internet, promising, once again, a miracle pill? Hope in a capsule, holding out the possibility of bio hacking an aspect of our genetic expression that will allow us to live longer, healthier, and more disease free than ever thought possible. It may be closer, and more realistic than you think.
Allow me to state, for the record, that I am not a scientist, nor am I endorsing any specific diet or product. It is my intention to present what facts I have been able to find, and provide you with the links to do your own research.
Simplified. Your mitochondria requires a constant supply of NAD to function at maximum capacity. As we age, the levels drop off due to the aging of the synthesis chains ability to uptake sirtuin enzymes. This is not as simple or the same as adding niacin, B3 or simply a supplement of NAD, NMN or NR, as the process is complicated, and although concrete success has been determined in rat research with supplementation, Drs. Ichiro and Grozio are the only researchers currently expanding this knowledge base with a human extended double blind placebo human study.
The Drs, re iterate that there are only currently two valid manufacturers and commercial distributors of a viable source for NMN, which is not disclosed, as they are not endorsing products, but conducting research.
Leading the research in this field is Shin Ichiro and Alessia Grozio, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine, have identified a previously unknown route for cellular fuel delivery. A finding that could shed light on the process of aging and the chronic diseases that often accompany it.-Julia Evangelou Strait.
If you go to the internet shopping directory, you will be assaulted with an avalanche of products claiming to be NAD, NAD+ or magical precursors to your body manufacturing it’s own. Often, the active ingredient is simple B3 and/or a variety of food concentrates that we normally associate with natural sources of the enzymes, but again, that sidesteps the research, and it’s potential effectiveness.
Chromadex holds the patent for Niagen, which is the trade name for the real NAD+ ingredient, and markets their own brand under the name TRUNiagen. Elysium, with market product, Basis, was the second commercial product to use the patent, but currently source from a distributor other than chromadex. There are a few others, but if you want to play it safe, I recommend you verify your product contains Niagen.
Supports youthful levels of cellular coenzyme NAD+, which is necessary for the production of ATP, or cellular fuel
Promotes healthy cellular metabolism & energy production
Helps fight general fatigue & promote longevity
Encourages youthful cognitive function in pre-clinical studies
The research and implications are very exciting, and far reaching. However, the definitive dosage and acceptable products have not been agreed upon, and all the facts are not in. As usual, isolating an element that shows promise in one area often needs to looked at from the macro level to insure we aren’t swinging wildly too far out of homeostasis in any one direction without self correcting as a whole. I will anxiously await the results of the definitive human trial.
Note: It is my understanding that to take an amount of supplementation that would show definitive improvement in cellular functions, you would currently require something along the lines of the last product linked, which is around 1500 mg’s and quite un-affordable to most of us. Which is not to say that a smaller amount of a valid product won’t be helpful, but I think I will wait until I see a little more proof, and a little less price.
I have provided some links below to some of the more acceptable products, as well as to the clinical research.
Have our habits, technology and lifestyles really turned back the hands of time?
Is 50 the new 30? In a real word, no. But in a strange way, yes. If you are fifty, biologically, you are that many years old. However, the average fifty year old in 2020 is in about the same shape, mentally and physically as a 30 year old from 1920. What can we do to keep that evolution in an upward trend, and get the most out of whatever time we are gifted?
In 1920, the leading cause of death was infection. It was largely due to lack of dental hygiene, childbirth complications, lack of knowledge, and availability of antibiotics. This was followed closely by infectious diseases such as smallpox, measles and tuberculosis. Car accidents, suicide, and cancer made up such a small percentage, they were a rare blip on the statistics radar. Infant death rates were much higher and heart disease was much lower. The average man could expect to live to be 56, and women could tag on a few more years. Because, lets face it, women have more to do.
The old begin to complain of the conduct of the young when they themselves are no longer able to set a bad example. – François de la Rochefoucauld
In 2020, we have an odd mix of societal collisions. It’s kind of a beautiful thing, and allows room for so much inter generational interaction to occur at every level. How we make a living, conduct our families and relationships, contribute to the arts and sciences, and make a myriad of personal choices, is shaping the future of one of many possible societies where age simply isn’t a determinate of one’s physical, mental or romantic capacity. Aside from advances in medicine and information, here’s a few simple things you can start at any time to improve your odds of living a longer and happier life. Keep in mind, this list could go on indefinitely, but these few suggestions stand up repeatedly under various research conditions.
The Number One quality that is apparent in every cross section of any society, is healthy relationships. So, whether you belong to a Church, enjoy your co-workers, your immediate family, romantic life partner, volunteer organization, friends, hobbyist group, support group, or hunting club, it is clear that in major comprehensive studies, the nature and types of our relationships is the most important factor determining quality of life.
The GoodHome Report
The Happiness Research Institute & Kingfisher plc, 2019
The GoodHome Report is a major new international study which has been undertaken by the Happiness Research Institute and Kingfisher plc. The report looks at the impact of our homes on our overall happiness and wellbeing. The study surveyed 13,489 people and conducted 78 in-depth personal interviews with people from across 10 countries in Europe.
A key finding is that the home is significantly more important to our happiness than our income or job.
-Happiness Research Institute
Social Media and a fast paced, distracted lifestyle may have made the speed and quantity of our interactions more proficient, but far less personal. Keep in mind that when you actually reach out and touch someone, (consensually) it lowers stress, slows your heart rate, and activates your orbital frontal cortex, which is linked to feelings of reward and compassion.
The Second Biggest Factor in leading a longer, healthier life is taking care of your heart. Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Every year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. This needn’t happen to you, or your loved ones. Cardiovascular health is impacted most by a host of lifestyle choices that are largely within our power to identify and many are correctable, if not reversible. Indicators of future disease are as follows: Stress, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, genetic conditions, or sudden shock or trauma.
You can easily glance at this list and see where a few simple, (but not easy) corrections are possible. For instance, pack a healthy lunch, take the stairs, park your car further away than usual, investigate simple relaxation techniques. Meditating for just five minutes every day can reduce overall stress, improve memory and attention span, decrease anxiety, help you sleep better at night, and curb anger. There are many helpful techniques available for free, that can be learned and practiced, daily, that can create sweeping improvements in your overall health. I will list some of my favorites at the end.
Third, You Are What You Eat. Your cells are only able to build, repair, and function within the limits of your genetics, and quite literally, the type of building material you allocate to that construction and functionality. You cannot put root beer in your gas tank and hope that it’s good enough for your vehicle because it is liquid, and vaguely looks like gasoline. Sort of. Human beings are omnivores, and more resilient than cockroaches. In effect, we can remain upright and string sentences together for many years, eating any and all manor of garbage. However, we will not function efficiently, consistently, or for a very long time without serious negative repercussion. Depending on your belief system and preferences, I am still pretty sure we can narrow down the food advice to a few basic common sense suggestions that everyone can agree on:
Eat as many fresh indigenous fruits and vegetables as possible. Consume a sufficient amount of protein. Drink lots and lots of clean water. Minimize the intake amounts of processed fats, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, fried foods, fast food, imitation anything, unnecessary chemicals, and additive elements that simply aren’t food. Our brains and cell membranes need a fat source. This means from a natural source. Omega 3’s, coconut, olive, avocado, nuts, liver, fish. Real food. Helpful tip-if you wouldn’t give it to your puppy, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Know where and how your food is sourced, and be aware that the label “organic” now means less than nothing. Sorry. You can go down the Bunny Hole on any item you can stick in your mouth, so I will leave that up to the individual, or feel free to check back for future articles, as I am sure there will be plenty of exacting facts coming forward regarding individual products and truth in labeling.
Fourth. Your Body, Use It or Lose It. Your body is more than just the mode of transportation that your head uses to get from the shower to the office, where it can be used to make other people money. Your body is where your fierce and immortal spirit resides, it’s how we experience our world, interact with other people and our environment, and through which we interpret all of the wonderful sensations and challenges that it allows. If you take good care of it, it will give you many robust years of faithful and happy service. It’s the only body you will be granted on this particular journey, so no matter what your heredity gifted you with, enjoy it, appreciate it, and take care of it! It needs exercise, air, clean water, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, adequate rest, personal attention, good regular check ups, personal hygiene, exposure to natural elements, intimate contact with other humans, occasional challenges, improvement goals, and self love.
Lastly, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste. What do you think about that? Anything? I’ve heard it repeated that most waking thoughts we have on a daily basis are some version of the exact same thoughts we had yesterday, and will most likely have tomorrow. That’s frightening, if you ask me. Science and philosophy have been trying to understand how we think since Descartes first muttered, “Cogito ergo sum” I think, therefore I am. A statement that has been hotly debated ever since.
To keep your mind sharp at any age, there are a few well known behaviors we can practice at any time, at any age and education level.
Keep Learning. They used to believe that if your dendrites were damaged, or unused for long enough, they would shrivel and die, and never grow back. This has since been disproved. We can make new neural pathways at any time. Every time you make a conscious decision to learn, (rather than unconsciously reacting to stimuli), you strengthen your brain cells, and create new pathways. Even using creative visualization is highly effective. The aforementioned exercise and good nutrition will also extend the long term functions of your brain. Your brain requires adequate sleep. The only time your brain filters itself with cerebral fluid is during the sleep cycle. Poor nutrition, over consumption of alcohol, stress, and thoughtless repetition can speed up neural decline.
Again, small changes can have lasting benefits. Read. dance, write in a journal. Draw your dog. Talk about something new. Join a Meet Up group that interests you, try new things. Be willing to do them badly for a while. Laugh. It’s a proven scientific fact that people will more easily remember things when they are associated with a positive emotion. We are both very simple and incredibly complex creatures. Seriously, if you use your faculties and challenge yourself, your brain will stay healthier, longer.
In Summary, the Reality Check is that there is no one practical way that the average working adult is going to get up every day and meditate, journal about it, go for a walk, do some tai chi and a crossword, e mail his new think tank buddies, prepare a fresh healthy breakfast and lunch, read a few pages of a book, walk the dog, and have whatever passes for an intimate exchange, and still get to work on time. Now it’s three o clock in the afternoon. BUT..we can incorporate a few of these positive suggestions incrementally into our lifestyle to improve and reset our overall perception and definition of health and happiness. Remember, it’s not a race, it’s an adventure, to which the ending is always the same. At some point, we are finished. In between the point where we start and the point where we end is the middle, and that is the part in which we get to choose how to spend our lives.