According to the CIA World Factbook’s 2015 global life expectancy statistics, if you were born in Monaco you have the highest life expectancy rate worldwide at 89.52 years of age, but if you live in Chad, your outlook is less promising with expectancy rates measured at just 49.81 years. People are overall living longer, but are they living better? Having a good quality of life and living well have little to do with longevity.
There are many approaches to defining and measuring life quality, such as economic or health status or exposure to crime. However, perhaps a better indication of the global quality of life would be garnered by altering the term “life expectancy” to “what’s expected from life.” If the point is finding happiness and fulfillment, then age and lifespan become less important and living well can be seen as an essential factor in delaying the physical manifestations and emotional distresses associated with aging.
What’s Life Quality?
Living well and having a quality life involves many factors. Some people are lucky enough to get off to a good start early on. They do the little things that make them happy ― whether it’s visiting museums, going to the gym, painting, or knitting. They may have made lifestyle choices that were right for them ― be it finding a fulfilling job (for one person that might be landscape gardening, for another being a CEO), having children, or living on a yacht and travelling the world. For every person, it’s different. Whatever it is, finding happiness and meaning is a very personal thing, but the common denominator is that those actually achieving personal self-actualization will live better, feel better, and most likely age better.
Where to start?
For those who haven’t had the luck of finding true happiness or living well from the get go, it’s never too late to start. Firstly, get well physically. Achieve this goal by visiting your doctor and checking your health, go on that much delayed diet if you need to, get exercise, eat healthily, and get enough sleep. When you feel well, you’ll feel better. Next, is to work on your mind by doing things that bring you pleasure — whether it’s making time for your hobbies, playing with your grandkids, feeling needed and loved, or taking the vacation you’ve been dreaming about for far too long. Sometimes, realizing dreams takes time, planning, and money so it’s also important to do the little daily things that make you feel good like visiting the corner coffee shop that makes croissants just the way you love them. If you look better, you also feel better so why not pamper yourself? Get your nails, feet and hair done, treat yourself to a facial, and look after your skin by making sure it’s protected ((especially in the sun), smooth and glowing. There are many DIY treatments and even home permanent hair removal devices, such as Sensica’s Sensilight Mini, so that pampering isn’t synonymous with digging deep into one’s pockets.
Bottom line, it’s not about lifespan, it’s about making choices to achieve the quality of life you deserve and one that’s worth living for.