I probably should have titled this piece 5 simple things you forgot about doing and that's why you're going to wake up dead sooner than you want to. I didn't call it that because it would confuse the entire Internet and there are actually a few more than 5 things you can do. The folks at Web MD sent this information out to me in a newsletter and I wanted to share what they found with you.

Sleep: That nap they wanted you to take in pre-school is just as important today. I actually think a nap should be negotiated into every employment contract. The trouble is grown people, just like pre-schoolers, won't take a nap when it's offered to them. Instead they will send text, surf the web, catch up on e-mail or do other unimportant tasks that serve no benefit to anyone much less themselves. If you can't work a nap into your day, at least work enough sleep at night into your plans. Did you really need to know what Leno said last night? Was Facebook more important than you feeling rested? We are all guilty of sacrificing sleep for all the wrong reasons, this year spend more time in bed sleeping than updating your status.

Stress: One thing I have discovered is that most stress comes from within. We think we have other people tightening the screws on us but the truth is we are the one holding the wrench. Stress will probably be what kills me and the shame of it all is I will probably let it. I have a very dear friend who works in the same industry that I do, she like me, worried over everything at her station. She got to work extra early and always stayed late. She never missed a phone call even in the middle of the night, then came the heart issue. Suddenly she had to choose giving up the way she worked or giving up her life. I am so grateful she chose her life. She still does what I do, she comes in later, always goes home at quitting time and on the weekends she turns the telephone off. She has never looked more healthy, more beautiful and gotten more done in her entire life. It's all because she just let some things go.

Have Friends: If you don't have some friends then you need to go make some. Friends can make all the difference in  your life. Besides giving you a reason to want to live longer, friends make bad days good and great days unforgetable. Friends are our personal pressure valve. They allow us to blow off steam, say awful things and pitch a temper-tantrum without fear of being judged. We all need this kind of release in our lives. We need people to share our moments with and we need to share in return.

Forgiveness: The simple act of forgiving has been shown to add years to the lives of people. How many of us are holding a grudge from ten or twenty years ago? How many of us harbor a white-hot hatred for someone who used to be in our life? Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to let the former spouse come sleep over, borrow money or use your ladder. It just means you aren't holding on to that burning feeling inside you any longer. A lot of people say they forgive and forget but they forget the forgetting part. Do yourself a favor and let that baggage go. You don't have to love or even like the person you are forgiving but you can at least show enough love for yourself to release that venom from your system.

Be Spiritual: That doesn't mean you have to go to church, join a church or shave your head and play quarterback for the Denver Broncos. That means you need to develope a connection between you and the universe around you. For many of us that does include going to church and that is where we find comfort and strength. Others might want to spend time in the woods or alone in deep thought, regardless whether you call it meditation or just letting go, it works. When we realize our place in the bigger scheme of things, all of the sudden our world seems to fit together more perfectly and flow more smoothly.  Take a moment and rejoice in the bigger picture around you and realize that there is a certain ebb and flow to nature of all things including ourselves.

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