Ben Gelfant Skiing Mountains

Living Beautifully: My Thoughts On Staying Young and Being Healthy

It’s deep in the winter and many people are “living for” their vacation in the sun. For me, however, I’m enjoying the snow on the North Shore Mountains. It was touch and go till the Xmas break, and today it was raining on the trails. But mostly, it’s been great. I strongly believe embracing winter is a requirement to
living happily as a Canadian.

I’ve decided to write a different kind of blog, and one I can write more regularly. There are things I talk about with my patients almost daily that I’ve realized are worth writing down…or rather, as we do today, posting.

I have long believed a blog of “what’s new in plastic surgery” can’t work. The advances mostly occur like most things in science, incrementally, like watching grass grow. Only occasionally is there something worth a new story. Plastic surgery is mostly craft, as I have written before.

Instead, this is not going to be dry and scientific. And it isn’t going to be specifically about cosmetic or plastic surgery. There’s more than enough scholarly stuff on the web. I think my website covers that well, for most people who are interested.

Instead, this is about something I’ve tried to make a focus of my life over the decades, Living Beautifully.

Too many people, and young people especially, suffer from anxiety, today. Anxiety erodes and corrodes our day to day life. It makes life for younger people a difficult state of affairs, one lacking in optimism and joy. And it ages us, physically and mentally. And because a big part of what I do is sometimes referred to as anti-aging medicine, I have examined aging and what makes a person age well or not so well. Of course, the most important influence on how we age is genetics, something on which we can have little or no influence. I am fortunate to have good genetics, but habits are also familial, learned from those around us at a young age, so sometimes it is a little difficult to separate what is inherited and what was learned.

I believe there are ways of living that can markedly reduce worry.

A lot of what we think is new has been known for millennia. There are teachings of sages from many cultures that offer us insight into how to live. Most “wise men” and “wise women” of antiquity knew what was important:

  • To engage and stimulate the mind.
  • To exercise regularly but sensibly.
    To eat well but never as a glutton.
  • To use intoxicants and stimulants in moderation, if at all.
  • To derive joy from, have respect and responsibility to the natural
    world.
  • To contribute to the communal good.
  • To create and surround ourselves with simple beauty.

So having written about the Japanese art of Kintsugi last summer, I’m going to be following up with a little bit on what works for me. Strictly anecdotal, it will only be scientific in that it will be the digest of my interpretation of the available science, seasoned with my own experience and biases. I feel fortunate to have good health and a joy of life.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you.