“As far as I am concerned, stress is a manufactured thing,” Dr. Ellsworth Wareham told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in 2015 as part of a Vital Signs special on blue zones.
Wareham was 100 years old at the time and still mowed his front yard.
“I never had stress,” said Wareham, a life-long Seventh-day Adventist. “I have a philosophy: You do the best you can. And the things you can’t do anything about, don’t give any thought to them.”
A heart surgeon by trade, Wareham assisted in surgeries until he was 95 years old, and told Gupta that he would still be able to operate at the age of 100.
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In fact, your thoughts often have much more to do with how you feel than what is actually happening in your life.
This isn’t a new idea. Nearly two thousand years ago the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, stated that people are disturbed “not by things, but by the views we take of them.” In the Book of Proverbs (23: 7) in the Old Testament you can find this passage: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” And even Shakespeare expressed a similar idea when he said: “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2).
Burns M.D., David D.. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy