Keep working

Yikes! I had another birthday.

But I’m not worried. I saved an article titled “The Art of Living” from the September 23, 2013, issue of Time magazine, and it contains some encouraging news.

It pays to keep working—especially if you’re doing work that requires you to remain nimble, adaptive and solve problems. If you’re working, “science suggests, time just might expand to contain the work with which you choose to fill it.” In other words, you may live longer.

Your brain keeps repairing itself. “When you use your brain a lot as opposed to sitting around looking at the wall, you’re repairing things centrally,” says Dr. George Bartzokis, a neurologist and professor of psychiatry at UCLA.

Volunteer work is good for you. A research review published in BMC Public Health found that doing volunteer work—in places like hospitals where you have direct contact with the people you’re helping—could lower your mortality rate by as much as 22 percent compared to the rate of a nonvolunteer.

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