A 102-year-old doctor's tips on long, healthy and happy life

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaMay 11, 2023 | 12:07

A 102-year-old doctor's tips on long, healthy and happy life

Dr Gladys McGarey, 102, offers simple tips on how to live a long life. Photo: Instagram/Dr Gladys McGarey

Dr. Gladys McGarey, a 102-year-old resident of Scottsdale, Arizona works as a consulting doctor. As a physician and holistic medicine pioneer she has some tips and lessons that she's learned along the way to share with the world, how to life a happy, purposeful and long life. McGarey is a big believer that "love" is the best medicine of all.

  • For Gladys, she considers anyone under the age of 99 as "young people". (she seems to have a zeal for life, doesn't she?) She lives independently and exercises daily. (I bet this is one of the biggest reason for her good health)
  • She has also written the book, "The Well-Lived Life: A 102-Year-Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age.”

Tips from Dr. Gladys McGarey:

Here are some of the tips from Dr Gladys McGarey on how to life a joyful, meaningful and happy life:

1. Learn to deal with setbacks

  • It's not always all sunshine and rainbows, life does get hard sometimes and you have to face setbacks, but what's more important is how to get past them.
  • Dr. Gladys has endured difficult phases in her life, she is a cancer survivor, her daughter passed away, she went through a divorce when she was almost 70 years old. Her husband left her to be with someone else.
  • How did she overcome these setbacks, Dr Gladys told TODAY.com that, "You just don’t get stuck in them. It’s a matter of choice: What do I choose? I chose not to be stuck in the pain and suffering. It hurt and I didn’t like it.”
  • She also went on to say, "There comes a point where it’s just not worth my energy to spend any more time on that. I’ve got the energy to do something that’s creative and pull myself out of that and work forward."

2. Everything is your teacher



  • Dr Gladys is a big believer that all experiences in life teach something. 
  • For her, the ordeal she had to go through at the time of her divorce, she said that this experience was a "huge teacher" and that this experience helped her to find her true, independent self and her voice as a doctor and woman.
  • She says that she focuses on her dreams and uses them to help guide her choices and decisions, knowing that dreams are a key to the unconscious.
  • McGarey advises that if someone is struggling with making a decision, they should ask for a dream before they go to bed. And once they wake up in the morning they should make a note of their dream and look for any clues and messages from their unconscious.

3. Life should move, whether it is physical, mental or spiritual

  • Dr McGarey asserts that all of us have "juice" which is basically life's energy, joy and fulfillment, and that every individual should focus on directing their "juice" towards where they want to be and how they want to feel.
  • Every individual has an autonomy over their lives, in terms of where they seek to be and the emotions they want to feel and that this energy should move and in a positive direction that makes you feel happy. 
  • Although she notes that sometimes individuals can get "stuck", and she suggests, “If you’re spending your energy on something that is just keeping you miserable, uncomfortable or in a place you don’t want to be, start looking for what is out there… the world is all around you and it’s full of amazing, amazing things.”
  • It's important to practice self-awareness and know what you want and the path you want to tread, she says that if you're stuck then you have to go search for a path, look for "light, love and hope."
  • In terms of physical movement, she is someone who walks (3,800 steps daily) regularly and encourages people to do the same for a long, healthy life. (we all know the benefits of working out everyday)

4. Find what works for you best


  • Gladys recommends that although a healthy, balanced diet and exercise the key to long life, she doesn't suggest any specific way of eating or staying active.
  • Every individual is different and unique, you just have to learn and realize what works best for you and your body.
  • It's not one size fits all, you need to understand yourself better in terms what you like to eat, what's good for your body, and the habits you would want to cultivate.
  • She says, "The individual person has to live their own individual life, so as you find what works for you, bless it and use it and work with it.”

5. Raison d'être, everyone's here for a reason

  • Everyone's special and that love is the most important thing in life, it cures everything. For McGarey, love was the most important thing and centre of her life.
  • She says, “I truly believe each one of us has a purpose here. It’s our privilege and our responsibility to find that within ourselves.”


Would follow these simple tips and the wisdom shared by the 102-year-old doctor to start living a more happy, purposeful life?


Last updated: May 11, 2023 | 12:07
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