This week in school, Dan Buettner taught us about the Blue Zones: five areas around the world where people live the happiest and longest lives. These five zones are located in Costa Rica, Greece, Japan, Italy and California.
Not only are these people living the longest, but they also have the lowest rates of dementia and shortest rate of morbidity, or length of sickness before death. So like wtfff are these guys doing and how can we copy them?? It’s kind of a long post but shit’s important so keep up:
The most important thing I’ve learned in school this year is this: it doesn’t matter how perfect your diet is or how “healthy” you are on paper, if you are lonely you are significantly more likely to develop disease and die younger. Like much more so than if you smoke, eat crap, are obese, or have heart disease. Dehhhh, where mah bitches at???
Fo realz, the most important aspect of the people in the blue zones is that they all had a tight knit group of friends and an even tighter family circle. Spouses loved each other, parents supported their kids, and kids cared for their aging parents. The elderly were celebrated and considered wise and still very much active in their communities. People were constantly in and out of friends’ houses, having lunch or dinner together, and going for walks. They felt loved and supported.
Do you have a best friend you can really tell anything to and call up on a bad day? If not, ask Ben in the cube next to you if he’d like to be your friend.
Most of you may be lucky enough to still be close with high school or college friends, but if you’re not, THAT’S OKAY. You can get involved. Join a club or reach out to an old friend.
More importantly, if you know someone who’s lonely-help a sister out. Include them, invite them, do something nice for them. Even if you think they’re mean or boring, maybe they’re actually just lonely and protective of themselves. You don’t have to hang out with them all the time, just let them know they’re not alone. Spread the love peepz.
It may not be as important as #numbuh1, but food is relevant. Basically their diets came down to this-they’re not eating sugar filled processed crap-they’re eating real food. Yes, mostly plant based. Veggies, fruits and beans were the corner stone of their diets and nuts were the main snack. They ate meat but not every day. (about 5X a month) All of the communities also had their biggest meal in the beginning of the day and smallest at night. They rarely did meth.
The people were drinkers-on average 2-4 drinks per day. They were constantly meeting up with friends for happy hour or having family over for a glass of wine. Wednesdays at the Frying Pan may just save your life.
3. A Sense of Purpose
WHY U HERE BOI?
The people in these communities knew why they were on this #Earth and what they were meant to do. Whether it was as specific as performing a certain job or as broad as spreading love. They felt their presence mattered.
We all have a purpose of course, its just a matter of finding it and it takes time. Maybe Ben knows his but you still don’t. That’s okay. Just ask yourself what positive difference you can make today.
4. Ways to De stress
All the blue zones had ways of reducing stress, whether through daily prayer, religious services, meditation, naps (!!!!), or happy hours. All the people also belonged to some faith based community which is said to add 4-14 years on life expectancy.
If you’re a 2X a year churchgoin kind of gal like myself, maybe go a little more often. Or just wait till you have kids and care. I mean we can’t live forever.
Shockingly, no one went to Soul Cycle. They were just moving naturally every day; kids were walking to school, parents were gardening. They spent time biking outdoors. I’ve said it before and don’t want to be redundant, just move.
Moral of the story kids: Eat your veggies. Prioritize family. Move your body. Be a good friend and remember that you matter.
OH and lastly, the GREATEST predictor of how long you will live is how long you think you will live. If you’re happy and healthy and believe you’ll live to 100 you probz will. #SorryBen
I’m setting up a competition to see who can live the longest. First one to die is out.