Life Advice: 9 Tips For Happy Life

By
Marc

I saw an article by Dan Buettner that I wanted to share (attached below) entitled

'I talked to 263 of the world's longest-living people—their 9 ‘non-negotiables' for a long, happy life' 

because the results were surprising.

Dan interviewed 263 people around the world - aged 100+ years old - to determine what behaviors contribute to a long and happy life.

Here Are His Findings

1.  Move Naturally:

'The world's longest-lived people don't pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving. They grow gardens and don't have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work. Every trip to work, to a friend's house, or to church starts with a joyful walk.'

… Makes sense. Does that mean my wife and I can quit buying those $100 running shoes and cut our Planet Fitness membership? (I don’t think so, unfortunately)! 

2.  Have A Purpose:

'The Okinawans in Japan call it “ikigai,” and the Nicoyans in Costa Rica call it “plan de vida." Both translate to "why I wake up in the morning.” Residents in every Blue Zone I visited had something to live for beyond just work.'

No doubt about it. When you have kids, that’s  a given. You do what you have to - to take care of them. Post kids (like us now) our focus is making life story memoir book writing easy, affordable, and available to everyone, everywhere (seriously).

3. Downshift: 

'Even people in the Blue Zones experience stress, which can lead to chronic inflammation and has been associated with every major age-related disease. But they have routines that shed stress: Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap, and Sardinians have happy hour.'

Great advice. We have always tried to have at least 2 hours of fun each day, and one full day every weekend. … And that's a tough job, but someone’s gotta’ do it!    

4. 80% Rule

‘“Hara hachi bu” - the 2,500-year-old Confucian mantra that Okinawans say before meals — reminds people to stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full. People in the Blue Zones eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening, and they don't eat any more the rest of the day.

Very wise. My mom used to say something similar: “Don’t eat until your stomach is full. Leave some space.” But she was a smoker also, which might have helped? (I love sweats so much, I’ve adjusted that quote to: “Leave some space - for dessert).” :)

5. Plant Slant

'Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most Blue Zone diets. Meat is eaten an average of only five times per month, and in a serving of three to four ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards.'

… One handful of meat, once a week?! Wow, that is a BIG difference. Do they have Big Macs, Finger Lickin’ Good chicken, or Meat Lovers Pizza in the Blue Zones? Probably not, which might be a good thing (!)  

6. Wine At 5PM: 

'People in Blue Zones, even some Adventists, drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive nondrinkers. The trick is to drink one to two glasses per day with friends and/or with food. And no, you can't save up all week and have 14 drinks on Saturday.'

I find that surprising also, but I guess it makes sense - maybe to reduce stress (?) (It's just too bad that you can’t get drinking ‘credits’ for the days you don’t drink).

7. Belong: 

'All but five of the 263 centenarians I talked to belonged to a faith-based community. Denomination doesn't seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month can add four to 14 years of life expectancy.'

I believe it.  Amen, brother.

8. Put Loved Ones First: 

'Centenarians in the Blue Zones keep aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home, which studies show can lower the disease and mortality rates  of their children. They commit to a life partner (this can add up to three years of life expectancy), and they give their children plenty of time and love (this makes the kids more likely to be caretakers when the time comes).'

Fair enough. I know from life story memoir writing that the Three Generation Connection (grandparents to grandkids to parents) is important and beneficial to all involved. 

9. Find The Right Tribe: 

'The world's longest-lived people choose (or were born into) social circles that support healthy behaviors. Okinawans create “moasis"— groups of five friends that commit to each other for life. Research shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. By contrast, the social networks of long lived people favorably shape their health behaviors.'

I can see that benefit, similar to #7 above. … Although the crowds at the heavy metal concerts we go to now are getting much smaller, and mosh pit participation is a no-no.    

Really great article by Dan Buettner! The original is below.

- - - Isn't it time for you to look over your life and share what you’ve learned with your family and friends? They would love it. 

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