If you are seeking immortality or something closer to living a blissful life for over 100 years – we have great news for you. First, this is indeed possible. There are at least five cities around the globe (called the “blue zones”) where the average mortality is 100. If you live in one of these cities and die before 100, you are the odd man or women out!
Second, there are uncanny similarities in the lifestyle habits of the people from these cities, and in others who live long. Analyzing these habits, experts have been able to pinpoint precisely what can help people live so happily, for so long. Wouldn’t you like to know the secret? Let us explore nine uncomplicated lifestyle habits that can bless you with long, healthy and a gloriously satisfying life, spanning over 100 years.
9. Love people
This does not mean just the near and dear ones who form your inner circle. We are “social beings”. So life not just survives, but fully thrives with a vibrant social life. The more people we meet and greet every day, the longer we exist. So expand your relative circle without worrying, even choosing to connect and celebrate those annoying aunts and cousins!
Meet friends of your friends and their friends too. Join at least one local or social community. This could be a religious (Knights of Columbus which is an organization for example which does all sorts of amazing things for communities) or spiritual group, or an interest group, or even the local library. Find ways to intensely pack your life with people, and love and celebrate them. You’ll be surprised at how intensely you live!
8. Give up that couch
No couch potato lives long. This is an unpleasant but undeniable truth. Mortality extends dramatically when our lives are not just social, but also vibrantly active. Activity does not really have to be a tough session at the gym. You can join a rowing club and have fun with water and with people while you are it. Or, you could passionately start connecting with nature and take up gardening.
If this is not your cup of tea, perhaps a challenging hike is more your style, as you and nature bond like long-lost buddies. The trick is to push your body for sure, but not ruthlessly hard. The best way to kick-start this lifestyle is to throw away your TV remote, bag that pack of potato chips for the next year (or maybe 10-20 years after), and get out in the open be active and meet new people!
7. Fortify your diet with plants
Yes, we are talking about those green things that grow in the midst of nature, and can be sumptuous and yummy too! We’re not saying that people who live long don’t eat meat. But we are saying that they eat fruit, and vegetables, a lot of them. There is also plenty you can do with sprouts that will bring the zing back to your body, making you look and feel and live younger. Nutritionists also suggest celebrating with a home-cooked vegetarian meal at least once a week. This will instantly improve the quality of the three major Fs in your life – Family, Food, and Fitness.Related: Going Completely Meatless Can Trouble Your Mental Health
6. Jump often into semi-fasting
Most of us hate the very idea of fasting, especially since we all live to eat. But did you know that digestion is the heaviest and longest metabolic activity of our body, taking up more energy than any other activity? Fasting not only gives time-off to your overworked stomach, but it also intensely strengthens other metabolic activities so you digest subsequent meals faster.
Here’s a tip: you can begin your tryst with “fasting” by breaking your meal into four parts: two parts solid, one part liquid, and one part that is left empty, giving your stomach the space it needs to effectively digest your meal. By choosing to eat just a quarter of a portion less, your stomach fasting begins! You can also choose to “fast” by giving up snacking between meals. Again, this will typically give your stomach 4-6 hours to complete digestion and revitalize itself.
You can even consider going on a liquid fast, at least once a week or month. This will clear up so much time and space in your body, that other key functions (like boosting immunity, detoxification, etc.) will take a huge leap. The end result is that you will feel fantastic and live longer.
5. This too shall pass
This is the simple secret to dealing with stress. It is not as if people who live longer do not face setbacks or harsh challenges from life. But they know that in the long run (we are speaking of a hundred years here), this is but a tiny blip that will pass over soon. So they consciously choose not to sweat it.
This decision to just flow with life reduces any stress on the heart, lungs and other parts of the body. So they rarely fall prey to diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, or even cancer. Emulate this principle and you will live a delightfully long life too.
4. Live with a purpose
Here is the straightforward truth. Most of us don’t live long, simply because we have no reason to live! So what you can do, is adopt “plan de vida” (a reason to live), just like the Costa Rican centenarians do. Normal goals such as finishing college, achieving outstanding success at work, celebrating your life in your dream house with your dream partner and your lovely kids and grand-kids can only drive you for so long.
Once they are accomplished, most people choose to pass away though they may never say this out loud. It truly takes something extra, to live for the additional number of years. This extra is your conscious purpose, one that is bigger than good old you, and hence extends your life into your 80s and 90s.
Those people living passed age 100 though in that 60 Minutes segment all exercised every day.
3. Count your blessings
Life is an equal opportunity giver and showers us with as many blessings as it does setbacks. People who live long are more excited about life, as they choose to see this truth. They actively count the blessings while simply seeing through the setbacks.
This way, they view their life as a grand celebration filled with joyous and sometimes miraculous happenings. You can do this too by frequently asking yourself, “What is right in my life, right now?” And the stuff that is not so right, don’t think too much about it.
2. Tune yourself to nature
Our body is a product of nature, so we need to tune ourselves to it to get the best out of it. A plant-based diet, nature-based physical activates and vegetarian cooking are all great steps in this direction. Complete this cycle by spending more time with that endless resource, that is absolutely packed with vitamin and energy. Get outdoors and see for yourself that the sun is just waiting to shine on you!
1. Avoid needless medication
This is sure to surprise you, as the pharmaceutical industry spends billions every year to make us believe that their drugs extend our life.
You don’t have to go cold turkey and do away with your essential diabetes, high BP, and anxiety medication right away. But if you consciously choose to reduce them or give them up in the (not very) long run, in close consultation with your physician, your body and mind will urge you towards natural solutions and perfect health.
Life is not just meant to be monotonously lived or painstakingly endured, but lovingly honored and grandly celebrated. If you make this the theme of your life, you are sure to join the growing number of centenarians who have discovered the joys of living, healthier, happier, and longer. Go live!
Related: High Blood Pressure and How to Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart