Earlier I was watching the Today and there was a segment about the “Blue Zones” where people live the longest. During the segment the woman said that happiness was one of the keys to these peoples longevity. She said “happy live on average 7 years longer than grumpy people.”
And there in lies my life philosphy: Be happy. Live Healthy. Live Longer.
The basis of this theory comes from the Nun Study that was done to explore aging and Alzheimers. A lot came from the study, including books and papers and articles about living longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives.
Here are a few key excerpts from a USA Today article from 2001 about the nuns:
These women are part of an ongoing study of 678 Catholic nuns that is finding that old age “can be just as fulfilling a part of human development as adolescence,” says epidemiologist David Snowdon, who began the Nun Study in 1986. “Aging itself is overrated.”
The work has yielded some startling, often encouraging discoveries, he says, not the least of which is that an educated mind, healthy habits and, maybe most important, a sense of joy in living can lead to a long, vibrant and productive life, and may even block the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Those who are hopeful, happy, optimistic in attitude live much longer,” Snowdon says. “That happy state is probably also a healthy state.”
“You don’t have to join a convent to learn from these sisters,” Snowdon says. “People talk a lot about ‘use it or lose it.’ I think it’s ‘develop it and keep it.’ You’ve got to develop your mind to its highest potential in young life, and as an adult you’ve got to keep that and train the mind to its highest function.” His advice: “Buckle your seat belt, watch your blood pressure, eat a prudent diet and be good at what humans are good at — language and social intercourse.”