I named my company Happy Mama Happy Baby for a specific reason.
We know that a mother’s happiness affects all those around her, especially her children.
Now we can give ourselves permission to be happy, right? It’s that simple. Or maybe it’s not. This is why I’m beginning this exploration:
Dan Buettner has spent the last fifteen years traveling the world studying longevity and happiness, particularly long-lasting happiness.
He discovered 5 places in the world where people live the longest, healthiest, happiest lives. He calls these places Blue Zones:
Barbagia region of Sardinia
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
7th Day Adventists, Loma Linda, CA
Dan discovered 9 healthy lifestyle habits shared by people who live the longest, healthiest, happiest lives:
1. Move Naturally The longest lives people don’t “work out” in gyms. They live naturally active lifestyles. They garden, walk, hike, dance and do housework without mechanical aids.
2. Purpose Dan says: “Knowing your purpose is worth up to 7 years of extra life expectancy.” In other words, why are you here? What special and unique gifts are you here to share? Love this!
3. Down Shift Even Blue Zoners experience stress. The difference? They have regular routines the release stress. Okinowans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors. 7th Day Adventists pray. Ikarians nap. Sardinians have “happy hour”. Love this except the “happy hour”!
4. 80% Rule Blue Zoners stop eating when they are 80% full. They eat their largest meal midday and their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and nothing after that until morning. Personally, I love eating this way.
5. Plant Slant The cornerstone of the diets of Blue Zoners is beans (fava, black, soy, lentils), green vegetables and fresh fruits. Meat on average is eaten sparingly, no more than 5 times a month and the serving sizes are 3-4 ounces. Healthier and less expensive!
6. Wine at 5 How about this? All Blue Zoners drink alcohol moderately(except Adventists). According to Dan’s study, moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The preferred drink is wine, 1-2 glasses a day, preferably Cannonau wine. They drink only with friends and with food. Really? This seems like a lot of alcohol to consume!
7. Belong All but 5 Blue Zoners out of the 263 interviewed belong to some kind of faith-based community. Research shows that attending faith based services 4 times/month, regardless of demonination, will add 4-14 years to your life. Interesting!
8. Loved ones first For all Blue Zoners, family comes first. Grandparents are nearby or living in the home. They invest in their children with TIME and LOVE. They often have a life partner(which can add up to 3 years to your life) I love hearing this! I agree!
9. Right Tribe All Blue Zoners chose or were born into social circles that support healthy behaviors and healthy, happy lifestyles. Okinawans created ‘moais’, which are groups of friends committed to each other for life. According to Dan’s study, behavior and lifestyle choices are contagious. How very beautiful.
For further information about Dan’s work, visit his website: bluezones.com