Living a life that exceeds 100 years is quite an achievement but living that long and being happy while you do it is an even greater challenge. In the Blue Zones people often live more than a century and have also found the secrets to a happy life by eliminating or minimizing stress. If stress seems inescapable, read on to learn how to make successful aging possible and stress a thing of the past.
Consider dietary changes
Does diet have an effect on stress and successful aging? It may! According to a recent study titled, “Diet Stress and Mental Health,” which found that a link does exist between stress-related psychiatric disorders and a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish and thus successful aging. This type of diet in fact is a common denominator among the Blue Zones where people eat much less animal-based food and much more fresh produce (think the Mediterranean diet) all their lives, making successful aging the norm rather than the exception.
Another dietary factor to keep in mind is how much water you drink every day. According to the brainscape.com article “The connection between water & stress: Dehydration and anxiety,” dehydration can cause an increase in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can increase blood pressure, raise blood sugar, increase inflammation, and weaken the immune system. Drinking 2.4 liters of water can help keep systems functioning at their peak and encourage successful aging.
Expand your circle of friends
In the Blue Zones lifelong friendships are the norm, but in other places where people don’t live so long, the loss of friends can have a big influence on life, making it less happy and more stressful. In the Blue Zones article, “Casual Friendships, Coworkers, and Even Your Outer Circle Influence Your Health,” the case for all kinds of friends is made as well as how having friends helps us overcome emotional damage, feel happier, and enjoy a sense of belonging.
Of course, many older adults may feel that making new friends is more difficult than ever, but our blog, “Break the Ice: Tips for Making New Friends in Your New Retirement Community Home” can help even shy seniors reach out and expand their circle of friends.