Longevity is more than a kale salad

We eat our greens, we sip our water and we sweat like a beast in the gym. We look good, we feel good, and on top of that sweet cherry we know that we are improving our health together with our longevity.

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Forever young – We can unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) not stay literally young forever but with the right lifestyle choices we can feel, and let’s be honest, look the part for as long as possible.

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The holy authorities of the health world have always preached a consistent healthy diet, exercise, and some good sleep to stay young and healthy. These are all very important factors in staying fresher than a motherf*ucker, but there’s actually an additional element which we don’t really put that much “health craze” around – our social life.

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In the era of “one man shows” and individualism, a trusted wolf pack is the missing piece of the puzzle for optimal health. I think most of us can relate to the fact that when you spend time with people who make you happy and inspire you, you feel really good. It gives you a sense of belonging. No matter how much of a “lone wolf” you might consider yourself, it’s a basic human need to feel loved and belonged. The lack of this feeling isolates us as tight as a tight ass, and we slowly turn into the feelings of loneliness. We all know that loneliness comes as a package deal together with a bunch of negative psychological illnesses like anxiety and depression.

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Social media – In the era of social media we are actually becoming less social and our real social connections are dropping like it’s hot on the dance floor – meaning that we are loosing them. We create isolation and start to “exist” in a virtual social community instead of actually interacting with people face to face. Don’t get me wrong, social media is amazing when you actually take these new connections and build real intimate friendships. If not, you’ll simply feel more lonely and isolated.

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Drop the text and make a call – Life is hectic and we don’t always have time to meet our friends and family as often as we wish. To check in with a simple “how was your day?” text can go a long way, but what’s better than actually picking up the phone and giving the other person a little hotline bling? A simple phone call has a lot of mood boosting benefits. Why? When we exchange a conversation, even if it’s just over the phone we hear the persons voice, we feel the emotions from the other person in a way a text message really can’t provide.

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Blue zones –ย Also know as places where people live the longest on the planet. If you happen to live in any of these areas, congratulations young lad! These five places are: Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California, and Nicoya in Costa Rica. What these places have in common is first of all mainly a plant based diet and regular movement. The third thing is the value of family and community. They live together in tighter communities, constantly surrounded by one another. If it’s not a spouse, you have other family members or a tight network of friends. You care for other people and you know that you are cared for.

Isolation and habituation – You are a human, surpriiiiise!!! We are creatures who adapt over time to become habituated to whatever environment we are living in for maximum survival. Isolation works the same way. Just as you can build up a habit of regular exercise and clean eating, you can as easily get habituated to your new found isolation. The more lonely you are, the more “used” to the feeling you’ll get and the more comfortable you’ll get with these feelings. After a while, isolation becomes so engraved in you that you’ll start to avoid, almost hate meeting people. This is obviously not a good trait to adapt, but as humans – this is how we work.

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Smash down the isolation wall – Since we habituate so easy it can be hard to break down the wall and start letting people in again. To break this very unhealthy habit you need to approach it the way you’d approach any kind of bad habit – small steps. Challenge yourself to call people, even send text messages to make plans. Be open and honest about the way you’re feeling with someone you trust. By doing this you will realize that people actually do care about you more than you might think.

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Appreciate people – Always appreciate people and make sure to tell them. No matter if it’s a new friendship or a life long connection. Communicate how happy and blessed you are that these people take valuable time out of their lives to spend it with you. Not only will you make them feel more appreciated, but you will also remind yourself how much other people care and appreciate you.

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A ripped six pack doesn’t mean shit to our health if they are the only friends we have. Tight social connections and a community provides just as many vitamins as your kale salad.

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Get out in the world and make some friends!

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