Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Connect and Laugh

Longevity seems to be a hot topic right now - it's all over Martha Stewart, 20/20, the Internet, and I'm sure many other news/talk shows. The qualities that always stand out to me for increasing longevity are connections, humor, and positive outlook. If you don't care about living a longer life, then you probably don't care about these things either! But I think those are all things to live a more fulfilling life, not just a longer life.

I don't think people were meant to live solitary lives. Some people may be more solitary than others, but I don't think that means they should deprive themselves of any connections with others. Staying connected with others (and nature) makes us feel more like we have a place - our place that only WE could occupy. We also need others for support, feedback, enhancing experiences, as well as returning all those favors and giving back.

Mental outlooks greatly affect us physically, and having a positive outlook and the ability to laugh and enjoy life makes it that much easier for our bodies physically. Stress and negativity can manifest itself in aches, pains, illnesses, etc. Laughing just plain makes you feel good (unless your abs are sore from working out as mine have been, in which case it's quite painful to laugh ;P).

What do you think? Does this stuff matter? What else contributes to a long, fulfilling life?


My Inner French Girl said...

There's a great cover article in the National Geographic from sometime in the past year or so about this. They looked at three different culture groups: the Okinawans, the Seventh-Day Adventists and Sicilians. Fascinating stuff, but the common threads seemed to be:

a) healthy diet full of whole grains, fruits and vegetables
b) lots of physical activity
c) strong social networks
d) positive attitude

Plus, of course, genetics has lots to do with that.


astarte's student said...

Don't they make it sound so easy? ;)

Sunny in San Diego said...

I find sometimes "solitary" gets mixed up with "introverted". I understand my need for community, talking with friends and sometimes just being in the personal space of another person(people). Have you ever gone to the mall just to anonymously be near people ?? I like to meet new people too ... but I am an introvert and the way I re-energize is solitary time on a regular basis. I have to balance plenty of alone time with people time before I can really freely engage with others.

astarte's student said...

Hey Sunny! ;)

Yeah I know what you mean. I don't think we need to have 100 family and friends to hang out with regularly in order to stay connected...even if it's just a meaningful connection made once in a while, that's good enough for some people in my opinion. We just all need to find our own balance like you did!