The Secret Sauce in Living Longer

Ready to drop those dumbbells and celery sticks? Well don't give up on those just yet, but you may be surprised what exactly can help you live longer, and you can start today. As it's still beneficial to have a well balanced diet with regular exercise, there's still something missing from this standard formula of living life to its fullest. Ready to see what's in the secret sauce in living longer?

Believe it or not but the secret has actually been around both you and I for thousands of years. It turns out that many people who live over the age of 100, also known as centenarians, have followed this simple yet powerful formula to help extend their life. Some of the most successful people you know or have heard of are probably following this method as well. According to the latest research, the secret in the sauce of achieving longevity are obtaining relationships and social integration.

Here's To Living Longer

(5 minute read)

Come again? Yeah, that's right, your relationships are key in what research calls longevity (living a very very long time). And you do this by allowing yourself to build relationships on a daily basis. You can actually tackle this relationship building stuff head on right now and increase your likelihood in living for quite a long time. For the purposes of this read, relationships can be defined as being involved with others in community. Simple as that, well kind of.

Humans Were Made For This

We as humans were truly made to connect with others. Think about that for a moment. They say nine out of ten businesses fail because teamwork preparation was lacking. Thriving businesses communicate well and have close teammates that can rely on one another to remain stable and achieve success over time. Just as you needed an instructor to be present in order to get your driver's license, living a longer life requires people to be present, even if those people are actually strangers. Yes, meeting and greeting strangers can have the ability of extending ones life.

Have you ever needed a tutor to help you with an exam? Someone to deliver your food to you because you were too sick to drive? Maybe you needed help with your current life circumstances and called up a therapist. Whatever the case may be, relationships surround us and have the potential to help us achieve longevity. And guess what, these relationships make us live much longer than we think they do.

Now you may be thinking, "I've got all the people I want in my life, so does that mean I got this longevity thing down?" Not quite. Having those close relationships are crucial, but what's incredible are the differences between those with close relationships and those with close relationships andsocial integration.

Now, I'm not going to bore you with a bunch of research mumbo jumbo regarding social integration. But I will say that having a daily connection with people outside your normal circle has much more longevity benefits than having close friends alone. In fact, when it comes to living the longest possible life, having both close relationships and being involved with others outside of that are two of the highest factors according to this awesome TED talk.

Social Integration

Social integration involves making eye contact with others, giving hi-fives to new people, talking to cashiers at the register in stores and granting strangers a "good day." Sure, it may not be in your daily routine to migrate outside your inner safe space, but it sure does have life long benefits in the long haul. And who knows, you might meet someone that really does belong in your inner circle, but you'll never know until you take that first step.

As mentioned earlier, close relationships and social integration topped other contenders on the list of achieving longevity. Here are a few of those examples:

  • Quitting smoking and alcohol

  • Receiving a flu shot annually

  • Exercising weekly

  • Having clean air to live in

That's right, being connected with others both inside and outside your comfort zone increases your chances of obtaining longevity better than living in a place with terrible air. I am in no way advocating to abstain from flu shots or suggesting you give up on exercise.

I am suggesting to continue these healthy habits and connect with others along the way. So, do you see the benefits of adding social integration to your longevity repertoire?

What You Can Do Now

Why not increase your chances by connecting with others right now? You may meet some pretty amazing people who may stick around for awhile. This meeting new people stuff can be achieved more simply than you think too.

  • Have a sit down with someone at Starbucks, even if it's for two minutes. Or just tell someone hello if you want. It's better than nothing at all.

  • Put your phone down for a moment and make eye contact with the people around you. That might be your only chance for eye contact in person that day.

  • Tell someone to have a good day even if you don't know them. A simple comment as such can really change their day and yours as well.

You might learn something new about yourself and promote powerful changes in your body with these new actions I've suggested. Again, humans were truly made to connect with other humans. Want to increase the likelihood of stretching your life to its limits? Get up, slowly leave that comfort zone and connect with other people.

Even if this means making simple eye contact with others with a smile, that's a great start! Get creative, shake hands and build your circle of trust. It all begins with you.

CommunicationJacob Kountz