By Chantal Brown
We’ve all tossed around the idea of living forever at one point or another. In the United States, we have skin care products, diet fads and even cosmetic procedures that claim to make this aspiration attainable.
However, there are regions in the world that have come closer to living forever than the rest of us. These regions are called Blue Zones, nicknamed because researchers used a blue marker to spot them on a map. What are they doing different than the rest of us?
- Eating a Plant-Based Diet
Switching out Chick-Fil-A for Chipotle may not be the worst idea. The main thing that blue zone regions all have in common is ditching meat during their daily meals. They avoid processed foods and fill up on the “three sisters” of agriculture: squash, corn and beans. Mediterranean and vegetarian diets have been proven to decrease the risk of coronary disease, some cancers and diabetes.
- Living with Purpose
Whether you resonate with Ikigai in Japan, a plan de Vida in Costa Rica or a mission for life in the Avengers, people thrive from having goals. Dan Buettner, who dubbed the blue zones, suggests making three lists: one of your values, one of your skills and one of things you enjoy. The intersection of those things is your Ikigai, or in simpler terms, the reason you do what you do. Setting goals and finding the intersection helps you stay focused and work towards a clear end-goal, all while keeping you on track with other aspects in your life.
- Spending Time With Like-Minded People
In Okinawa, they have a system with moai, a small group of peers who meet regularly to discuss interests and support each other. In the other blue zones, a common part of the culture is spending a lot of time with family and friends. Lack of loneliness can prevent depression and allows you to pay attention to your holistic health and do everything in moderation.