I know this is a health and fitness blog, but it’s also about truth.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to gather your friends up, and have a great night out.
The one and only factor that is absolutely consistent across all centenarians isn’t just about diet and physical activity that diverge considerable between people.
The Okinawa Elders eat very different vegetables from all of us. But they also live in small fishing / farming villages that all work together to survive, and spend copious amounts of time eating together and helping each other out.
Jeanne Calment the 122 year old french elder used to eat 2 pounds of chocolate a week and smoke cigarettes. But he also had a lot of neighbours whom she was extremely friendly with, and many visitors whom she could spend some time chatting and joking with, and who’s most famous quote was “always keep your smile”.
The one factor that keeps all these people alive for these long stretches of time are a tightly knit community that is supportive of each other.
If you have no friends, no family, no One-And-Only, then go and make some.
A sad experiment was conducted on baby chimpanzees who were given full access to food but either awire-mother, or a furry warm mother. The survival rate of the warm mother chimps was far superior to the wire ones. And we are 98% chimp. Love is more important than food for life. This isn’t woo-woo bullshit, this is science. So any chance you have of experiencing love, take it.
I can understand if you have had trouble with your family. You were born somewhere, with people you didn’t choose, who aren’t always the best influence for a successfully balanced life. If your family is toxic
then you don’t have to stay in touch with them. But you need to be part of something. You need a tribe
. A group of people who share the same values as you do, who you can count on, and who you can talk to about everything and anything. And you can build that. especially now you have the internet.
Even if they live a few hundred miles away, take the time to go and see them. And go have a blast (Some of my best friends live about 600km away from me). If you have a group go and see them. If you don’t, go to conferences, gatherings of people who are like you. If you are too poor to travel then spend some time online with them. Anything, just spend some time with people you can call friends. Preferable face to face.
Bond with them through fun, games, sillyness and ideally a little danger. Solidify your bond. Talk about your problems, those deep things you are ruminating and get it out to them around a few glasses of wine, beer, gin, whiskey, vodka… whatever your favourite deink is. And share.
I unfortunately have lost a connection to a great group of friends I used to have because of someone toxic that cut me off from of all my loved ones. It was my fault, I didn’t see what was happening, when they all warned me. I am trying to mend the pieces no I’ve reconnected, and grown, and built myself as a stronger version of myself.
That one night in the quarter where you burst that party bubble, you will probably feel like shit for two or three days, but the payment down the road comes in a sense of relaxation and readiness for anything. You know what you need to do, you know where you’re heading, and on top of all of that you had fun!
Those 3 to 5am
chats are the best, and you rarely get to them when you just go out to dinner. You need to push that boundary that you rarely get to if you just hang around people. You need to test the friendship through adventure, and going out.
So go have a blast. Have fun. And after that, stay healthy, positive, and take it easy.