Six things associated with happy and healthy longevity
These may not be rocket science, but there is science to back it up. The summary below comes from this article.
1. Avoid smoking and alcohol. Smoking’s a no-brainer, but what happened to the “One glass of wine is good for you” tenet? I think we all knew the writing was on the wall for that one. Turns out that like processed meat, there is no safe amount of alcohol. It has been implicated in liver damage and now certain cancers. Bummer, and eyes wide open if you choose to drink.
2. Longevity correlates with more years of education. Turns out that both white and blue collar subjects with the same level of education had the same propensity for a healthier life. The qualities involved were self-care and perseverance.
3. A happy childhood. But even the pain of a tough childhood could be mitigated by warmer supportive relationships later in life. See #4.
4. Relationships are the most important thing. Successful healthy and happy aging correlated with the ability to give love joyfully, receive it gratefully and create new relationships to replace old ones that fade away. Happiness is love.
5. Coping skills are important. “Mature defenses” include altruism (The Golden Rule), sublimation (creative ability to self-express and resolve conflict), suppression (patience and seeing the bright side) and humor (not taking oneself too seriously.)
6. Giving back. Community building, realizing that your contribution is part of a bigger picture, taking care of others.
The more of these items in our toolbox, the great the predictor of a happy healthy future into the Golden years.