Finding Well-Being and Blanket Comfort
The World is a chaotic place these days and it seems that we all could benefit from taking a step back to pay some attention to our personal Well-Being. In his book, "The Blue Zones", Dan Buettner studied Centenarians (people who live to be over 100 years old) in 4 areas of the World where they manage to live longer, healthier, richer lives. He dubbed these areas the "Blue Zones" and defines them as: "Communities where common elements of lifestyle, diet, and outlook have led to an amazing quality of life"
The Blue Zones are:
Loma Linda, California
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Mr Buettner conducted extensive research in the Blue Zones in an effort to uncover the secrets to good health and a long life and to provide tips for living longer and being well.
Tips On How To Create Your Own Blue Zone (and improve well-being):
Regular low-intensity physical activity -Okinawans work in their gardens for hours. The Sardinians who were studied are shepherds and hike for miles every day. Keep Moving!
Eat a lean diet until you are "no longer hungry" rather then until you are "full" -Sardinians and Okinawans eat about 1900 calories a day. Okinawans have a saying "hara, hachi, bu" that means stop eating when you feel 80% full. None of the individuals studied were ever on a diet and none were obese. Dr Wansink conducted experiments confirming that people ate 31% more when they ate from a 34-ounce bowl as compared to a 17-ounce bowl. Use Smaller Plates and Bowls!
Avoid processed foods and limit meat consumption -Dr. Leslie Lytle says that Sardinians, Nicoyans and Okinawans eat mostly what they produce in their gardens; unprocessed foods and small portions. It is reported in "The Blue Zones" that: "Beans, whole grains and garden vegetales are the cornerstones of all these longevity diets...nuts are perhaps the most impressive of all longevity foods." Meat, if eaten at all, is consumed in small amounts only a few times a month. Eat Good Food in Reasonable Amounts!
"Happy Hour" in moderation -indulging in "Spirits" appears to reduce stress and decrease inflamation while providing a reason to eat slower and an oppounity to socialize with family and friends. Moderation is Key!
Take time to see the big picture -called "ikigai" in Okinawa and "plan de vida" in the Nicoya it stands for a strong sense of purpose and translates to "why I wake up in the morning". It can be as simple as seeing your family or can be centered around passionate feelings for your favorite activities and hobbies. Stay Actively Involved!
Relieve stress -the Centenarians studied "exude a sense of sublime serenity". They naturally slow down, rest, socialize with family and friends, appreciate every day, and value life's precious moments; the result seems to create less stress and a greater sense of well-being. "Slow Down, Unwind, De-stress"
Spirituality -having a sense of spirituality and practicing faith creates a peace of mind that comes with living "right", fosters a larger social network, relieves stress with meditation and thoughts of a higher power, and generally enhances well-being. Have Faith!
Surround yourself with family and those who share Blue Zone values - The Centenarians emphasize togetherness with family, friends, club membership, volunteerism and other social activities. Dr. Lisa Berkman of Harvard University has studied social connectedness and longevity. Over nine years she found that "those with the most social connections lived longer". Stay Social!
Full time workers in America, on average, work 43 hours a week. We take the shortest paid vacations (and 20% still stay in touch with the office), we hold extra busy/hard-working people in high regard and often do not value slowing down and "smelling the roses". The Center for Desease Control says "80 percent of American adults don't get recommended excercise". The President's Council on Fitness says "over 78 million U.S. adults and about 12.5 million children and adolecents are obese". Dosomething.org says 20% of all American meals are eaten in the car. Dr. Robert Pearl, in Forbes, reports that "a third of U.S. workers report feeling extremely stressed at work". According to a Gallup Poll, 76% of Americans in 2013 said religion as a whole is "losing it's influence in American life".
What can we do??
Here are some ideas for improving well-being and finding more comfort:
Slow down, enjoy nature, eat a healthy diet (mostly fresh food, not too much), get enough sleep, watch a comedy and laugh it off (laughing is extremely therapeutic), hug it out (human touch is very calming and comforting), kiss someone (kissing releases feel-good hormones), listen to your favorite music, exercise regularily, reach out to a faith-based community, make time to relax and decompress, express gratitude, practice happiness, maintain a positive attitude, make more time for the people and things that bring you COMFORT....
We've got you covered with the Blanket Comfort....the best way to warm your heart and soul and to improve your well-being!!
ANIMALS CAN PROVIDE GREAT COMFORT too...
VIEW OUR FALL/HOLIDAY BLANKET COLLECTION HERE.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, HELLO FALL...and HERE'S TO IMPROVING WELL-BEING AND FINDING MORE COMFORT!!
MONICA AND BETH