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Unlocking Longevity: Harness The Power of Relationships - Insights from 'Live to 100'

21 Nov

Dive into the profound impact of relationships on longevity, inspired by the 'Live to 100' documentary.

Elderly couple on push bikes smiling, the gentleman has his legs out letting the bike take him, the lady is behind him on her bike.

Recently, I sat down to watch an enthralling Netflix documentary called "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones." This captivating film explores Dan Buettner's ground breaking research on the world's longevity hotspots. I highly recommend it as an insightful and entertaining watch. As a Relationship and Family Coach, I was deeply moved by the film's revelations about the crucial role that fulfilling relationships and robust community bonds play in enhancing not just the length, but also the quality of our lives.

One standout point from the documentary highlighted the profound impact of a fulfilling romantic relationship on longevity. The research indicates that loneliness could potentially reduce your lifespan by 15 years. Moreover, the death of a spouse increases the surviving partner's risk of dying by a third. This not only struck an emotional chord with me but also perfectly aligns with scientific data that underscores our primal need for love and connection.

Studies, such as one published in "Social Psychological and Personality Science," have found that loneliness can elevate the risk of premature death by 26%. Harvard Medical School has also reported that individuals without strong relationships have a 50% higher risk of mortality from various causes compared to those with solid social networks.

The neurobiology of love further substantiates this. The "love hormone," oxytocin, plays a crucial role in social bonding, sexual reproduction, and childbirth. Elevated levels of oxytocin are linked to feelings of well-being and social connection. It is released abundantly during intimate moments like hugging or kissing a loved one, and its benefits extend to reducing stress levels, lowering blood pressure, and even improving gut health.

Another eye-opening revelation from the Blue Zones documentary was the absence of retirement homes in these longevity-rich regions. Instead, the elderly were integral parts of the community, underscoring the importance of family and community bonds. This made me reflect on how our fast-paced, individualistic society often neglects these essential elements of a fulfilling life.

As inherently tribal and communal beings, our evolutionary history attests to the necessity of community for survival. The emotional bonds we share with family members are intense and rooted in our basic need for survival and well-being. Numerous studies have linked social isolation and loneliness to various health problems, including heart disease and depression.

The breakdown of a marriage is not merely an emotional loss; it disrupts one of our most fundamental survival networks. This is why the work of rebuilding family structures, even after divorce or separation, is so crucial. The blue zones teach us that to live a long and fulfilling life, we need to re-centre family and community in our lives.

These insights align with the core message of my new book, "The Balanced Relationship Blueprint," which aims to bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern relationships. The book emphasizes the importance of fulfilling romantic relationships, family, and community in achieving a long and happy life. Watching "Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones" was not only enlightening but also a validation of my work and beliefs. It reinforced my conviction that love, family, and community are not merely social constructs but essential elements for a long and fulfilling life. So here's to love, family, and community. I highly recommend it.

If you would like to read my book, "The Balanced Relationship Blueprint," it is available here. Alternatively, you can find lots of resources and a supportive community on the My Kin App. If you want personalised support, feel free to reach out and book a free discovery session with me here.

Nichole x

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