Your friends encourage you or bring you down? Do you spend time with people who bring you happiness? Many times we focus on diets and exercises to improve our health, and we forget how important our daily life is and with it, the people around us. It has been shown that there are behavioral health benefits that are contagious. For example, in social networks, a high connection is developed with influencers that touch on topics related to food, health, spirituality, and much more. Sometimes some are positive and others, not so much. Dan Buettner, writer and member of National Geographic, studied the health habits of people living in Blue Zones. The Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live longer than the average of the population in other areas. In his studies he highlights that positive friendships are a frequent theme in these areas. He said: "Friends can exercise a measurable and continuous influence on your health habits in ways that a diet could never" For example, in Okinawa, Japan, the life expectancy of women is approaching 90 years, which is one of the highest in the world. People use a kind of social network called Moai, which is made up of five friends who provide social, emotional and even financial support if necessary throughout their entire lives.
In a Moai people support each other in good and bad situations unconditionally. In addition, Buettner's studies emphasize that the support is so much that the group influences the healthy habits of each individual. "We have realized that, in some of these cities, you can simply gather people who want to change their health habits and organize them for walks or meetings or with vegetarian meals," he said. "We encourage them to meet for ten weeks. We have created Moais that have already completed some years and still exert a healthy influence on the lives of their members. "
Carol Auerbach said that being surrounded by positive people has helped her cope with the loss of two husbands over the years. Auerbach was widowed when she was 30 years old and her children were 2 and 5 years old. With the help of her own determination she went ahead, however, the support of her family and friends was a great help to support her children and even remarry. To cope with the second widowhood, she focused on volunteering and contributing to her community. She said that with this experience she learned to have a positive attitude that her mother always instilled in her."When I was a girl we did not have much money, and all four of us lived in a one-bedroom apartment, my parents slept on a sofa bed," he said. "My mother never complained. I think deep down I knew that difficulties always arise, but that you should feel very grateful for the life you have and feel the responsibility to get the most out of it. "
The Blue Zone team developed questionnaires to help people evaluate the positive effect of their own social network. The questionnaire is made up of information about friends and their health status, how much they drink, eat and exercise, as well as their attitudes. The objective of the questionnaire is not to discard your less healthy friends, but to identify the people who can have a positive impact on our lives. "I argue that the most powerful thing you can do to add healthy years to your life is to heal your immediate social network," said Buettner, who advises you to focus on three or five real-life friends instead of Facebook friends. "In general, you should look for friends with whom you can have deep conversations," he said. "That you can call xthem on a bad day and that they care about you. Your group of friends is better than any anxiety drug or supplement and will do more for you than anything else. "
Take into account your surroundings and your friendships to have a healthy life full of joy and peace.