Aleteia

2 Secrets from people who live longer

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These two categories are most likely to determine whether you live to 100.

Eat less red meat, exercise more, do what you love … If you were asked what you thought you should do to live to 100 years old, what would you say?

In a TED Talk called “The secret to living longer may be your social life,” a study by Julianne Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young University was cited, which examined tens of thousands of people, taking note of every aspect of their lives — their health, their relationships, their family, etc. In seven years, which ones were still alive and what did they have in common?

Ranking the considered factors from least to most likely to reduce your chances of dying, the lowest ranking included clean air and weight. The middle ranks included exercise, receiving a flu vaccine, and quitting smoking or drinking. But what were the two highest ranking factors?

The second highest was close relationships. These are the people you can rely on for anything, who will always stand by you in the ups and downs, or whom you can call in an emergency.

And the highest ranking factor? Social integration.

Social integration is how we interact with people as we move throughout our daily life. It includes both close relationships and strangers. How do you speak to the delivery-man? Or the barista who makes your coffee? What about the people you see at church? Do you talk to them at all?

Of all the the factors that were considered, ultimately it wasn’t all the things we purposefully do for our health that determined how long these people lived. It was the way they interacted with each other. It was taking the time to say “Good morning,” or to ask “How are you today?” Put simply, it was treating people … like people.

Watch more in the video below.