Connectedness Comes Easily in the Hot Spots
We need the right food and drink to be healthy. But there are other things that are just as important—like friendship and a sense of connection with other human beings.
The people of Longevity Hot Spots know that. In their homes, social and family connections are an integral part of healthy living.
- The Okinawans have a proverb: “One cannot live in this world without the support of others.”
- In Hojancha, Costa Rica, social networks between the elderly and younger generations are consciously maintained. Older Hojanchans remain socially busy, volunteering and mentoring long into their twilight years.
- The villagers of Montacute rely on a close-knit community and large, loving families for unconditional support systems. Their village in England is a social space where daily human interaction is fundamental to their happy, healthy lives.
Belonging to social networks—either face-to-face or online—makes us feel cared for and valued, yielding powerful effects on our health.
Whether it’s helping get the grape harvest in, sitting on the doorstep gossiping with passers-by, having an apricot-eating competition, or being there while your granddaughter gives birth to your great-granddaughter, others in the hot spots are always around to share the trivial and the great moments in life.
If someone is ill or upset, someone else is there to hug and comfort them. If someone doesn’t have enough to eat, another will bring them whatever they have to spare. Givers and receivers both gain pleasure from their sense of belonging and reciprocity which—if you want to get biochemical about it, brings blood pressure down, boosts endorphin levels, and strengthens immunity.
All of which contribute to long life and wellbeing.