There is a lot of wellness information out there.
Blue Zones- BZ
The benefit of the Blue Zones information is that it pulls together all the wellness topics under one framework: activity, diet, alcohol, life purpose, stress, belonging, family, support systems.
Blue Zone areas are geographic areas where there is a concentration of living centenarians. National Geographic showcased these populations in the early 2000’s and since. There are several BZ articles and BZ books identifying the lifestyle behaviors of these folks.
It’s not so much about their age as it is about their level of health and wellness as they have aged. These folks are pretty dang healthy and happy.
Given that scientific studies suggest that only 25 percent of longevity is dictated by genetics, that gives our daily choices a lot of power.
The BZ Lesson that stands out to me now
When I studied Blue Zones before in my Wellness Coaching program, I got caught up in the diet, exercise and stress categories. Granted, those are big topics.
What interests me now about the Blue Zones is Lesson 9, having a “community of like-minded people”. I had discovered the importance of this type of ‘group’ as a CNO. Part of being authentic as a leader is learning to ‘be real’ with those you feel safe with. Feeling emotionally safe is not always automatic as a leader in organizations. It takes time to ‘feel’ the work landscape.
Even now as I attest to the benefits of having an inner circle of like-minded individuals, I didn’t realize that it impacted my health.
Note – This inner circle can be family or friends from a club, spiritual community, school or work.
These are the people who live a life that aligns with your life purpose, choices and enjoyments. This group will be unique to you. These are people with whom you can share your inner thoughts and can be vulnerable with. These people look out for each other and mutually nudge each other to be their best in healthy and healing ways.
Here’s how lesson 9 fits into all 9 BZ lessons …
The Power 9 – The lessons from the Blue Zone
- Lesson One: Move naturally.
- Be active without having to think about it
- Lesson Two: Eat mindfully.
- Stop eating when you are 80% full.
- Lesson Three: Plant based diet.
- … for the most part
- Lesson Four: Drink red wine daily at 5 pm.
- Actually any beer, wine or spirits are good moderately
- Lesson Five: Wake up everyday with purpose
- Be on purpose daily; challenge yourself routinely
- Lesson Six: Take time to relieve stress.
- Meditation, Mindfulness, Reflections, hobbies, etc
- Lesson Seven: Belong.
- Participate in a spiritual community.
- Lesson Eight: Keep family close.
- Make family a priority.
- Lesson Nine: Surround yourself with a like-minded few.
- People who support your purpose & positive behaviors
- 4-5 people who mutually nudge and inspire
Amazing that Lesson 9 weighs equal with all other categories of wellness. This is an important lesson to learn.
Here’s an exercise that is suggested in The Blue Zones, second edition:
“Go through your address book or your contact list of friends. Think about which one support healthy habits and challenge you mentally, and which ones you can truly rely on in case of need. Put a big “BZ” by their names. Ideally, family members are the first names on the list.” p 295