Would you like to live past 100? Many of us dream of living long and happy lives that span more than a century, but actually achieving this fete can be quite the challenge. So what can we do to increase our longevity? Let’s take a look at the lives of those who’ve lived past 100 to see if we can uncover their secrets…
An optimistic outlook can work wonders for our health. Many of those who have lived past the age of 100 claim to have been positive people with an ability to find strength even when life throws curve balls our way. Lucy Askew died in 1997 at the age of 114. Relatives claimed she was self-reliant and strong. Edna Parker, 115, said that her sense of humour helped her live so long.
Some studies suggest that being in a happy and fulfilling relationship can increase your lifespan and keep health problems at bay. However, there’s a lot of emphasis on the words ‘happy’ and ‘fulfilling’ here. Unhappy relationships that involved arguments, resentment or infidelity can cause more harm than good.
If you’re unlucky in romantic love, don’t fret. Some of the world’s oldest living people spent a lot of their time on earth single. In fact, it’s far better to be single than trapped in a relationship that makes you unhappy.
One thing that many of these long-living singletons have in common is self-respect, self-confidence and self-acceptance. Self-love is absolutely crucial to living a long and happy life. It can help you boost your mood, beat stress and help you to avoid unhealthy habits. If you love yourself, you’re more likely to avoid situations that make you unhappy. You’re also more likely to attract great friends and live life to the absolute full, no matter what the world throws at you.
Although romantic love isn’t necessarily required for a long and happy life, companionship and socialising certainly is. Various studies suggest that loneliness can shorten our lifespan, particularly in old age. If you find yourself spending a lot of time alone and you’re uncomfortable with this level of solitude, don’t be afraid of reaching out to other people and asking for help. You’ll be amazed how many others are in a similar situation and long for friendship.
Health experts are right to warn people of the dangers of alcohol and sugar consumption, but when we look at the lives of those who have lived past 100, few have deprived themselves of the things they enjoy. Margaret Skeete, who lived to the age of 115, enjoyed eating sweets. Jeanne Calment, 122, ate two pounds of chocolate each week. 115-year-old Edna Parker and 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones were huge bacon fans.
Genes play perhaps the most important role in our longevity. For example, Emma Morano who lived to the age of 117 came from a family of people who lived impressively long lives. Her mother and aunt made it to their 90s and one of her sisters lived to the age of 102.
Do you know someone who has lived an impressively long and happy life? Or perhaps you’re a centenarian yourself! Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter to share your top longevity secrets.