As human beings we all need this kind of connection with others, it’s what makes us human. It’s when we are isolated and start to have feelings of loneliness that things go wrong. And you don’t actually have to be physically isolated to feel this. Plenty of people are surrounded by others on a daily basis yet they will tell you how truly lonely they feel.
Connecting with others and being kind just comes naturally to those living in the Blue Zones, which is why they tend to live to 100. The Blue Zones include places such as the Barbara region of Sardinia, Ikaria, Greece, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda, CA; and Okinawa, Japan. There are nine factors that each of these places have in common. Medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers, and epidemiologists have all studied these areas and have come up with what they are calling the “Power 9” factors. One of those factors is TRIBE.
“The social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors”. By choosing a ‘tribe’ of like-minded, positive, and health conscious friends you are increasing the likelihood you will live to 100.
The good news is, you’re already doing this! Most likely you live with another human being that you enjoy spending time with. And if you don’t, you probably have some good close friends just a phone call away. And a phone call is a much better way to connect, instead of merely texting. Next time you find yourself spending time with another soul, try cutting out the small talk and get right down to the good stuff. Connect. Share. Open your heart. It goes both ways, by you sharing your own thoughts and feelings you’re getting stuff off your chest leaving you lighter and ready to tackle whatever life throws at you. And if your close friend needs to unload on you, go ahead and let them! You are there so they can work out all the things they’ve been holding onto. You don’t have to absorb what they’re putting out there, you just let it roll right off you, and be there to give a big hug once they’re done. Guess what? You’ll feel better too that you could support a friend in need.
The same goes for acts of kindness. Studies have shown that acts of kindness can decrease anxiety for those performing the act, for those receiving the act, AND for those witnessing that same act of kindness! Amazing!
“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” - Brene Brown, Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
Looking for a new tribe that you can connect with? Try a local meet-up group in your area (links below). Also, follow us on social media. There are so many wonderful people on Instagram sharing their stories and experiences fighting cancer, it is such an honor to be a part of it.
When I started this company, I was a bit worried about having to revisit cancer each day but now that I am nearly 3 months into it, the effect has been so positive and inspiring. It has taught me to love my body. There are those who have shared their experiences of cancer treatment, surgeries, side effects, and more yet they are so grateful for what their bodies have done for them and will continue to do. Complaining about a little cellulite seems so trivial now. By following this group of survivors, I have come to truly understand and internalize the phrase, "It's not what's on the outside, but what's on the inside that counts".
The goal of this blog series is not to focus on the negative - or what not to do. I started this series because I wanted to explain what positive actions you are already taking that you can feel great about! Let's reframe our thinking. Don't focus on the negative, or what to take out of your diet/lifestyle, i.e. decrease stress, decrease depression, decrease anxiety. Because then you're just left in that negative space. Let's start focusing on the positive side. Focus on what you can add to your diet/lifestyle that will increase connections with others, open your heart, boost your immune system and uplift your spirit!
Are you located in San Diego? Here's some upcoming events we will be attending in 2017...
August 8th - ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Kickoff Breakfast
September 23rd - MAX LOVE Farm to Fork Dinner • Come out to have a delicious dinner, some fun dancing and for your chance to win a Cornucopia gift basket! A portion of each sale from cornucopiabox.com benefits the MAX LOVE Project.
October 14th - Susan G. Komen Row for the Cure • Stop by and check out our packages and products, we will have a vendor stand set up!
Connect with others!
Missed #1-5? Start here...