“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
There are many things that contribute to our health, wellbeing and essentially, our longevity. Of course, science-backed studies will point us towards lifestyle tips such as moderate exercise, a healthy diet full of fresh wholefoods, and avoidance of things known to cause illness or disease in the body such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sugar, processed foods and so forth. Research from the Blue Zones around the world – the places that have the highest level of centenarians (people that live to over 100 years old) – also show some interesting findings when it comes to what promotes a robust and long life.
People within the Blue Zones do tend to eat a diet of seasonal wholefoods and also do moderate exercise. However, aside from food and daily movement, there are some unique factors that are mirrored across the Blue Zone populations. These lesser-known practices and priorities are things that may just be equally as important, yet can also be things that in the modern fast-paced world, we overlook.
On our Bali retreat, we love inspiring women to get in touch with these beautiful ways to boost longevity and wellness in general. Take a read of these unique and important ways that you too can thrive.
Your Soul Purpose
People in the Blue Zone areas attest to the importance of knowing your purpose. The Okinawans in Japan refer to this as embracing your ‘ikigai.’ Ikigai is your reason to get up every morning. Knowing your purpose has been shown to play a significant role in adding years to your life and a greater degree of fulfillment. Faith and spiritual practice in general has also been shown to increase longevity. Blue Zone members who have reached one hundred years or older have all been part of a faith-based group of some kind. This doesn’t need to be a religious group, but simply having a connection to some form of spirituality – this may be a meditation or yoga group for example.
Maintaining healthy relationships and also meeting new people is another important factor discovered between the various Blue Zones. The world’s longest-living people have close friends and strong social networks. Sharing meals with people, talking honestly and making time for face-to-face connection is a huge part of life in these regions. Being a part of a community that influences you to live healthily is also a key factor here. Most of the populations of the various Blue Zones are a part of communities interested in simple healthy living. Finding your tribe, being part of social groups that you are inspired by and feel connected to is a beautiful way to nurture your health and longevity. Making new friends alone can boost your happiness by 15%- amazing!
Hello Sleep & Farewell Stress
Two other significant factors in the Blue Zones is that these communities have practices for dealing with stress and also prioritising sleep. When it comes to avoiding stress, people turn to nature and simple mindfulness techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises. Prioritising sleep and also being in tune with the seasons and cycles of the natural world is a daily part of life in the Blue Zone areas. Rising with the sun and getting to bed at an earlier hour creates a consistent sleep routine. These areas of the world typically sleep for 7.5 hours a night. Studies have shown that people who sleep more than 6 hours a night have stronger immunity, lower stress and are up to 30% happier.
Outside of the Blue Zones, research also points to a few other interesting finds when it comes to our wellbeing and longevity. Novelty, play and learning are three wonderful aspects that contribute to keeping us young in body and mind.
Humans thrive on novelty. While we may be creatures of habit and routine, we come alive when we experience new places, new cultures, new people, new foods, and new ways of life. Our senses love to be given new stimuli; new sights, sounds and smells that we can revel in outside of our daily norm. Indeed, travel is a key element here, for how else can we experience so much newness? Traveling to a new land and immersing yourself in a whole new world rejuvenates you on a deep level and unlocks a joy that is quite unique. We feel alive, the humdrum and nuances of daily life vanish, we become more attuned to the things that truly matter in life. We feel young, energised and enlivened. We push our boundaries and say yes to new things. We see new parts of ourselves that emerge in new places and around new people. Travel is food for the soul and this inspires a youthfulness within us.
Find Your Inner Child
Play ignites something magical inside of us. As we get older, we don’t often allow ourselves time to indulge in play. Having children, grandchildren or being around children in any capacity reignites that spark within us. Play is a primal element of human nature. We are born to play, to be inquisitive, to follow our intuition. So much of this gets left behind as we enter adulthood. Just like travel, play keeps us young at heart, we use our physical bodies to move and interact with the world, and we use our minds to problem solve, to be creative and to think outside the box. Play does all sorts of wonderful things inside of our bodies, from creating new neural pathways in the brain to releasing our ‘happy’ hormones which lower stress and boost longevity. Play also instigates laughter, which of course we all know to be the best medicine and antidote to any woes.
Remain a Student of Life
We also are familiar with the saying ‘use it or lose it!’ In this case, we are referring to the brain! As human beings we are hardwired to learn. We cannot help but learn, our brains are like sponges that eagerly soak up new information. As we age, we need to flex our brain muscle just as we do any other muscle in the body. This doesn’t necessarily mean diving into complex text books. One of the best types of learning as we age is experiential learning. Travel is one of the most remarkable ways to return to the classroom. Getting out and seeing the world, venturing to new lands, and feeding the brain with first-hand information about people, art, culture, language, food and sensory stimuli is both rewarding and beneficial. Learning new keeps us young, eager, passionate and alert.
Appreciate the Little Things
Finally, let’s take a look at gratitude. Gratitude may be a buzzword in the health world, yet it is for good reason. The simple act of expressing gratitude has a multitude of health benefits. Gratitude improves our relationships, boosts our physical health and happiness, reduces stress, frustration, depression, and anxiety, improves empathy and compassion, promotes better sleep, improves self esteem, increases mental strength, makes us more optimistic and more resilient, increases productivity and helps us to achieve our goals. And these are just some of the benefits! The simple practice of taking a few moments each day to focus on or jot down the things in life we are grateful for can go a long way to boosting our happiness and longevity. Studies show that just five minutes a day increases long-term wellbeing by more than 10 percent.
New Experiences and Connection with Escape Haven Voyages
These incredible and insightful tips for wellbeing and longevity can be easily implemented into your daily life. However, as we researched this topic, we also wanted to look at how these elements are all so potent to our retreats in general, but more specifically, Escape Haven Voyages.
Escape Haven Voyages is a unique opportunity to experience life in all of its wonder. Living aboard a yacht, witnessing one of the most spectacular World Heritage sites on Earth, immersing yourself in a new culture, trying new activities such as snorkelling, stand-up paddleboarding, yoga or hiking, feasting on deliciously fresh cuisine, sleeping to the sound of the ocean, witnessing breathtaking natural scenery everywhere you turn, connecting with new like-minded people, finding tranquillity through meditation and simply being by the ocean – all of these things are what we have mentioned above contribute to a great level of happiness, contentment, and a long life.
On Escape Haven Voyages you have limitless time to play, to explore, to be inquisitive. You have space to listen to your inner voice, reconnect to your powerful intuition, and explore the things that make you feel connected to your higher purpose. You have the opportunity to be part of a community and a special tribe that share your passions and thirst for life, adventure and wellbeing. You are invited to push your boundaries, to try new things, to bask in the novelty that every moment of every day offers. You have the opportunity to learn about a new culture, pick up a few new words in another language, discover a remote part of the world, its history and its diverse species. Of course, you cannot help but bask in gratitude for this remarkable journey, for taking the time to offer yourself an experience that will transform your life and perhaps be a stepping stone to helping you reconnect to your true purpose in life.
Escape Haven Voyages is a journey that will stay with you forever, and as we have seen through this article, every element of the retreat experience naturally contributes to great health, greater happiness, greater fulfillment, and greater longevity. An Escape Haven Voyage will wake up the inner child within you and remind you of the essential joy inherent in life.
“Don’t live the same day for 80 years and call it a life.”
A life well-lived is full of new adventures.
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.