Who are your friends? Who is in your tribe? Where is your community? What is your purpose in life is? What is the reason you get out of bed every day?
More and more research is showing the key to health and wellness is not one, but many. What you drink and eat, how you exercise, sleep quality and quantity, medications and vitamins are all important. But studies show the importance of social and cultural elements are also critical to living a long and healthy life.
At Five Good Friends we have talked a lot about the power of friendship and the community around you to ensure a long and vibrant life.
When Five Good Friends began, we identified a significant international study – the Blue Zone Study. The study identified places around the world where people regularly live vibrant and healthy lives past the age of 100 – naming these Blue Zones.
As you’d expect, diet and exercise play a very significant part; however, the study looked beyond nutrition and activity to examine the influence and effect of social and cultural constructs on longevity. It turns out that common to all Blue Zones is friendship, community and purpose.
People living in these zones share a key thing in common: friendship. The power of friendship is believed to contribute to a much better quality of life as we grow older.
At the centre of friendship is the concept of Moais. The sense and creation of community and friendship are perhaps seen at their greatest in the blue Zone of Okinawa, Japan.
A Moai is a lifelong circle of friends that support each other through all of life’s ups and downs well into older age. The Moai also innately reinforces healthy behaviours through shared experience. People who live in this community have low rates and incidents of cancer, heart disease and dementia. The women of this community are the longest living on the planet.
As the study finds, thanks to the formation of Moais, people living in Okinawa will travel through life with between five and six good friends. Compare this to Western societies where that number between one and a half and three.
“It is the stress-shedding power and influence of friendships over our day-to-day lives that adds years to life and life to years,” explains Dan Buettner, publisher of The Blue Zones study.
The Blue Zone study also found that the Okinawan community are very clear on their Ikigai.
The Japanese term Ikigai literally translates to “the happiness of always being busy.” Ikigai is when passion, profession and vocation become our purpose. It gives purpose to each and every day and plays an important role in our health and longevity.
At its core is the connectivity of passion, profession, vocation and mission. Do what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for in your local community.
You own Ikigai can be found in asking yourself “Do I like to serve, care, connect, help, nourish, create, build, teach and so on?”
At Five Good Friends we have talk a lot about the power of friendship. The understanding of the power of friendship is not only reflected in our name – it is Five Good Friends guiding philosophy.
It is our mission to help people live vibrant lives in their own homes, connected to the friends, family and communities they love. By focusing on these fundamentals, we aim to ensure that every Five Good Friends member is able to achieve their goals and live the life they desire.
So today, when you are thinking about the things you need to do to live a long and healthy life - don’t forget to think about your friends, community and purpose