• Lizzie Shutt

Human Connection: An Essential For Longevity and Peace

What is essential to live a long life?

It’s not the latest superfood or newest calorie-burning HIIT workout, although marketing may try to convince you otherwise. Beyond diet and exercise, humans need real connection to live a long, healthy and happy life.

I had intrinsically come to understand the importance of connection just from my life experiences and tuning into my heart. Once I understood this, supporting evidence kept popping up in articles, podcasts, and in my Integrative Nutrition education! Blue Zones are a great example that have been studied and prove the power of community connection.

Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live the longest (largest number of people who reach 100+ years “centenarians”) and even throughout old age remain involved with the community. These communities move daily, eat wisely, and feel a sense of belonging. Many centenarians attend faith-based service weekly, which research suggests can add 4-14 years to your life expectancy! The specific denomination is not important rather the practice of joining with your community to share, learn, and personally reflect is what provides a sense of purpose and belonging.

Human connection is something we all innately crave and you can find satisfaction in many ways that align with your beliefs and values. This may look like going to Church and socializing with community there, or meeting a best friend at a coffee shop to share each other's passions and life experiences with one another. I grew up in a family who values connection and family time. My grandparents would visit in the mornings before elementary school, every night we sit together to eat as a family, and if you know us we love touch!

Personally, I love my alone time and I believe it is equally as important to my health. I equally enjoy meeting and connecting with others from all walks of life. Talking to different people allows me to bounce ideas, receive feedback, educate them, and get inspired by the actions of others. Through human connection our body and brain stay active because we are constantly receiving and giving to others. We learn from one another’s experiences and from pursuing new adventures together!

Take time this holiday season to connect with family and friends, bless them with your presence and a warm hug!

Check out more about Blue Zones and the nine commonalities between them all at the website linked and take the quiz to gauge where you are in terms of living a long life like the centenarians!

"Live Dirty, Eat Clean & Green",

Lizzie Shutt


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