Billy Joel had it wrong when he exclaimed "Only the Good Die Young."
Analysis of over 16,000 individuals again confirms that the best predictors of mortality overall are sense of purpose and sense of community/family. This recent research finding, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that risk factors for mortality were being unmarried, infrequent involvement in religious activities, and being socially isolated.
This dovetails perfectly with what I've already written about in terms of managing perception of stress. Yes, nutrition and activity play a role, but ultimately are borne out of, reinforced or negated by one's sense of higher purpose and connection to community and/or family.
The National Geographic Blue Zones project began digging into these same factors now for over a decade, and I think that Dan Buettner's article on "The Island Where People Forget to Die" helps put a fine point on it: have incredible meaning in your life and have incredibly meaningful relationships.
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