Most people are focused on two things when it comes to their health and these are following a good diet and being able to exercise regularly. Although these two elements are necessary to our overall health, there is another area in our lives that can contribute too and that is the company we keep.
Researchers have discovered that there are certain types of health behaviors that can be copied from the people we surround ourselves with, whether in person and online even, which can influence anxiety, obesity, even the happiness that we feel.
Dan Buettner, who is a National Geographic fellow as well as author, has been studying the health habits of those who lived in the blue zones or regions where people tend to have longer life expectancies. What he noted in these zones is having positive friendships being a common theme. He stated that having friends can have an influence to one’s health behavior that diets cannot achieve.
A good example of this is in Okinawa, Japan, where the average life span of their women is at 90, which is the oldest all over the world. Here they form a moai, which is composed of five friends who offer each other social, emotional, logistic, as well as financial support throughout their lives. In the moai, the members of the group get benefits when things go well in their lives, such as sharing one’s crops, or offering support when a member of the family is sick, and can even be felt with their health behaviors too.
If you are thinking of building your own moai, you should start looking for those who have similar interests, values, and passions that you have. This helps you stack the deck in favor of building a long-lasting relationship with these individuals. The Blue Zone team started with geography, family schedules, and work to group people accordingly. They followed this up with a series of questions to determine what their interests were. This way, people will be able to find like-minded people that they can form a moai with.
The Power of Positive People
You’ve probably noticed your mood changing in relation to how your spouse feels. If he or she is angry, you feel tense and so on. Negative emotions from someone close to you can have an effect to your own state of mind and may cause disruptions in your relationship when not checked. Being exposed to negativity constantly not only affects your emotions, but it can also affect your self-esteem, your body, and your mind too. This is why we need to choose our relationships carefully.
Studies show that when we surround ourselves with positive people, we are more likely to achieve the goals that we want, from losing weight, to getting that job you like, and so on. When we are surrounded by people who make use feel better about ourselves, the higher the chances that we will achieve what we set our minds to. That said, how will you know if your circle of friends is generating positivity or not?
There are a few questions that you should ask yourself such as:
- Is there a feeling of being refreshed after spending the day with them or do you feel deflated or drained even?
- Who among your friends believe in what you can do and what you can achieve?
- When you are going to see your friends, do you feel excited or do you dread seeing them?
- Who can help you with achieving your goals or offer support when there are setbacks?
The names you have listed on the positive are the ones that you should spend most of your time with because their positivity can affect your overall health in a good way. It would be good for you if you have a group of friends who you can turn to when you are in need of support, advice, or help even.
Communication is the Key
There will be times when we will be dealing with difficult people, whether they are a family member, a neighbor, or even a co-worker for that matter. These people may even know what buttons to press to goad you with. Instead of blowing up in anger, use this opportunity to learn how you will be able to interact with them since the situation may not always work in your favor of avoiding them. This kind of situation can even help you be more assertive of your needs and your sense of self-worth too.
Communication is essential at this point because it removes you from reacting to making an action instead. Being able to communicate honestly with these people may help give you a better understanding of one another which can transform your relationship into a better one.
Be a Source of Positive Support
Positivity works both ways which means that you too should be practicing positivity towards others. This can be something simple as paying someone a compliment, showing kindness to a stranger, or even helping someone out. Not only will this have a positive effect on the person, but you’ll feel better too.