As I’ve come into my twenties, beginning the next adult phase of my life, I’ve found myself considering the future a lot more than I did two or three years ago. There’s something about this twenties transition that has me considering my health, my career, and my future in general. It has also led me to realize that while I certainly enjoyed my younger life, I still have so much more ahead of me and so many things I want to accomplish in that time. So, being the planner that I am, when I discovered that there were a few key factors to predicting a long life, I knew I had to share.
1. Low Stress Levels
This one should be a no brainer. Stress has time and time again been shown to bring us down and our health, yet it is seemingly ever present in our daily lives. A recent study done by University of California, San Francisco, shows that the hormone that regulates the aging process, also known as klotho, was found in lower levels in women who experienced chronic stress. Combat this by making a daily effort to relieve some of that stress; try going for a walk, spending a little time meditating, or even enjoying a glass of wine — see number two.
2. Enjoying a Glass of Wine
Or beer or a spirit of your choice for that matter. No, I’m not saying go out and pour yourself silly, that would be counterproductive in more than one way. Rather, allow yourself one small serving of alcohol daily and you may just add a few more years on to your life. In fact, a Dutch study found that allowing yourself this daily serving can be linked to a 36% lowered risk of all causes of death. Just remember to take it easy guys, less sometimes is more.
3. Eating Whole Grains
Not only can you drink your way to older age, you can eat your way too. That is as long as you’re eating whole grains — think wheat, oats, quinoa. It’s a simple switch from the empty calories and nutrient lacking white bread or rice, and one that can benefit you in more than one way. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutrition reported that adults who had high levels of polyphenols, a nutrient found in whole grains, had a 30% lower mortality rate than those adults with less levels of the nutrient. I promise once you switch you won’t ever look back.
4. No Smoking Allowed
Cut one more thing out of your life to add some more years to it. This one should be a no brainer, seeing all the negative effects smoking causes. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that non-smokers outlast their puffing pals by ten years. This is just one of many reasons to ditch the bad habit though. And for all you who may have tested the waters, as long as you quit by age 40, your chances of smoking related risks will remain low.
5. Living a Conscientious Life
Journal Age published a study in 2006 that linked people living to the age of 100 to certain personality traits. If you label yourself as conscientious and extraverted you’re in luck, you might just make it to 100. Those with these particular personality traits have higher levels of self-discipline in terms of taking care of their mind and bodies and more optimistic outlooks resulting in less stressful lives.
While these five indicators may not guarantee you a long-lived life, they certainly might help you live a better one. So go on, sit back, relax with a glass of wine and some whole grain bread, and think some happy thoughts about what you might do with all that future ahead of you.