How to Live a Long and Healthy Life | Japanese Doctor Shares His Secrets to a Long and Happy Life

How to Live a Long and Healthy Life | Japanese Doctor Shares His Secrets to a Long and Happy Life dr Hina Hara spent his life studying longevity and lived to 105 years of age here are some of his tips to living a long healthy life if you desire to live a long healthy life you won't want to miss what Japanese doctor shigeaki Hinna hara touted as the secrets to living a long life the physician would know as he helped build the foundations of japanese medicine studying longevity and even lived to the ripe old age of 105 in the hara who died on July the 18th 2017 with the chairman emeritus of st

Luke's International University and the honorary president of st Luke's International Hospital in an interview with Judit Kawaguchi of Japan times on the topic of longevity he recommended several basic guidelines for longevity one of them is the retire later on in life one retire later in life because people are living much longer particularly in Japan dr Hina Hara claims they should be retiring later as well the physician took his own advice to heart months before he died even at the age of 105 years old he najara continued to treat patients reports the independent he kept an appointment book with space for five more years and worked up to 18 hours a day he believed that life is all about contribution so he had this incredible drive to help people to wake up early in the morning and do something wonderful for other people this is what was driving him and what kept him living Kawaguchi told the BBC he always had today's goals tomorrow's and the next five years to have more fun other guidelines recommended by Hina Hara include worrying less about eating we're all getting enough sleep and spending more time having fun we all remember how as children when we were having fun we often forgot to eat or sleep I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults too it's best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime said Hindi Hara 3 eat right stay trim the Japanese researcher also advised against being overweight his own regime was quite strict for breakfast I drink coffee a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it said Hinda Hara olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy lunch is milk and a few cookies or nothing when I am too busy to eat I never get hungry because I focus on my work dinner is veggies a bit of fish and rice and twice a week 100 grams of lean meat for question everything including your doctor's advice even though he najara was a doctor he told patients to do their own research and listen to their own intuitions when a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery asked whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure he said contrary to popular belief doctors can't cure everyone so why cause unnecessary pain with surgery I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine five exercise more as one might expect exercise is always advised I take two stairs at a time to get my muscles moving said Hinda Hara the doctor also recommended having more fun to combat pain which is inevitable in life pain is mysterious and having fun is the best way to forget it if a child has a toothache and you start playing a game together he or she immediately forgets the pain hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients we all want to have fun at st Luke's we have music and animal therapies and art classes said he'll Hara well I just want to say first of all it's nice to get out of the Congress Center and actually get to see a little bit of the real Davos and thank you for coming out I'm gonna talk about the world's happiest people and the lessons they have to teach us but first I want to start with you and I'm going to start actually by identifying the happiest people in the audience and in order to do that I need to ask you to binary questions the first question is whether you think life is long or short so if you think that life is long raise your hand if you think that life is long now raise your hand if you think life is short all right second question whether or not you think life is hard or easy raise your hand if you think life is hard life is oh a minority raise your hand if you think life is easy there we go of course you live in Davos all right I want everybody who raised their hands thinking that life is long and easy to stand up stand up don't worry I won't humiliate you too bad okay these stay standing so a few years ago stay standing if you would a few years ago a Harvard scientist by the name of Mike Norton led a team of surveyors worldwide and they asked people these exact same questions and correlated them to happiness civics and generosity and they found 3,000 surveys they found that the least happy people were believed that they lived that their lives were short and hard the happiest people believe that life is long and easy they also were more likely to vote and more likely to contribute money to charity so could we give a big world economic forum to the people standing up here look around these are the people you want to invite to your next cocktail party and fundraiser so I'm gonna fix my pants here my mother would be disappointed in me if I showed up sloppy so okay so at National Geographic over the past 15 years I've developed a bit of an expertise and finding the most extraordinary populations on earth and distilling their lessons and my first big project had to do with longevity something called the Danish twins study established that only about 20% of how long you live on average is dictated by your genes the other 80% is dictated by lifestyle and environment and just a little bit your health care but the majority of it lifestyle and environment so my team and I at National Geographic set out to in a sense reverse-engineer longevity we spent two and a half years working with a team of demographers to identify the statistically longest lived area we found the longest lived women in the world in Okinawa about 30 times more female centenarians there than you'd see in a European population on average it Korea Greece almost no dementia there Sardinia Italy the longest lived man live in the highlands of Sardinia the Norrell province Nicoya Costa Rica has the lowest rate of middle-aged mortality in other words middle aged people have the best chance of reaching a healthy age 90 and in Loma Linda California a group of Americans conservative Methodists actually who live about eight to ten years longer than the average American so they have achieved what we wanted and we found that no matter where you go in the world and see long-lived people you see the same nine things happening over and over and over again but since I'm focusing on happiness for this speech I'm gonna jump right to the bottom line the main principle of longevity no matter where you go and it took me eight years to discover what I'm going to tell you right now when you find a population of people where the 80 year olds are still standing on their head and the 90 year olds are still skiing and the hundred year olds are still karate master it's not because they tried to live a long time longevity just happened to them they never got on diets they never started to do exercise programs they didn't take supplements they didn't call a number on TV that promised them some longevity scheme longevity happened to them and the big insight here is that if you really want to live a long time what works is letting longevity ensue as opposed to trying to pursue longevity where you go and you see people living a long time you see the same five environmental factors in place first of all they have a system of eating the right way they eat ninety to a hundred percent plant-based foods four foods you see in every longevity culture in the world as their main staples whole grains greens nuts and beans eat about a cup of beans a day they move naturally they don't exercise in the way we think of exercise but every time they go to work or to school or to a friend's house and occasions a walk they have Gardens they don't have mechanical conveniences to help them do housework or yard work or kitchen work they're doing it by hand every 20 minutes or so they're not into a little bit of physical activity which not only adds up to more calorie burning than you do in a gym but it keeps their metabolism at a higher rate they have vocabulary for purpose they live in the right community well can't we have a purpose they surround themselves with the right people and they live in a community that has an environment that facilitates these behavior so it's an interconnected mutually supporting cluster of environmental factors that adds up to longevity so to do a study like this responsibly you have to be able to measure it carefully you can't just go by anecdote and when it comes to longevity the exercise is pretty straightforward you go back about a hundred years and you find a population of people born say between 1915 and 1920 and then you have to follow them their entire lives adjust for immigration and emigration yes this is the same person and you see how many people are still alive it's pretty straightforward math there's a lot of places that we thought were long lived the caucuses of the Soviet Union vilcabamba Valley of Ecuador hunts of Valley of Pakistan they've all been debunked we did the research to make sure these are truly long Javanese places so longevity is pretty easy to measure but how about happiness happiness is a little spongy er you could find somebody who's smiling today but they may be depressed for the rest of the month or they don't exactly know if they're happier they know if they don't exactly know what you're talking about or they may have just had a few cocktails or a few glasses of beer so how do you measure happiness well I'm proud to say that this past year I brokered a very innovative study to measure happiness and it involved Google collaboration between Google Gallup and the University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania's world well-being project and may correlate it what you look for on the internet what you search for on the Internet in two hundred cities and they correlated it with your happiness and they found actually that what you look for on the Internet is a better predictor of your happiness than your income or your education level this study also revealed that people who owned dogs and look for information about their dogs are happier than cat owners people who are looking for action movies or comedy movies are happier than people looking for romance movies and in case you like your romance by yourself in private people who are looking for softcore porn are happier than those who like the harder stuff and don't worry this was anonymized data we do not know who you are but for a recent article I wrote in National Geographic I wrote the cover story for the November issue a book called Blue Zones of happiness we dome into a much bigger ocean of data several international organizations around the world 151 countries in fact participate in these random sample subjective well-being surveys and these surveys ask you a number questions about your happiness and then a number of other questions about your life and with these surveys we can kind of get insight into people but we can also identify the happiest places in the world and what accompanies that happiness so I actually want to add I'd dry die down in that a little bit so what do I mean so when it comes to happiness academically speaking it's a meaningless term because you can't really measure happiness but you can measure life satisfaction the way that's measured is surveyors ask people consider your life as a whole on a scale of one to ten how satisfied are you with your life and it turns out that yields a pretty good response especially when you ask thousands of people that that averages out the errors of people are exaggerated exaggerating or understanding their happiness but because we only remember about two percent of our lives we tend to remember the high points and the low points if I asked you what you had for lunch a week ago Tuesday you probably couldn't tell me so this life satisfaction measure is evaluative and it's only one facet of happiness another facet is your daily emotions and because you can pretty accurately remember the last 24 hours when so surveyors ask you how much you fell joy and how much you smiled and how much you worried and how much you you felt stress we can get a pretty good idea of how you're experiencing life and those two are only correlated by about 05% they're they're moderately correlated not the same thing and then they can measure purpose by asking you a few questions about if you're able to use your strengths to do what you do every day so those three come together then these surveys ask about any other questions about your demographics your values and your life characteristics and through the magic of something called regression analysis you can start to see very clearly which of these things are favoring each of these three facets of happiness with remarkable consistency and when you distill that all down it becomes a very good prescription for longevity and I'm going to tell you what that prescription is but first in the spirit of National Geographic I'm going to reveal that mystery by taking you a fart to a few faraway places and telling you a story and the story we're going to tell you are of the world's happiest places and the first place I'm going to take you to is the happiest place in Asia does anyone want to guess the happiest place in Asia anyone what do you think what is it Japan Bhutan Bhutan I hate to say is number 91 in the world there that that that national happy stuff is mostly a PR whitewashing what Myanmar sososo sit who said that Singapore timeline actually was top last year but over the past five years it's been Singapore when he averaged to the last five five years together Singapore comes out on top on both life satisfaction and an absence of a negative effect so Singapore is kind of amazing place in 1965 it was mostly a fishing village and in the last 40 or 50 years they've had the most remarkable economic success in the history of the world their economy has doubled 15 times giving people a feeling of constantly getting better they have the one of the highest GDP s in the world and also one of the highest life expectancy five different ethnicities live there in remarkable harmony the Chinese I mean the Indians the Malay Muslims and the Han Chinese and this isn't by chance by the way this entire country I believe was architected by this man right here Lee Kuan Yew a Cambridge educated lawyer speaks the Queen's English but supremely understands the values of the Asian people he is overseen in Europe and the United States we operate under a set of judeo-christian values we tend to celebrate self-actualization and individualism whereas in Asia Confucian values they tend to value more security and harmony and respect and they're a little bit more collective so he went about building a society based on the values of the people who live there he made sure that everybody could own their own home people take care of their own home better than they take care of a rent at home but not just that he made sure that every housing project reflected the ethnic diversity of the entire country so you did not have a ghetto of the Malay and you didn't have a gated community of the Han Chinese kids of all ethnicities went to school together they work together they all had equal opportunity he was very tough on crime and also very tough on enforcement and that's very conscious if you get caught in with a violent doing a violent crime you're probably going to get caned which is violent you basically get beaten if you get caught with more than 15 grams of an opioid you'll be put to death now that sounds draconian but on the and indeed a few dozen people are hung every year because they're caught with drugs but on the other hand they don't have an opioid crisis where I come from in the United States about 45,000 people die every year from opioid ODS we spend a half a trillion dollars and that problem ripples down to children it ripples down to people who end up going to prison causes a lot of misery also being very tough on crime women and children can walk any place in the entire country day and night and be pretty sure they will not be accosted or to become a victim of a crime and when it comes to straight aggregate misery or aggregate happiness this emphasis on security over absolute freedom is producing more to put it bluntly happiness I'm not saying I advocate it but it's working very well for the Singaporeans Singapore delivers a type of happiness for people who like a clear path to success work hard keep your head down forego some pleasures of today and you're almost assured financial success in the future your mother will be proud of you your friends will be impressed and you'll have this very high life satisfaction but this type of happiness is mostly happiness you see in the rearview mirror but it's still important if you think you are happy that actually counts on the other side of the planet we found another happy population in northern Denmark and this is a place that excels they have the top scorers in the world for equality trust and tolerance so the trust tolerance and equality are actually more important than raising GDP when it comes to delivering happiness GDP is important for really poor countries like Bangladesh or pata guei but they're really not that important for countries like the United States or Swit so in other words working really hard to raise GDP is not going to raise happiness much but raising trust tolerancing equality will the whole dana's cliche that the reason they're happy is because they have low expectations could not be further from the truth every man woman and child in the country expects free education and when they go to college not only do they expect free tuition they expect to be paid to go to the University and they do they expect free health care and when they have a baby expect to have ten months to make sure they can stay home paternity or maternity leave to make sure that baby gets a good start and they expect to retire with complete comfort and indeed Danes over age sixty are the happiest cohort of people in the entire world so this is a place since all their basic needs are taken care of it's a place that does not celebrate ambition very much so all the incentives are in place for you to get a job that you really love in America only about 30% of Americans love their job according to Gallup in Denmark it's about 80 percent so most people are able to pursue their passions at work and indeed Denmark's a place that excels at furniture building design architecture they work 37 hours a week and they mostly knock off mid-afternoon and they they belong to clubs the clubs wherein they can pursue their their their hobbies so this is a type of place that is going to appeal to people want to follow their purpose and their passion whether it's rabbit jumping or bicycle riding all natural by the way the photographer's on this project were Cory Richards and David mcclain and they helped bring this story together however I do not recommend you do this at home so the the spot on the globe we're both longevity and happiness come together best is in the small Central American country of Costa Rica and the McCoy a peninsula up there you you have here you have the longest with people but just a little bit to the north in the Central Valley of Costa Rica you have the happiest people in the world happiest is measured by day to day positive emotions so the Central Valley is a place where it's eternally springtime the temperature only varies by about 10 degrees from year to year you're surrounded by beautiful nature has the best coffee in the world but Costa Rica had advantage over the other countries in Central America in that the first presidents were teachers instead of dictators or people kind of put in place by the military their top values are family and religion and indeed no matter where you go in the world religious people report higher levels of happiness than their non-religious counterparts that's not to say that you should be religious if you're not it just says it just says religion corresponds to being happier the type of happiness that excels in Costa Rica is the type of happiness that suggests that you're experiencing life optimally sort of the carpe diem Costa Ricans will almost never do a couple extra hours of work when they can be socializing their cities are set up so they're walking most places they're bumping into their friends they're shopping at a central market and Sunday afternoon family gatherings happen every week with with with certainty no matter where you go in the world and you find happy populations it's not a coincidence this sort of happiness myth that you can go to villages in Africa or Asia and see happy people dancing and if only I could live there I'd be happier complete myth where you find true happiness populations between 50 and 150 years ago enlightened leaders shifted their focus from economic development and started to concentrate on number one education and I don't mean just printing out PhDs I mean making sure that every child can read remarkably Costa Rica and Denmark were the first countries in their hemisphere to educate the daughters of farmers that was a radical idea 150 years ago so when you educate girls they grow up to be educated mothers they have fewer children who themselves are better educated they're healthier those kids grow up to be more productive healthier they make better voting decisions and it creates an upward ratcheting spiral of happiness they focused on health but not the back ass words SiC here we have in the United States it usually means public health it's making sure people don't get sick in the first place and they also emphasize equality it's either usually through taxation or making sure that quality public services are a human right not just an option and the reason why this delivers happiness is because a hundred dollars or an extra hundred dollars or 100 francs in the in the hands of a single mother provides much more happiness than at the extra hundred dollars in the hands of a millionaire so that works for countries but when it comes to individuals the secret is really about a balanced portfolio in the same way for your financial life your financial adviser will tell you to have cash stocks and bonds when it comes to happiness I will tell you to make sure you're enjoying your life a little bit every day you know your sense of purpose and your making enough effort so you can look back on your life and be proud and these three come together like strands in a rope that make for strong authentic happiness but it turns out different things favor each of these three when it comes to life satisfaction working full-time making sure you're making at least the equivalent of seventy five thousand dollars a year and being financially secure will help you with that life satisfaction when it comes to purpose it's more important that you know your values you know your strengths you know your passions and you're putting those to work or you're caring for others and when it comes from optimal daily emotions you want to make sure you're given at least seven hours of sleep no matter what you have some access to nature and you're maximizing vacation there's actually a set of factors that favor at least two of these having a faith going to college and have kids is good for your life satisfaction and your purpose not so great for your daily effect or daily bong meditating volunteering when it comes to purpose and daily emotions and it seems that if you're having sex at least twice weekly it's not only good for your daily experience but you'll be very happy with your life indeed the sweet spot however are these five things making sure you have a job that addresses your passions and your and your gifts socializing at least seven hours a day the happiest people in the world are having face-to-face conversations at least seven hours a day owning a dog being married not all couples are happy but you're about three times more likely to be happy if you can stick your marriage out for 10 years then people throw in the towel and get divorced and the most important thing is this right here right home so if happiness were a cake recipe important ingredients include having food having shelter having some health care having a job marrying the right person having a feeling like you're giving back but the most important ingredient the ingredient with the most variability is where you live in other words if you live in an unhappy place and move to a happy place it's the most powerful thing you can do to increase the likelihood of happiness and we know this because we followed immigrants when they move from Moldavia to Copenhagen and when they move from happy places in Africa and Asia to Canada within one year they start reporting the elevated happiness levels of their adopted adoptive home their gender doesn't change their age doesn't change much their education doesn't change their sexual preference doesn't change all they did was move not all of us can pick up and leave our lives and move to a happier place but statistics tell us a few long-term changes to our environment we can do to stack the deck in favor of our own personal happiness so most of us spend most of our lives within about 8 kilometers of our home and I've identified six domains that you can optimize with long term interventions when it comes to the individual I'm not a big believer in positive psychology appreciation journals and savoring and and gratitude they're nice ideas they might work in the short run but as soon as people stop doing them lose discipline or attention they stop working however learning how to meditate and I mean a deep training like veep Hashanah does it seem rewire your brain so you can better appreciate the moment when it comes to your finances domain you're better and you have a little bit extra money you're much better off buying insurance paying off your mortgage or getting involved in automatic savings plans then you are buying a new pair of shoes or a new electronic gadget because the utility or the luster of a new thing wears off in nine to fourteen months whereas financial securities will last years decades or a lifetime a much better investment if you will in happiness when it comes to your home making sure there's lots of natural light making sure you're nudged into social interaction by favoring the front of your house that faces the street rather than the backyard organizing something that I call a pride shrine finding one place in your house where you walk by every day and you put up pictures of your children your accomplishments of your favorite vacation destination so every time you walk by you get a little surge of joy goes back to that idea of positive emotions social network it's huge we now know that if your three best friends are obese there's a hundred and fifty percent better chance that you'll be overweight yourself drug use is contagious alcoholism is contagious unhappiness is contagious even loneliness is contagious you really kind of are the sum of your five best friends and while I won't tell you to dump your fat unhappy friends I will tell you that proactively bringing some healthy and happy people into your social network will have a lasting impact on your own happiness and health so curating that is very important every new happy friend you add your social network increases your own chance of happiness by fifteen percent when it comes to your job if you're making at least $75,000 a year you should really be thinking about ratcheting back and focusing on your passions if you can't leave your job which most of us can't the number one most important thing you can do to add happiness to your work experience is and this comes from two million surveys make a best friend at work more important than money more important than recognition more important even than having a great boss and then finally thinking about how you can optimize your community so with National Geographic and Gallup we did a big study to identify the happiest places in the United States US isn't that different than Europe but we find that no matter where you go where people are reporting high happiness and all three of these facets they tend to be very bike seqable likeable communities walkable communities with easy access to recreation and with a leadership that focuses on quality of life as opposed to just development so the bottom line here the headline is if you want to be well when it comes to trying to change your habits that works occasionally for the short run but it fails for almost all people almost all the time so if you want to live longer or be happier don't try to change your behavior change your environment so I want to I want to close with the best piece of advice I got unhappiness so I spent 10 years doing this research and I found the happiest man in the world in northern Mexico his name is Armando Aguirre twenties and he's a columnist it's the short guy with a lantern jaw he writes four columns a day and then he writes about happiness he writes about life i sat down with him for two hours got the most amazing interview but at the end of the interview I said can you sum it up for me in just one phrase if people want to be happier what should they do and he said eat without gluttony drink without getting drunk love without jealousy you can argue but never go to bed mad and occasionally with great discretion misbehave thank you very much you


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