Have you ever been on an obstacle course and felt sidelined by one of the obstacles and had to jump off the path? Last week in our blog, I shared living a blue life, and today here are the five areas of a Blue Zone Life to Thrive. Does your life feel like an obstacle course? You just want things to be a bit smoother? Isn’t it time to take your life easy without any obstacles?
What’s on the path that overwhelms you? The height of a wall? Being solo on the journey? There’s water and you’re not a swimmer? Or you’re so done with pushing yourself!
Let’s break down the obstacles.
When you see the obstacles as barriers, no wonder you get tired of the continual climb. When you see obstacles as part of the journey to learn more about yourself, the ongoing climb is where you feel good to enjoy being in your happy place. When you let go of the obstacle as a way to achieve social rewards, friends, richer social interactions, more energy or less stress, the journey gets easier. Not bad for changing how you approach the obstacle course. Rather than saying I know I’m not good at this, instead say “I’m excited to successfully complete this course because it brings me less stress and personal ease in my life.”
Commuting to work may be your daily obstacle course. Depending on the distance, weather and ability to get there easily, you may be thinking there’s got to be a better way. When studying Dan Buettner’s Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Ways, he identified that when people live in less populated areas, such as Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, people are less stressed because they have room to breathe. Is your response, and who would want to live there?
Again, according to thriving in a Blue Zone life, happier people live in metropolitan areas versus the country. It’s no wonder they enjoy living around more populated areas with more people to connect with so they feel secure and daily interactions build trust.
Dan Buettner identified the Blue Zone factors that contribute to Denmark’s appeal in 14 areas. Here are four of the highlighted areas: Denmark is one of the five identified Blue Zone countries where people live happier and thrive around the globe. The others are Costa Rica, Mexico, Singapore, and San Luis Obispo, California.
Environment of Trust: Obeying local laws of travel, traffic and toward each other. This infrastructure and rules may be oversimplified, think about the past 60 days or six months, how often have you experienced road rage or anger in interactions with others? Road rage and anger are less demonstrated in Denmark.
Care for Young and Old: The focus is on generations spending time to enjoy their lives rather than maxing out retirement and disliking the job you’re in because you must hang on as long as you can. In the U.S., this reflects how the population is focused on work, daily grind and lose track of what’s really important, ie: relationships and connection with family members.
Personal Freedom: There’s a relationship between happiness and freedom. Danish children are taught to make up their own minds rather than parents running their lives to max out every opportunity. Children are encouraged to try and even fail, which is supported in the school and work environment as well. In contrast, I’ve experienced many U.S. employees being reprimanded and feeling there’s a lack of trust for not succeeding for suggestions at work that may not work or have the return on suggestion that’s expected. What’s the incentive to go outside your comfort zone?
Cozy, Well Lit Home Environments: In Denmark, the winter nights fall early and there’s social encouragement to light candles, and gather with friends. Is your home a beacon for friends to come and visit? When was the last time, rather than running out for take out or home delivery dinner, you stayed in to entertain friends and enjoyed their company? It doesn’t happen as often as it could to encourage more social interaction.
Having a life where you thrive doesn’t sound too difficult to plan. It’s easy when you Set up nudges that encourage you to focus on what matters, rather than tapping into areas life distraction.
The life areas to THRIVE:
Community: Do you feel good about where you lie and live your values?
Workplace: Do you have meaningful work?
Social Life: Does your social circle encourage you to reach your potential?
Financial Life: Based on your adopted ways, is it easier to save or spend?
Home: Is your home set up to encourage happiness and away from ways of discontent?
Self: Does your own self habits include gratitude, open to give and receive love and appreciation?
It’s easy to get distracted on any journey, where you feel like you’re on an obstacle course and can lose your balance easily. When you focus on the life areas to THRIVE, the obstacles aren’t as jarring and you can thrive knowing you’re living a BLUE ZONE Life.
Take the Empower Me Quiz HERE I have three openings this week for conversations.