Growing young with cuddles, fuzzy moments and optimism
Marta Zaraska: Science journalist
We are bombarded with advice and information about diet and exercise, but what about the impact of friendship, optimism and kindness on our longterm wellbeing? It is eye-opening to discover that a strong support network of family and friends lowers mortality risk by about 45 percent, while volunteering your free time reduces the chances of early death by a staggering 20-60 percent, depending on the study. Science journalist Marta Zaraska is the author of Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. In this episode of the LLAMA podcast, she discusses the peer-reviewed studies that suggest living to a great age is about more than what we eat or how much we move. We cover how caring for children motivates us to keep on living and why Marta’s long-held beliefs about aging and longevity were shattered through an understanding of the research.
NOTES & QUOTES
Connect with Marta: Website | Book: Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100 | Twitter | Contact
In this episode we cover:
- Coping with Covid-19 in France, where the outlook is looking better, with no second wave of the virus yet.
- Becoming a mother and thinking more about health and longevity.
“I ended up reading over 600 research papers and talking to dozens of scientists
- Why fixating on nutrition and exercise does not tell the whole story.
- Delving into the science behind friendship, optimism and kindness.
“Optimism can add from four to ten years of life and then a happy romantic relationship…can lower your mortality risk by about 49 percent.”
- What “Growing Young” means.
- The folly of “anti-aging.”
“I generally believe that we should embrace aging and there is nothing wrong with growing older.”
- Why hugging and cuddling is good, most of the time.
- The extremes some people go to for human contact.
- The blood science that validates acts of kindness as a positive behavioral trail.
- Oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins.
- The science behind that fuzzy warm feeling.