I live in Spain where the average life expectancy just hit 83 years—number three in the world, less than one percentage of a point behind Switzerland and Japan. Foreigners often hypothesize that the reason is due to the diet, the long walks, or red wine that keep people alive until such an old age, but after I’ve lived here for 10 years, I must disagree.
As I look out of my office window right now, the corner cafe is filled with office workers on a morning break drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and eating croissants. In the evening, that same crew will return for beer and wine, deep-fried tapas, and another round of cigarettes. This is the norm.
So why then do they live so long? My theory is that people are less stressed, on average, all the time. Plus, the family unit and social ties are extremely strong. Grown adults will share a sitdown meal with their parents weekly (or more). Friendships are cherished and developed, the average workday is long and leisurely, and life is slower and less intense.
Research clearly shows that great relationships and reduced stress are predictive of health worldwide, and yet most of us obsess much more about the perfect meal or the perfect workout (at least I do).
Chronic stress is a silent killer that affects your mood, your waistlines, your hormones, and mental health. The goal is not to live a stress-free life, that’s impossible; instead, our aim should be to reduce the stressors we can and manage the rest effectively through diet, exercise, nutrition, breathing, and positive mental models. Our guest on this week's podcast teaches a “stress less” holistic approach to wellness.
Listen & Learn:
- Why 90% of periodontal disease has no pain and how a lack of pain in life is not a signal of no problems
- How thoughts are things, literally, they are neurotransmitters made of proteins
- The PERMA model (positive, engaged, relationships, meaning, accomplishment)
Links & Resources:
ABOUT OUR GUEST
B.D.S (Syd Uni) FACNEM (Dent) Dr. Ron Ehrlich is a holistic health advocate, educator, and holistic dentist. Dr. Ron has developed his health model of how stress affects our health; breaking stress down to emotional, environmental, nutritional, structural and dental stressors. He’s the author of the book A Life Less Stressed available on Amazon or his website.
Nutritional Tip of the Week:
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