[Blue Zones Series] The Power of Spirituality

Uncategorized Mar 10, 2021

This week I am continuing our 9 week Blue Zones Series. For 9 weeks we are covering the 9 different patterns that help centenarians live and thrive longer.

If you missed last week's blog on the Power Of Slow: Stress Management, go check it out!

>>Read It Here<<

This week we are covering The Power Of Spirituality.

Now I want to just add a disclaimer here. I realize that a lot of people will be swayed away by the title. Those who are religious may see spirituality and think it's all about "woo woo" sinful things. Those who are against religion may see the title and think it's going to be preachy.

This article will be neither of those things. I will simply be doing what I have done in the other blogs and give an overview of one of the patterns in the Blue Zones, and spirituality and religion just happens to be one.

I invite you to keep an open mind. Remember, while I am talking about each topic in isolation, in order to achieve a Blue Zones life you must be working on each of the patterns.

With that being said, let's dive in.

Something we see from all centenarians from each of the 5 Blue Zones is some kind of religious practice of spiritual practice.

They do not all hold the same spiritual or religious beliefs, they don't all worship the exact same God or practice in the same way but what's key here is they all have this faith, this belief in something bigger than themselves.

They have something bigger than themselves to believe in and to surrender to. This belief is what keeps them going. They know that whatever happens they are protected, they are loved, and they aren't alone.

That's what I love about spirituality so much. This feeling that I don't need to be the sole protector of myself. That I am supported and I am loved. I am never alone.

I grew up in a religious household where I struggled with that faith a lot (I won't get into that here but just know I was struggling). And I know I will receive a lot of flack for saying that but I want to be honest with you. There were many aspects I just couldn't get on board with and that didn't make sense for what I knew outside of religion. So I abandoned it altogether.

I was so angry for a long time. During this time I was broke, struggling with my mental and physical health, I was drinking a lot to get drunk, I was lost. I never felt further from myself in my entire life (including when I went to church with my family).

Eventually, when I started my business I also found this thing called spirituality. At first, I was leary. I didn't want to be roped back in. But once I started learning more about it I found out it was simply a practice of love. 

Now you do not have to agree with me. I am not here to make you believe what I believe. I want you to believe what you believe.

The point of this story is that once I opened up to spirituality then I discovered peace, confidence, self-love, faith, a belief in something bigger than me. I no longer felt lost, alone, or afraid. I was whole again. I was more connected to myself than I had ever been. I felt like I had found home.

And I think this brings up a really great point...

You can enjoy your life, be satisfied with your life, but make it to the end a little early and wonder what more you could have done. Being open to believing in something outside of yourself and finding that inevitable peace, love, and feeling of connectedness and home that comes from it, could be that tipping point.

I mean why bother to keep living if you never really find that place where your feet can touch the ground (metaphorically of course)?

Now I will not give you any tips on which religion or spiritual practice you should take up. That is up to you to decide. The world will tell you a lot of things but tune them out and go inward. Listen to what feels right to you.

I will talk to you about what the benefits of a spiritual or religious practice are and how that can contribute to longevity.

1. Provides a sense of belonging

We are social beings. Even if we are a hardcore introvert (present company), human beings have an innate need for belonging. On the third level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, we see interpersonal needs, a need for love and belonging.

This can come from an intimate relationship (which we will talk about in another blog post soon) but what I find is the most impactful way of meeting this need is finding a group of people who hold the same beliefs as you and that you can engage in activities with at the same level. Now sure, you can accomplish this through other means but attending a church or religious practice or a ritual together is a powerful and easy way to accomplish this.

2. Easily able to find others who hold the same values as you

Essentially this helps find "your tribe." Have you ever noticed how difficult to connect with your friends when you believe something and your friends flat out say they think it's garbage? I have many friends that think I'm a little cooky (or a lot who knows) but they all at some level support what I believe. Still, there is a little part of me that wishes they would be as excited about spirituality as me. I have ended friendships with others who openly hated on what I believed.

When you find others who hold the same beliefs as you do such as when you go to a spiritual retreat, a meditation retreat, a church service the chances of you finding others that have the same values as you is much higher than just going out into the world and trying to find those people.

3. As you get older and others around you start to pass away you still have people of your religion or spirituality to connect with

A really important point here. Not everyone reaches the age of 100, especially not with the mental faculties to be aware of your life and what's going on around you. If you do, you may notice you are out living a lot of your friends and family.

This can be really difficult. When my grandma passed away I read a statistic (which I cannot remember the exact numbers) that said that a huge majority of elderly people do not live more than one year after their spouse passes away. I was so scared I was going to lose my grandpa as well.

But he continued to go to church every week and shortly after she passed he found a girlfriend (they are still together) and he has now continued living 12 years and counting past her passing.

4. It can provide you with things to do with your time

Let's be real, we spend most of our lives working and then we retire and if we retire young enough we may have a lot of stuff to do at the beginning but think about this. If you retire by 55-60 and you live until you're 110 that is a lot of years of not working that you now have to find a way to pass the time.

Practicing spirituality or religion can fill that time. And it's not just filling that time but it's filling that time with a practice you love, that fills your cup up, and you are passionate about.

What better way to fill your time than with something you love and are passionate about.

5. Religion and spirituality are always there for you

They are a constant. Sometimes when we are young or when something bad happens we have this tendency to think our higher entity has forsaken us, it is "nowhere to be found, they can't exist because they'd never let this bad thing happen to us." But this is just the frustration or the grieve talking and clouding our judgement (don't worry we have all been there. I have been there more than a few times).

But when it comes down to it, people leave, people are self-preserving, self-motivated, and you never know what will happen to them from day-to-day. But religion or spirituality isn't going anywhere. It has stood the test of time.

While it may change a bit over time, it is always there and has always been there. We have ancient texts and evidence supporting this. So chances are, it is sticking around.

You know you can rely on it.


As I said, I am not going to provide you with evidence on which religion or practice I think you should do. I think you should do the one you believe in and the one you're passionate about. If you have a cultural-based practice that helps you connect with your ancestors and who you really are, do that. If you found you love Christianity and it was exactly what you needed when you were looking for it, do that. If you found home with some kind of spiritual practice or belief, do that.

As long as you do something.

There is also a lot of evidence-based research that shows how a religious or spiritual-based practice can also positively support our health and well-being, including our physical health.

Spiritual practices are really mindset and mindfulness-focused, which I have discussed in other blogs.

Keep an open mind, go inward, explore all the options, go with your gut. You cannot go wrong if you block out all the outside noise and judgement and simply ask yourself what you think is right for you.

Interested in a way you can explore religion? Send an email to [email protected] and ask!

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