Dan Buettner: What You Can Learn From The Happiness Expert

Dan Buettner is an educator, author, explorer, producer, storyteller and public speaker.

He is a fellow at National Geographic.

He learned a lot from his explorer journey to inspire other people.

When he was young man, he just threw himself to become explorer by expedited on his bike.

From then, he traveled by cycling from Africa to Russia, Asia to America all across the continent.

Dan’s travel by bike (or you can say it is an ultra-endurance bike expeditions), becomes useful when it is improving overall human condition.

He learned for the past 15-20 years, while he traveled around the world on his bike, knowing what makes people live a happier life, pin point where people live the longest and are the healthiest.

Dan Buettner said in his book, he concluded that the longest-living people move or travel from place to place, cleverly eat healthy food, have the connectivity with friends, family and the community, and always have positive outlook.

These are the tips from Dan Buettner for how he connect happiness with his life:

Breakfast : you should eat a savory and high carb breakfast. The most important food for longevity life according to Dan is beans. The other important food for longevity life are nuts, whole grain and greens. Beans are high carb food which can help reduce blood sugar level by slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood. It can significantly reduced belly fat and insulin resistance according to one study. Dan learned that the long live people were eating a very high-carb diet with about 65 percent of what they ate everyday.

Sleeping time: people with long age, have a tendency to sleep according to sunset and sunrise cycle. Dan sleep about 7 to 8 hours per day when his body want to sleep and want to wake up.

Doing work: make complex things becomes simple.

Environment: you have to change your environment which means you have to work better than before, you have to be happier than before and do the right thing and eliminate the wrong thing.

Do physical: you have to do something physical every day for at least one hour. Dan himself riding his bike, do yoga, hiking, do roller blade.

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Work and life balance: go out after work and having dinner with other people to have a chat and do always turn off you phone to value yourself better than anybody else. That is what Dan do.

Learn from history: you must always look forward, but you must look at your past wrongdoings and learn from it. You do not repeat the mistakes of your past. Dan said that after 7 years of learning from the history of extinct civilization, he learned that innovation will lead to over population and this will lead to chaos or disaster way of life. Dan noted about Winston Chuchill, “‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

There are few things to discuss about Dan’s book: The Blue Zone series. Let us get into them as what it is connected to happiness:

  • About how to lower your cortisol and lower your chances of suffering from heart disease by taking a nap. Well this is backed by science and evidence from real people. Residents of Ikaria, Greece, an island in the Mediterranean, are routinely taking an afternoon nap. This ritual is actually good for their health. It is backed by a Harvard study, where 23,000+ people had been studied for six years. This research concluded that those people who regularly took about 30-minute bap everyday had a 37 percent lower chance getting a heart disease compare to those who stayed awake all day.
  • About exercising what you love and must stick to it. Like the Ikarian people, they live a very healthy way of life because they grow their own vegetables. By growing vegetables, it means plenty of exercise including weeding (about 238 calories burned in 1 hour),  digging (410 calories burned in 1 hour), and harvesting (250 calories burned in 1 hour). Ikarians also burn calories just by walking around their villages and homes besides working outdoors.
  • About changing your outlook of your age. You have to feel 35 years young instead of 55 years old. This is actually good according to British study. The research suggest if you felt three or more years younger than their real age (65 plus years old subject) were less likely to die sooner than people who felt their age or older. Feeling older was linked to a 41 percent increased risk of dying.
  • About changing your diet. You must start living like Ikarians people where they eat only with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes and olive oil. Good diet means live healthier and happier than ever.
  • About having relationship with family and friends or new friends. When you feel being connected to your friends and especially family will keep you  engaged and facilitates healthy aging. Friendship or relationship with other is key, according to Dan Buettner. When you are in the time of hardship, you can always go to your father or mother or brother or even your friends to ask for help. You can not live by yourself. You need somebody to help your weaknesses or your strength. You can count on them for making you have fun or get your happiness.
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These thing can absolutely make your life happier because they are backed by science and experienced by people who endure them with succes.

They live longer and live happier than others.

There is no better proof than those from what Dan Buettner had accomplished and can inspire you to do what he did to achieve a happy life, if you really want.

Dan Buettner’s book list:

#1 The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World’s Happiest People
#2 The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest
#3 The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People

Reference:

  • https://ultimatehealthpodcast.com/dan-buettner-blue-zones/
  • https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/healthy-aging-signs/
  • http://www.island-ikaria.com/about-ikaria/Ikaria-BlueZone
  • https://www.bluezones.com/exploration/ikaria-greece/