Here’s how to be happy in 2018: These 9 habits will help you live a long, healthy life

Health experts have analysed “blue zones” around the world and come up with two main factors that increase our longevity – having a healthy lifestyle and a reason to live.

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According to, led by American researcher Dan Buettner, these “blue zones” were analysed by a team of specialists, including doctors, anthropologists, demographers, nutritionists and epidemiologists, to see why their residents seemed to live longer .

The researchers identified nine key factors to longevity:

* Intense and regular physical activity while undertaking daily duties. These people do not live a sedentary lifestyle.

* Reduction of stress, which can involve taking time out for regular habits such as taking a nap (in Mediterranean societies), praying or conducting a tea ceremony (as in Japan).

* “Hara hachi bu” – a Confucian teaching that suggests we only eat until we are 80% full.

* Having an “ikigai” – a Japanese word used to define the “reasons for being” and why we get out of bed every morning.

* Prioritising a diet that is rich in plant-based products. Meat, fish and dairy products are consumed in lower amounts.

* Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages.

* Being part of social groups that promote healthy habits.

* Interacting with religious communities.

* Building and maintaining solid relationships with family.

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