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Real Life

How to live to 100 happily according to the experts

The Happiness Institute founder 
Dr Tim Sharp reveals some surprisingly simple 
secrets to success.

You know that rush of giddiness when you step out of the house in a new dress, or strut your stuff a little taller in your new pair of shoes?
Well, you may believe achieving true happiness requires adding things into your life, but according to Dr Sharp, the truth is joy is often found in simply changing your life's direction.
There are important areas at every age: healthy living, purpose, and connectedness. (Getty)
"We need to reassess and reflect on values as our priorities change," he explains.
"There are important areas at every age: healthy living, purpose, and connectedness."
Caring for yourself in these areas is your first step to heaps of happy moments.

Invest in your health

Investing in yourself, and your health, is one expense that is sure to pay off in the long run!
Though genes play a big part in longevity, it's controllable lifestyle factors such as not smoking, avoiding drinking too much, exercising and having 
a healthy diet that will improve quality of life and ultimately make you happier, and help you live longer, Dr Sharp explains.
Invest in your health with a balanced diet. (Getty)

Find your purpose

Optimistic thinking is a very powerful tool to help you lead 
a long and happy life, and creating purpose helps us to live our best lives.
"I encourage people to practise gratitude, look for the positives in life and be realistic with your goal-setting," says 
Dr Sharp.
"If you seek constructive feedback and remain solutions-focused, it's amazing what you can do, and happiness will come in the form of a sense of achievement.
To make the most of your time, prioritise, start each day with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, and prepare for each day so you can take control of it."
Practice gratitude and be realistic when it comes to goals. (Getty)

Connect with your community

In the last 20-30 years, research has shown that the key to longevity could be loving 
and feeling loved.
Human connection through relationships not just with children, parents and direct family but with friends and community, provides resilience for stressful life events and transitions.
Dr Sharp says, "It's well established that people who feel socially isolated have worse mental health than those who feel connected.
In fact, one review of 148 studies showed that people who felt less socially connected were more at risk of early death than those who smoked, drank or were obese."
"It's important to connect with like-minded people – whether it is through dance, music or even a chess club," Dr Sharp advises. "Join a club, walk down the street to the local RSL, or make the most of technology by picking up the phone or logging on to Skype to connect with friends and family."
It's important to connect with like-minded people. (Getty)

Six longevity locations

These long-life hot spots and centenarian cities may have the secret to hitting the big 1-0-0!
From salty air to midday naps, here are some theories on how residents crack the century.
Red wine contains flavonoids, which are believed to reduce heart attack risk by up to 
50 per cent. (Getty)
1. Sardinia, Italy:
In Sardinia, residents wash down their evening meals with a glass of red wine. 
This tasty local tipple is loaded with flavonoids, which are believed to reduce heart attack risk by up to 
50 per cent.
2. Lunenburg and Yarmouth, 
Canada:
Experts theorise there's something special in the salty air from the ocean breezes causing this craggy seaside coast to boast one of the highest concentrations 
of Canadian centenarians. Townspeople have fish-rich diets and a stress-free community spirit that 
keeps them kicking!
3. Okinawa, Japan:
Hara hachi bun me is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 per cent full. This governs each meal these folks eat, meaning they stop eating when they're 80 per cent satisfied. Roughly, in English the Japanese phrase translates to, "Eat until you are eight parts full".
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4. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica:
This tight-knit community dines on a fibre-rich diet of beans and corn. For people in this province, dinner is the smallest meal of the day.
5. Loma Linda, California:
Loma Linda is the home to many practising Seventh-day Adventists. Their secret to success may lie in their alcohol- and nicotine-free lifestyles. Meanwhile, researchers credit their health to a handful of nuts four to five days a week.
6. Icaria, Greece:
Midday naps and herbal tea every day may be the secret for locals in Icaria. They also love goat's milk, which has unique fatty acids that may protect against age-related inflammation.

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