A recent article published in The New York Times is entitled “The Island Where People Forget To Die.” In this fascinating true story, the author writes about Stamatis Moraitis, a Greek American who returned to his native island of Ikaria after a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer in his mid-60’s. That was in 1976; although Moraitis hoped for nothing more than a peaceful death on the island that he loved, he instead found his way back to health. Today, at 97, Moraitis continues to thrive on Ikaria.
There was no surgery, no chemotherapy, and no radiation involved. Moraitis became well by returning to the lifestyle of his ancestors—and it’s to this lifestyle that researchers attribute the unusual longevity of the island’s residents.
Ikaria is one of the regions in the world where people tend to live the longest. These areas are called “Blue Zones,” and I wrote about them in a previous post. While diet plays an important role in the unique health and longevity of the residents of these Blue Zones, other lifestyle habits, particularly having strong social bonds, a spiritual connection, and a reason to get up in the morning, are equally, if not more, important.
This article inspired me; I hope it does the same for you.