Recently, I landed a gig writing content for the Blue Zones Project. This is honestly a dream job for me considering I’ve touted Dan Buettner’s bestselling book “The Blue Zones” on this here blog more than once. It’s such an interesting read, and I’m really loving the opportunity to delve more into the subject of living longer, better. You can read more of my thoughts on the longevity hot spots across the globe where people live the longest, healthiest lives at Clearly, I’m a fan.

For those who might want the quick version of the book before committing to reading it (Dad, I’m talking to you!), you might want to check out Buettner’s TED talk on the Blue Zones: “How to Live to Be 100.” I promise it’s fascinating stuff, and it’s changing lives right here in the U.S.; Iowa recently announced it’s adopting the tenants of the Blue Zones in its Healthiest State Initiative in which it hopes to become the healthiest state in the country by 2016.

Since I’m immersed in all things Blue Zones these days (Don’t worry: I’m not all “serious” these days. In fact, I’m writing about the Emmys right after this, I swear–long live faux tans and red carpets!), I’m always hearing of new ways to improve my lifestyle now in hopes that I might buy more time with those I love the most. I guess being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease puts a spotlight on that fighter instinct; I am forever looking for ways to improve my health. EVERYTHING is on the table.

Sure, I’ve read “The Blue Zones”–twice–but Buettner’s TED talk reminded me of the importance to live in community. Yes, we all need a “tribe” to keep our social-emotional health in tact, but Buettner stresses the importance of walking through life with other people, saying, “Isolation kills.”

I don’t know about you, but language like that sticks with me. We literally stand to gain years of healthy life if we allow other people in to our joys and sorrows and let them help shoulder our burdens. Nowadays, we certainly take pride in being able to “fix” ourselves, but that pride could be getting in the way of our health now and in the future. I don’t know, folks, it’s almost like we were built to do this life thing together.

“Live together, die alone,” just took on a whole new meaning, huh?

Photo credit: Tom Sanders Photography