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2 min read

Extending Healthspan

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Discover the secrets to not just living longer, but living better by intentionally focusing on your healthspan. Learn how integrating scientifically-backed pillars and a deep sense of purpose can transform your life with the support of our emotional fitness app, Tuesday.

Healthspan is a relatively new term officially added to the dictionary in 2018. It refers to the length of time a person is healthy, not just ‘alive’, and it reflects our societal focus on living more fulfilling lives. There are five scientifically-validated pillars that extend health, life, and happiness. They are: performing consistent moderate exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, having a rich social network, and having a sense of purpose in one's life. Our previous blog on the business of transformation discussed the value added to both businesses and consumers when organizations facilitate transformation. But, what about self-transformation?

Diet, exercise, and sleep are easily tracked and therefore can be modified to improve healthspan. Until recently, measuring the depth of social connections and identifying unknown personal drivers of purpose was nearly impossible. But now, Immersion's free emotional fitness app, Tuesday, lets users to measure the neurologic value of social interactions and other daily experiences, making it a game to improve emotional fitness by deepening connections and improving one's life. This is all to the good.

And where is purpose in all this? Extensive research has shown that life is more satisfying and healthy when people contribute to others' lives and thereby improve the planet. Research by Immersion's co-founders has shown that the brains of those who regularly serve others release more oxytocin than those not committed to service. Oxytocin release causes several effects that improve healthspan, including reducing cardiovascular stress and improving the immune system. This is one of the secrets of Blue Zones where people regularly live past the century mark.

For most people, purpose is directly connected to service. Those who are employed naturally perform service. At their core, all organizations exist to serve the others. When employees embrace their organization's purpose, they put in more effort and obtain greater job satisfaction. Those who are raising a family have a similar built-in purpose. What about those who are unemployed, retired, or single? Here's where it gets interesting: even people who are selfish and just want to extend their healthspans can do so by finding purpose in being of service to others. 

There are exceptions to this rule. For example, an artist might create art for her own sake. But, nearly all art is performative--it is created to evoke an emotional response in others. Purpose gives people a reason to jump out of bed and do something. When that something involves others, it builds social ties and is therefore measurable using the Tuesday emotional fitness app. Purpose and service build emotional fitness and are another way that social creatures thrive. In short, purpose is subsumed into social connections.

By identifying the service activities that give you energy, you can discover your purpose pillar. And, if you have some extra time on your hands, find an organization that needs volunteers and sign up. The smiles that you will receive from serving others will serve you well by extending your healthspan. You can be sure this works and that you are spending enough time practicing your purpose by downloading the Tuesday app for free. Uncover your unconscious drivers of joy and surface the small things that bring big meaning to your life, with Tuesday. 

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