September is a month of service, gratitude, and—longevity. Surprised? Think about it. It is a month filled with holidays that recognize and celebrate the service that people have given to their country, community, and family. And at 100 Year Lifestyle, we know that service is a key component of living 100:100, 100% for 100 years or more.
To serve simply means to be helpful or useful to someone. People serve in the military. You serve others food and beverages when they are a guest in your home. Service can take the form of volunteering, listening, donating…there are a million ways to be of service to others. Service can be, but doesn’t have to be, planned and involved. It can also be small moments of spontaneous and heart-felt action. Service isn’t about who or how you serve, it’s about serving in whatever way is of value to someone else.
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. – Mother Teresa
Volunteering has always been a key way that Americans are of service to one another. In fact, as early as the 1830s Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political scientist, traveled in the United States and was impressed by Americans’ tendency to form voluntary civil associations. He saw the American desire to come together as a community to accomplish goals—both personal and commercial. He felt that desire was an important part of the foundation of our democratic society.
To this day, Americans volunteer. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans volunteer. On average, they spend 52 hours per year volunteering.
Gratitude, according to Dr. Robert Emmons, a positive psychology researcher, is a three stage process. First, we recognize what we are grateful for. Second, we acknowledge what we are grateful for. Last in the gratitude process, we show appreciation. Gratitude is a key component of living your 100 Year Lifestyle.
During September, we Americans have many days during which we recognize, acknowledge, and show appreciation for the service of others. World War II VJ Day (9/2), Labor Day (9/5), 911 Remembrance Day (9/11), and Grandparents Day (9/11), are just some of the days.
Years to Your Life
There are several links between service and longevity. At 100 Year Lifestyle we’ve been saying for a long time that you not only want to add years to your life, but also life to your years. Service to others does both.
Studies indicate that people who care for others live longer. There is not only a link between helping people and receiving beneficial health effects, but also between helping and mortality.
Life to Your Years
In terms of adding life to those years, regular volunteers experience an 8.54% rise in mental health and a 4.3% decrease in depression. For seniors, volunteering for five years or more leads to improved overall wellness, including mental.
So make this September all about service and gratitude, and give your longevity a boost. Remember, your 100 Year Lifestyle provider is always ready to serve you in living your healthiest, longest, most enjoyable life possible. Find one near you today!