Turns out Canada's most stridently non-religious newspaper can't avoid spirituality.
Even though the Globe and Mail never mentions Christianity unless there is a scandal or a conflict, Judith timson's, April 29, 2008 Life Section column, Longevity: The New Boomer Status Symbol, listed 9 items that contribute to longevity that author Dan Buettner had observed in his studies of communities around the world with higher than average longevity.
The first 4 have to do with common sense diet and exercise. The last 5? In one way or another, all are associated with traditional religious practices:
- Have a strong sense of purpose
- Take time to relieve stress - observe a Sabbath, meditate, pray, nap, play
- Belong - participate in a spiritual community
- Put loved ones first
- Join the right tribe - hang with others who practice a healthy life style.
I realize many actual congregations have lost sight of putting these as top priorities, but I think it is interesting that Buettner - and numerous other researchers before him - find that these traditional religious practices contribute significantly to longevity and well-being.