Words by Harmony Sunshine
Pictures by Carlos Oberhauser and Diego Ortiz
Your environment is the biggest, most important, and most impactful thing you can change to favor your own happiness; create a lifestyle and environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice.- Dan Buettner
Did you know that a person’s life expectancy is only (25%) based upon the genetics while the other whopping (75%) is dependant upon their lifestyle. This means that contrary to popular belief that there’s a few lucky people who will win the genetic lottery while the rest are doomed, it is actually the important lifestyle choices that have led a number of humans to contented and long lasting lives.There are five places on Earth that have created an environment where the healthy choice becomes the easy choice and where the inhabitants tend to live much longer, happier and overall healthier lives than anyone else on the planet. These destinations are designated as the Blue Zones of the World and they are few and far between. That being said, it is truly a blessing that the idea of Zunya found its home in one of these five youthful paradises. The Nicoya Blue Zone is not only known for being the happiest Blue Zone but further more, Happy Planet Index studies show it is the happiest place on Earth!
I asked myself, what lifestyle choices can inhibit someone to live twice as long and three times happier? Well, despite being scattered across the globe and representing a variety of different cultures, the Blue Zones do share a common thread of answers. It is woven between giving people a sense of purpose which minimizes stress levels, frequenting physical activities, eating less than what is normalized in Western culture, and consuming mostly plant-based foods. So according to the longest lived places on Earth, the measure of how elongated and healthy a human life can be comes down to the way we treat our minds and bodies.
The pivotal difference is that the people here have highly active social lives. Nicoya is known for being a widespread community that is composed of deeply rooted human connections.
The tropical environment of the Nicoya peninsula has massively beneficial physical things to offer like extra doses of sunshine filled vitamin D and an abundance of the freshest foods. Even the water is naturally higher in calcium which helps to strengthen bones. However, there is one particular thing that separates the Nicoya Blue Zone from the rest of the locations and has even given it the title of the happiest Blue Zone. The pivotal difference is that the people here have highly active social lives. Nicoya is known for being a widespread community that is composed of deeply rooted human connections. What better way to contribute to this beautiful corner of the world than co-creating a conscious and connection based community.
The seed of Zunya was intentionally planted on this land of longevity and the community plans on contributing to the expansion of this special place in a mindful way. The lifestyle choices and purposeful living patterns that belong to the Nicoya community are in perfect alignment with the core values of Zunya. Through the studies done during the discovery of Blue Zones, we've been able to learn from the elders on the Nicoya Peninsula who have shared their secrets of living a life of contentment. They explain how the key is that they have always felt valued and needed within the community. This naturally entices humans to contribute to the happiness and benefit of those around them which causes a chain reaction of pure joy. Zunya implements this gifted wisdom of valuing each and every community member so that we too can build a community filled with thriving human connection.