· Foster optimism and a positive attitude, using humour and perspective to manage stress.
· Avoid overeating and consume a diet high in plant-based produce with small amounts of protein and ‘good fats’.
· Keep active and live a simple life, with health, wellbeing and relationships taking precedence over the accumulation of wealth or material possessions.
· Get adequate sleep and rest. Have at least eight or nine hours each night and if possible enjoy naps during the day.
· Think of others, recognising that happiness isn’t just about feeling goof but doing good.
· Practice gratitude and appreciation, focusing more on what you have and less on what you don’t.
· Respect the older generation. In Blue Zone communities, elders are given greater respect because of their experience and wisdom.
· Have a life purpose and a reason for getting up each day.
An edited extract from Dr Tim Sharp’s Live Happier, Live Longer ($24.99, Allen & Unwin)