Thursday, October 25, 2012

Forgetting to Die

From the NYTimes, The Island Where People Forget to Die.  The article profiles the Greek island of Ikaria, where people routinely live in good health into their 90's.

The usual suspects of diet (olive oil, veggies, wine) and exercise (constant walking up and down hills) are mentioned, but the one that interests me is the low stress level.  The Ikarians get plenty of sleep and have strong social networks.  Nobody is rich but everyone has enough.

The contrast couldn't be much plainer to our own society.  We have reached toxic levels of stress, and increasingly, we download our stress onto our children.  School is one of the biggest stressors of all.


  1. The stress experienced as children is often once removed as well. They don't worry about whether they have clothes to wear, they worry about whether they have the "right" clothes to wear.

    The threats to them are about them and their self image as people as opposed to threats to there physical being, except of course for children who live in abusive circumstances, who have double the worries.

  2. Where I live, the biggest stress on kids is performance pressure. Can I get all the homework done? Will I get a good grade? Will I get into a "good" college? It's poisonous.

  3. I loved that article by the way. But there are probably boomers galore now booking their flights to Greece to scope out this place.

    As for kids' stress and the local scene...I think we have less emphasis on marks here but for the average 12 year old, homework is probably the biggest source of distress.