Ever tried to mediate between the demons in your head always wanting to have fun & let loose, and the other (probably smaller) part of your brain telling you to be healthy? Thought so; well, we have great news for you! Science has proven that attending Beerfest not only helps you live longer, it also makes you healthier as well. Skeptical? Of course you are. No need to trust us though- in one of the longest studies of its kind, Harvard University academics believe they have unlocked the secrets to both happiness and longevity.
Every two years since 1938, researchers contacted 724 people in the study (including former U.S. President John F. Kennedy) to check in on their mental and emotional well-being. The study was able to narrow down two key factors that determined health and happiness.
Factor #1 – Focus on the good stuff. As people age, they are able to sift through the garbage time-wasters & guilt-inspired crap that has encroached on their lives, to figure out what really makes them happy. Take a clear look at what you enjoy – learning an instrument, writing a book, traveling, attending a festival – doesn’t matter what it is – just that it is truly what makes you happy. Once you identify your ‘thing’, pursue it with reckless enthusiasm; don’t let the other things that you might ‘want’ now interfere with what you really want. Think of staying up late at a party vs. getting sleep so you can have a great training run in the morning.
Factor #2 – Relationships are key. We can’t understate the importance of relationships on health & happiness. We all need those super close friendships with people we know we can count on – but don’t count out the critical nature of micro-relationships; chatting with the barista, saying hi to the neighbour you can’t remember the name of, or talking about a sample of beer, cocktails or food you are enjoying at a beer festival with someone you just happened to be standing beside. Make the effort to make that connection. For every person that is open to new connections (and you’ll find that there are many), you’ll both reap the benefits.
For as long as humanity has gathered together in villages, festivals and gatherings have been central to our sense of community and the connections that bond us together. Every time you have the courage to have meaningful conversations with a close friend, or take the risk of starting a conversation with someone new, you open yourself up to the potential of change for the better. The great thing about beer festivals is that, because of the different things you can enjoy there – beer, spirits, ciders, meads, delicious foods, music, games, etc. – it brings together such a diverse and interesting group of people- all in an environment that encourages conversations, connections and new ways of thinking.
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