A 102-Year-Old Woman Says the Secret to Longevity Is Minding Your Own Business

Photo: Stocksy/McKinsey Jordan
Who doesn't love a little bit of gossip with a pinch of drama? Being all up in other people's business, however, takes a toll. You've got your own stuff to stress about and worrying about who is doing what and with whom doesn't help. Annie Mae Belin, who celebrated her 102nd birthday on June 1, figured that out a long time ago.  "[Trying] to tend to my business. And leave other people's business alone," is the secret to living a long life, the Darlington, South Carolina, resident said in an interview with local news station WPDE.

Belin is living the kind of life worth emulating, especially now that social media makes it so easy to keep tabs on other people. Seeing that girl you kind of know from college change her profile picture from one with her partner to one alone should not lead you into a social media investigation of whether or not they broke up—you've got better stuff to do. One of the main benefits of minding your own business is having the time to focus on your own needs.

Experts In This Article
  • John Day, MD, John Day, MD, FACC, FHRS, is a cardiologist and author of the book, The Longevity Plan.

Seriously, think of how much time you spend thinking about other people's lives. There's the fun stuff (tracking stranger breakups online) and then the not-so-fun stuff that can happen to the people you love. That's not to say you have to cover your ears and look the other way. Belin says she'll get into other people's business as needed: "I love to talk and I love people," she said. But she doesn't let every little issue consume her. (And that's a lot coming from a Gemini, a sign with a deep love for gossip.)

In addition to minding her business, Belin credits her faith in God for playing a role in her longevity. "He's my all. My everything thing," she said. "I just want to keep on loving God. And treating people like I want to be treated. Because we need more love in the world for one thing." Faith is tied to living a long and happy life.

"Study after study suggests that having a faith may increase longevity,” says John Day, MD, author of The Longevity Plan. This could in part be because places of worship offer a chance to socialize and experience community. A 2017 study published in Personal Relationships found that people who prioritized friendship and family tend to report greater happiness, satisfaction, and health than those who didn’t.

Lastly, Belin gets her hair done every two weeks. Now, you might think at 102 she'd put off something frivolous like a haircut, but if looking good helps you feel good, it's a form of self-care. In so many ways, Belin is a prime example of what it means to live your best life.

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