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#1 Longevity Lesson from the World’s Oldest Person

It's not just about living longer but also living better. This 115-year-old has done both and is now sharing an important secret we all should hear.

“I am old, very old, but not an idiot,” reads the Twitter bio of María Branyas Morera, who at 115 was confirmed last month to be the world’s oldest woman—and person!—living. She was smart enough to learn what she deems an important lesson for longevity: Get rid of toxic people in your life.

Branyas attributes her long life to “order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity, and staying away from toxic people,” according to the Guinness World Records’ website.

“I think longevity is also about being lucky,” Morera has said. “Luck and good genetics.”

Read More: From an Expert: How to Keep Good Friends & Lose the Bad

True That!

We can’t help but focus on the no-more-poisonous-relationships factor in her winning formula. We know far too many women who keep the bad apples around and continue to suffer needlessly. One phrase we’ve heard often lately from women in difficult marriages is that they’re always “walking on egg shells.” Imagine living day in and day out like that.

Though research has consistently showed maintaining social relationships is an important part of living a long life, keeping toxic people around may do more harm than good.

Too many women describe their life in a difficult marriage as ‘walking on egg shells.’

“One of the biggest indicators that your relationship is negatively affecting your emotional health is that it is impacting an area of your life [such as] work, friendships, family, health, finances, spirituality, or downtime,” Carolyn McNulty, a licensed mental health counselor, told Insider.

study from 2020, which featured more than 3,000 middle-aged and elderly people, found constant criticism from one’s partner had the most significant impact on one’s quality of health and mortality.

Researchers said their findings suggest “relationship quality” had a bigger impact on a person’s mortality risk compared to whether or not they had a partner—suggesting that being on your own might be healthier than keeping an overcritical spouse. Other studies have linked toxic relationships to depression and high blood pressure.

Let Maria Be Your Guide

Branyas was born in San Francisco, California, on March 4, 1907, one year after her parents emigrated to the country. Eight years later, they decided to return to Spain, where they settled in Catalonia. She has called the region home ever since.

The young family arrived in Barcelona in 1915, during the First World War. “Because of the war, Germany was still attacking the North, and you couldn’t go through the Nordic seas, but we could go further down, through the Azores and Cuba,” she told Catalan News, describing the ship’s modified route to Spain.

She has ‘very bad memories’ of the Spanish Civil War.

This wasn’t the only war she was forced to endure; she has “very bad memories” of the Spanish Civil War, which broke out in 1936 when she was 29.

Branyas married a Catalan doctor named Joan Moret in 1931. Their wedding day proved to be an eventful one, as after “hours of waiting for the priest,” the couple was informed that he had unexpectedly died.

“There was no phone,” Branyas recounted on Twitter.”A car had to go down to Girona to look for an available chaplain. At that time, in the entire province of Girona, there must have been around 50 cars.”

She Keeps Going . . . and Going . . . and Going

After surviving both World Wars, the Spanish Civil War, and the Spanish Flu pandemic, Branyas also fought off COVID-19 in 2020. She contracted the virus mere weeks after celebrating her 113th birthday; fortunately she managed to make a full recovery within a few days.

To mark her record in the Guinness Book of World Records, her family (which includes three children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren) gathered in a small private ceremony at the nursing home where she has lived for the past 22 years.

Branyas believes there is always something new to learn every day.

Branyas still has a bright outlook on life, and she believes there is always something new to learn every day—even when you’re the world’s oldest person.

On the first day of 2023, she tweeted: “Life is not eternal for anyone . . . At my age, a new year is a gift, a humble celebration, a new adventure, a beautiful journey, a moment of happiness. Let’s enjoy life together.”

Read More: One Surprising Indicator of Longevity in Women: New Research

By NextTribe Editors


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