Preserving your life is always on top priority since all the other underneath can’t be achieved without it. We visit physicians, consume a health-conscious diet, take daily maintenance pills and hope for a never-ending life. But, what if you found out that the person who had the longest life span in history has been consuming no more than two cigarettes a day for 96 years?
Jeanne Louise Calment was born on the 21st of February in the year 1875 and died 122 years and 164 days later. She lived in Arles, France for her entire life outliving her husband, daughter and grandson. Calment has met Vincent Van Gogh when she was thirteen, has seen the Eiffel Tower rise and was born a year before Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone yet has not a single heir.
Calment came from a bourgeoisie family. She married a cousin named Fernand Nicolas Calment in 1896. He is an affluent store owner in Arles who was able to support his wife in style, so she never had to share in employment for a living.
Jeanne’s father lived for 94 years while her mother reached the age of 86. Longevity was evidently seen in her ancestry which was included in the theory as to why her life lasted that long.
But what’s most disturbing is that the lady has been doing a life-threatening activity for almost a century yet lived 22 years more than a century. This is because Jeanne has been claimed to smoke cigarettes since she was 21 (1896) until she was 117 (1992), five years before her death.
In the modern medical statistics, results show that smoking is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the planet. And, cancer isn’t the only fatal illness caused by tobacco at that. Worldwide, cigarette smoking causes the death of a person in every six seconds.
Theories say that Calment treats her skin with olive oil and rides a bicycle until her centennial birthday. But 122 years of life with 96 of it in the consumption of daily cigarettes is nearly unbelievable. She was even believed to drink port wine and eat more than two pounds of chocolate a week.
Despite these then, what caused her to live that long? According to French researcher Jean-Marie Robine, Calment never did anything special to stay in good health. He said that her longevity was mostly credited to laughing a lot and being constitutionally and biologically immune to stress.
Many of us might not be aware but the primary determinant of health for every person is not genetics, nutrition nor exercise but thought. Psychoneuroimmunology, psychoneurocardiology, psychoneuroendocrinology, cancer researches and all the other related studies proves that laughter is the best medicine. And in the counterpart, stress is the worst unrecognized disease.
These facts only mean that a positive thought is far more important than a healthy lifestyle to keep alive. A hundred years of cigarette smoking can make you live up to a few more decades, only if you think you’ll die laughing.
“I think I will die laughing.” – Jeanne Louise Calment