What Is The Impact Of Cultural Beliefs On Longevity and Mental Health? | Longevity and Mental Health

Audio only version

April 28th, 2023
Dr. Mario Martinez

Show Description

Clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Mario Martinez has spent years interviewing healthy centenarians around the world, and studying the effects of culture, beliefs, thoughts and feelings on our biochemistry, longevity and health. He is the best selling author of The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs That Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success. In this thought-provoking interview, he outlines the profound influence cultural contexts have on the immune system, the endocrine system and the regulation of the nervous system, and how our culture influences our mental health and life expectancy. Backed by scientific evidence, he reveals that longevity is learned rather than inherited. Discussing top tips on how to defy falling rates of life expectancy in the West, he explains how our minds and bodies are heavily influenced by our cultural attitudes towards health and ageing, and why feelings of shame, disempowerment and hopelessness are worse for our mental and physical health than stress. The pioneering founder of Biocognitive Science, Dr. Martinez shows why self-worth is key to living beyond 100 and explains how we can remodel our physiology through our thoughts and actions to promote health, happiness and longevity.

Learn about:

  • What biocognition and cultural psychoneuroimmunology are, and how our cultural beliefs profoundly impact our health and longevity 
  • Why studies of healthy centenarians reveal that up to 80% of their good health is related to cultural attitudes that see beauty and wisdom in ageing 
  • How Western and Eastern brains differ, and why longevity is learned rather than inherited
  • Why shame, disempowerment and lack of purpose are much worse for our health than stress and cortisol, and how these feelings produce an inflammatory response which then compromises our mental health (leading to depression, anxiety etc) 
  • How the immune system responds to the beliefs of those close to us (family, friends, peers, teachers), and how our culture shames us
  • What ‘cultural editors’ are, why the words we hear (and tell ourselves) shape our neurochemistry and mental health
  • The link between positive attitudes towards ourselves and hormones/neurotransmitters that keep us happy and healthy (oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin, etc) 
  • Ways victimhood, vulnerability and empathy decrease our self-worth and increase illness and poor mental health, while compassion, self-worth, gratitude and generosity have incredible healing effects
  • How to change our physiology through our thoughts, actions and language to improve mental health and recover from depression, anxiety, etc
  • Why ‘post-traumatic growth’ is vital to longevity and happiness; how resilience in the face of adversity isn’t enough, and why we need to seek humour and positivity in order to lead longer, happier lives
  • 5 ways to become a healthy centenarian (ritual, forgiveness, self-worth, belief, and 4 immune-boosting emotions; gratitude, generosity, curiosity, admiration)

About Dr. Mario Martinez

Podcast guest photo

Dr. Mario Martinez is a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in how cultural beliefs affect health and longevity. He proposes, based on credible research evidence, that longevity is learned and the causes of health are inherited. He has studied healthy centenarians (100 years or older) worldwide and found that only 20 to 25% can be attributed to genetics – the rest is related to how they live and the cultural beliefs they share. Dr. Martinez can do interviews on Zoom, or live when he is lecturing in your city. He is the author of the bestselling book The MindBody Code and The MindBody Self that teach his theory and practice of biocognitive science to the general public as well as professionals in healthcare. In addition to longevity, he also explains why our immune system is not just a protector. Instead, it responds to the cultural premises we learn to perceive the world.

Show Notes