Three Good Life Lessons From the Longest Study Ever Done on Happiness
In the 1930s, Harvard University started the longest study on human happiness with several 19-year-old sophomores from the school. For over 75 years, they interviewed, tested, and checked up on their subjects to see how they were doing.
The fourth director of the study, Robert Waldinger, created a TED talk about what they discovered about overall well-being and happiness.
So, how do you live a happy life? Here are the 3 main lessons you should know.
1. Foster Social Connections
Loneliness kills! 1 in 5 Americans reported to feeling lonely. People who have strong social connections with their family, friends, and community lead more fulfilling lives compared to those who live in isolation. These positive interactions will keep you happier and healthier.
2. Quality Over Quantity
What determines your happiness is not the quantity of your friendships, but the quality. The study found that those with healthy, close relationships had better mood in their middle to late age compared to those who didn’t. Those who didn’t have these strong connections also felt more physical pain in their later years.
3. Good Relationships Help Protect Your Brain and Body
Waldinger discovered that subjects who had healthy, close relationships throughout their lives had better memory compared to those who didn’t. People who had unhealthy or lack of relationships also saw a decline in brain function.
The main take away? Cultivate and maintain healthy and happy relationships.
Watch Waldinger’s full TED talk below.
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