The Secret to a Healthy Long Life

The Secret to a Healthy Long Life

Harvard’s 83-year-old ongoing study reveals the secret of happy longevity.

"Happiness can be hard to pin down. So when we try to measure our own happiness, we often get it wrong. The best we can do is think about what has made us happy before, or check in with how we're feeling now."

But what if the key to happiness was already known to us? What is the one common element that people who are content, healthy, and happy all share?

A Harvard study, spanning over 83 years and still ongoing, has precisely addressed this question. Its vast collection of data delivers one critical lesson for long-lasting happiness:

Relationships are the most important asset in our lives!!

Starting way back in 1938, Harvard’s Study of Adult Development has been tracking happiness for over 83 years. Such long-term studies are quite rare. Initially, it involved 724 young men, some of whom, now in their 90s, are still participating.

The study discovered that real long term happiness isn't tied to wealth, fame, or hard work as many might think. The secret ingredient is actually a lot simpler - it's all about the quality of our relationships.

This groundbreaking study revealed that strong connections with others are the bedrock of happiness. As Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current study director, succinctly put it: "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."

From the data, we derive three key lessons:

  1. Loneliness can be harmful. This isn't about physically being alone but the sense of feeling isolated. It's crucial to combat these feelings in ourselves and reach out to others who might be feeling the same way.
  2. Quality over quantity. A small number of deep, meaningful relationships is more beneficial than numerous superficial connections.
  3. Dependable relationships provide comfort. It's comforting to know that there are people who we can rely on when times get tough.

So, how can we build and maintain such relationships? Here are some simple steps:

  1. Concentrate on the relationships that genuinely matter to you, and dedicate your time and energy to nurturing these connections.
  2. Reestablish contact with friends with whom you've lost touch. The effort to maintain and deepen existing relationships can be rewarding.
  3. Last but not least, take care of the relationship with yourself. Spend time doing what brings you joy.

The key message from this exceptionally long study on happiness is straightforward: the quality of our relationships significantly contributes to our happiness and health. By focusing on building meaningful relationships, rekindling old ones, and taking care of ourselves, we pave the way for a happier, healthier and longer life.