Robert Waldinger is the current Director of the Harvard study of adult development, spanning an impressive 75 years. It tracked 724 men asking about their work, home life, and satisfaction. The study began in 1938 with sophomores attending Harvard and low income teenage boys from Boston.
What did they learn from 1,000s of pages of information on their lives?
- Good relationships keep us healthier and happier.
- Strong social connections to friends and family keep people happier.
- Loneliness is toxic. Isolation leads to unhappiness, health declines more quickly, brain function declines sooner, those who reported loneliness led shorter lives.
- It is not about the number of friends, it is about the quality of the connections.
- Healthy marriages with less conflict lead to happier men’s lives and are protective of brain health.
- Bickering husbands and wives still saw health benefits as long as their relationship had an understanding that their partner would support them during times of hardship or stress.
How do you lean into your relationships? Do something new together or swap screen time for face time.
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