Have you ever heard of the Harvard study that ran for 75 years to assess what makes us happy? It’s a revolutionary study in psychology.
It followed the lives of men for over 75 years, and continues to follow their children; according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of a 75-year-old study, he’s discovered what keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life.
If like many, you guessed that it’s fame and money that brings happiness, you’re not alone – but, according to Dr. Waldinger, you’d be wrong and he lays it all out in the Ted talk below.
According to Waldinger:
“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”
The study revealed that having someone you can rely upon calms your nervous system, supports brain health and reduces emotional discomfort. The data also clearly showed that those who experience loneliness, decline physically at an earlier age and die younger.
It doesn’t matter if you have hundreds of Facebook friends, or are in what you believe is a wonderful love relationship, according to science, it’s the quality of the relationships that counts. This means that honesty, respect, trust and above all love, are the highest priorities. And, these relationships must not stress you out!
This a very good reminder for us all to cultivate authentic relationships because the data is clear that, over the course of your lifetime, you could all have the money in the world, but without quality loving, and deep relationships, you won’t be happy and are likely to end up with health conditions that shorten your life.
For a deeper exploration of this study and it’s meaning, check out this video below.