It is most important to take care of our well being as it can determine our health and happiness. When we have a sense of well being, everything good follows. Fortunately, a Harvard study has revealed the one thing that is key to longevity and well being, and that is, good relationships.
Harvard’s 75-year Grant and Glueck study tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations of men: poor men from Boston, and male graduates from Harvard.
According to Inc., the lengthy research period required multiple generation of researchers. They analyzed blood samples, brain scans, self-reported surveys and actual interactions to complete the study.
The results of the study didn’t show that it was money, fame, power, or possessions that made people happier and healthier- it was actually good relationships that was key to longevity and good health according to Robert Waldinger, director of Harvard Study of Adult Development.
The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.
The data also revealed that people who feel lonely are more likely to have a physical health decline and die younger.
Moreover, the data also showed that it is the quality of close relationships one has that actually matters. This means being in relationships where one feels safe to confide; relationships that make one feel relaxed; and relationships where one can show who they really are.
There are two foundational elements to good relationships, according to George Valliant, the Harvard psychiatrist who directed the study from 1972 to 2004, “One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.”
Hence, if one undergoes a traumatic experience, it is important to deal with it and overcome in order to avoid “coping” in a way that pushes love away. It is also advised to get a support group to process emotions and stress.
On a final note, Waldinger emphasized that loving relationships is key to happiness and good health more than any material possessions or any achievements.
The good life is built with good relationships.