The Harvard Study of Adult Development is a study that has tracked the lives of 724 men for 78 years. It is probably the longest study of adult life ever done.
People were interviewed every two years about their physical and mental health, their professional lives, their relationships and also had to go through medical tests and exams.
Psychiatrist Robert J. Waldinger, shared some of the major lessons in this TED Talk. In this insightful speech, he presents us the key lessons that come from the tens of thousands of pages of information that have been generated on these lives. And the main one is: « Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period. »
Social connections are really good for us, and loneliness kills. And as Waldinger adds: « We know that you can be lonely in a crowd and you can be lonely in a marriage, so the second big lesson that we learned is that it’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship, but it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. »
Furthermore, good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they also protect our brains.