What you need for a happy life

Robert Waldinger in his speech at TED called «What you need for a happy life? Lessons from the longitudinal studies of happiness» talked about what makes our life happy and health is strong.

Автор фото: Катя Васильева

Most young people today seek wealth and celebrity. In society there is a stereotype: to be happy, you need long and hard work. In the Harvard study, the head of which is Robert Waldinger, the researchers tracked the men since adolescence, to the aged. The aim of the study was to understand what makes people healthy and happy.

Harvard study on adult development is the longest study of life. For 75 years , researchers observed the lives of 724 men, asking them questions about work, personal life, health. Spoke with them, their children and wives. Studied history of illness, were doing medical tests. Currently, about 60 people from 724-x is still alive and involved in the project, most of them more than 90 years. All of the men who participated in the study, suffered a different fate. Someone rose up from the bottom, and someone on the contrary – from a Harvard student turned into an alcoholic or mentally ill person.

The lessons that scientists learned from this study is not about riches, not about glory and not hard work. After 75 years of research it became very clear that the happier and healthier we make a good relationship.

Scientists have made three major conclusions about relations and their role in our lives.

  • The relationship with people is very important, while loneliness kills. Lpeople who are closely related to family, friends, colleagues, live longer. Their lives happier and health is stronger. On the contrary, people who feel isolated, feel less happy, their health is deteriorating earlier, they live on less.
  • It is important not the number of contacts and not having a permanent partner in life. Important to the quality of a close relationship. Life in a constant state of conflict, in anticipation of betrayal, jealousy can be more dangerous to our happiness and health than a divorce. Life in a mental stop to protect us. When the study participants was 80 years, scientists have studied what they are talking about their relationship when they were 50 years. It turned out that the main factor of a happy life was satisfaction with the relationship. People are more satisfiedwith their relationship in 50 years, were more happy and healthy at 80 years old.
  • Good relationships protect our brain. Close relationship of trust with the other person defending our memory. People whose relationships are not able to rely on each other, starting much earlier to have problems with memory.
  • A good relationship does not imply the absence of problems. Friends, spouses, and colleagues can quarrel with each other. But if they really can rely on each other in difficult situations, quarrels have no meaning. It is important is your trust to each other.

    Thus, for 75 years in the Harvard study, the researchers found confirmation that it is better to live, those people who relied not on the achievements, glory and wealth, and relationship.

    Spend more time with friends, family or colleagues. Freshen your relationship. Call relatives you haven’t communicated. Don’t Harbor resentment, irritation, anger – it threatens a terrible retribution in old age: early memory loss, deterioration of health and lack of happiness. We must remember that a happy life is built on good relationships.