81 year research study Posts

81 Year Long Study

This is amazing to me. That we actually have an 81 year long study! Most of the subjects are in their 90’s. The Harvard study began in 1938. There were 724 men in the study originally. The object of this longitudinal study was to find out what makes us happy as we go through our lives?

As you can imagine, over time there were a number of directors in the study and a recent TED TALK by the fourth director of the study, Robert Waldinger, gave an analysis of the data. The conclusions are important to us. The core point is that good relationships keep us healthier and happier.

What does healthier and happier mean? It does mean that you need quality and longevity in your relationships for this to affect the promised health benefits of having a better and clearer memory longer and to have less anxiety and to report being happy. These are the kind of relationships that Sue Johnson (marriage researcher) talks about where you know that your partner will always have your back. Conversely, if you are lonely in the relationships in your life, your brain function declines sooner, you are less happy and you die sooner.

I think that many of us understand that relationships are what matter in life. Unfortunately, quality relationships are not that easy to maintain. It takes changing and negotiating and sacrificial love. We have some good models that have things to say about the how to’s. You can join me in my new “Happy Marriages Guide” closed group if you have something to gain or to offer others. See you at https://www.facebook.com/groups/happymarriageguide/