• Affordable Living

The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the longest investigations into human happiness. Starting in 1938 and running for over 80 years it followed 268 Harvard graduates. It measured their health, their careers and relationships. It followed them through the great depression, 2 world wars, Vietnam and massive societal change. As of 2017 only 19 were still alive, all in their mid 90's. Among these original recruits were President John F Kennedy.

The surprise finding was that relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on health. While taking care of your body is important, your relationships are a more important predictor of health.

Close relationships were more important than wealth and fame in making people happy throughout their lives. Close relationships seem protective against mental illness and the mental and physical decline of aging.   Peoples level of satisfaction with their relationships at 50 was a better predictor of health than cholesterol.

Also clear from the study is that the inverse is true. Loneliness kills. It's as dangerous as smoking or alcoholism.

This is probably the reason why tennis is the sport most likely to increase your life span as you can't play it alone. It seems clear that the best way to be healthy and happy is to foster our relationships and get out and into community. If you run for example don't run by yourself, join a running group. If you sew find a sewing group.

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