What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

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What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

In this TEDx talk, psychiatrist Robert Waldinger reports on lessons learned from the longest ever study on happiness, which has so far spanned 75 years and still continues.

The summary of the three biggest lessons learned is fascinating to me because it dovetails perfectly with my philosophy on business development, which is that lawyers who continue to develop good, strong positive relationships, and lots of them, throughout their career will build businesses that makes lawyers happier and more fulfilled than lawyers who don’t.

For those of you who like your information in text better than video, here is the essence of the learnings reported by Dr. Waldinger.

Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

More specifically:

  1. Social connections are really good for us, and loneliness kills. People who are more socially connected to family, friend and community are happier, physically healthier and live longer that people who are less connected.  Loneliness is toxic.  People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, health declines earlier, brain function declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who aren’t lonely.
  2. The study, which includes ongoing study of the participants medical records and independent health assessment, demonstrates that quality of our relationships matters to our long term physical health. Living in conflict is bad for our health. Living in the midst of good warm relationships is protective.  The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships in their 50s were the healthiest physically in their 80’s.
  3. Good relationships also protect our minds. People in securely attached relationships in their 80s, where they really feel like they can count on the other person in times of need, experience memories staying sharper longer. The people in relationships that don’t feel they can count on the other in times of need experience earlier memory decline.

So getting out there and getting intentional about creating good, strong relationships will provide more benefits than just those that will be enjoyed by your businesses!

 

By |July 28th, 2016|Categories: Building relationships, My favourite TED talks|Comments Off on What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness