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What keeps us healthy and happy as we go through life? Pictures of entire lives, those pictures
are almost impossible to get. The Harvard study of adult development may be the longest
study of adult life that's ever been done. For 75 years we've tracked the lives of 724
men. Year after year, asking about their work, their home lifes their health. About 60 of
our original 724 men are still alive, still participating in the study, most of them in
their 90's. We don't just send them questionnaires, we interview them in their living rooms, we
get their medical records from their doctors, we draw their blood, we scan their brains.
What are the lessons that come from the 10's of 1000's of pages of information that we've
generated? The clearest message that we get from this 75 year study is this: good relationships
keep us happier and healthier. We have learned three big lessons about relationships. The
first, it turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends,
to community, are happier, they're physically healthier and they live longer. And the experience
of loneliness turns out to be toxic. People who are more isolated find that their health
declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives.
So the second big lesson that we learned is that it's not just the number of friends that
you have but it's the quality of your close relationships. High conflict marriages for
example, without much affection, turn out to be very bad for our health, perhaps worse
than getting divorced. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships
at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80. And the Third big lesson that we learned is that
good relationships don't just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. In your 80's,
the people who are in relationships were they really feel they can count on the other person
in times of need, those people's memories stay sharper, longer. So what about you? What
might leaning into relationships even look like? It might be something as simple as replacing
screen time with people time or livening up a stale relationship by doing something new
together. Or reaching out to that family member who you haven't spoken to in years. Because
those all too common family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges. I'd
like to close with a quote from Mark Twain: "There isn't time - - so brief is life, for
bickerings, apologies, heart burnings, callings to account - - there is only time for loving,
and but an instant so to speak, for that." The good life is built with good relationships,
thank you.


Robert Waldinger | The Good Life: Lessons from Longest Study on Happiness (Condensed Talk)

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yeanlow 2016 年 4 月 26 日 に公開
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