The Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the world’s longest longitudinal studies of adult life began in 1938 with the tracking of 268 Harvard sophomores to inquire into what leads to healthy and happy lives. The study had developed and expanded over the years, more recently to the wives and children of the original men studied under the study’s fourth director Professor Robert Waldinger.

“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health” said Prof Waldinger, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His TED talk, “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness” had been viewed more than 14 million times. Here is a summary of his TED talk.

If close relationships are what keep people happy throughout their lives, isn’t it time to pay more attention to nurturing our relationships especially with significant people in our lives?

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