vendredi 26 février 2016

Good relationships keep us happier and healthier

Perto da lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Here is the partial transcript of the TED talk (link below), with my additions in italic.
Nowadays, when young adults are asked what is their dream goal, they usually answer they want to be rich and famous.
There is a Harvard study, which began 75 years ago, on 724 men divided in two groups. One group is composed of teenagers coming from Boston poorest neighborhood and the second group of wealthy young men who went to college. The study focused on knowing what make people happy. Every year, the men were asked about their work, home life, health … to go to brain scans … and finally, women were interviewed too (finally !). 60 of those men are still alive today and 200 children of those men are still being studied. Some men became upwardly mobile socially, some were sliding down in the social scale. One became president of the USA.
The lessons learned through this exceptionally long study is not about wealth or fame.
The clearest message is:
Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.
3 points:
1/ Social connections to family and friends, to community are good for us; they participate to a longer and healthier life. Loneliness kills, the brain declines sooner, health is less good, life is shorter. 1 in 5 Americans report they are lonely.
If more isolated than the person wants to be from others”: this is highly important to precise. Two persons will have different needs of level of social implication, of social contacts. What matters is the difference between the need the person has and what they are getting out of their life.
2/ You can be lonely in a crowd or in a marriage. It is not the number of friends you have or if you are in a committed relationship that matters. It is the quality that matters. Conflicts are really bad for your health.
I would add here, that recognizing and facing conflict is healthier than keeping your unhappiness / rage mute. You would ‘eat’ yourself from inside. Conflicts are part of life.
Bad marriage is probably worse than getting divorced. It would be interesting to define what ‘bad marriage is according to the person’s culture, sub-cultures and beliefs.
People who were the most satisfied in their relationship at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.
Physical pain is magnified by emotional pain
3/ A good relationship protects our body and our mind. Being in a securely, attached relationship in your 80ies makes your memories stay sharper and longer. When you feel you can count on the other one.
Those good relationships don’t have to be smooth all the time.
Relationships - are can be - messy and complicated; they are not always sexy or glamourous.
The happiest people in their retirement had actively worked to replace work mate with play mate.
So, how about you ? How about replacing screen time with people time ? Doing something new together ? Link to the TED Talk: You can contact me via

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