What does it take to be healthy & happy? Harvard University began a comprehensive study on emotional well-being back in 1938 that included John F. Kennedy, who went on to become President of the United States, and 723 other men.
The answer 80 years later comes from Robert Waldinger, the 4th and current director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development:
“When we gathered together everything we knew about these participants at age 50, it wasn’t their middle age cholesterol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old. It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.”
“Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies. They protect our brains.”
Justin Bariso, author of “EQ Intelligence: The Real World Guide to Emotional Intelligence,” writes about the details of this study in INC magazine and offers his own advice on developing good, lasting relationships. He says the key is trust:
“You might imagine each of your relationships as a bridge you build between yourself and another person. Any strong bridge must be built on a solid foundation–and for relationships, that foundation is trust. Without trust, there can be no love, no friendship, no lasting connection between people. But where there is trust, there is motivation to act. If you trust someone is looking after your best interests, you will do almost anything that person asks of you.”