By Christina Stiehl
The pillars of good health are mostly common sense. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; exercise often; sleep well; avoid too much booze, hard drugs, and probably rock ‘n’ roll. It’s the devil’s music!
Those aspects of a healthy life are the tedious reality, but there’s another factor that’s proven to be the biggest indicator of whether someone will make it happily into old age, and this one’s a lot more fun: the quality of your social life.
Surrounding yourself with good people you like isn’t just some hippie, feel-good mantra; its role in overall health is backed by scientific studies of hundreds of thousands of people.
The big takeaways from that talk: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier, and loneliness kills. But there were, of course, many more lessons to be learned — the study has yielded more than 100 published papers so far, with enough data for “scores more” — and Waldinger shares four of them here.