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.
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By Tom Whipple, Science Editor
Scientists have been able to link the happiness of people’s marriages in their final years with the happiness of their life in their formative years, thanks to a unique study that followed a cohort of American men for the entirety of their adult lives. The research found that even in their ninth decade people were feeling the effects of their upbringing.
Robert Waldinger, from Harvard University, said that the work showed the importance of investing…
By Liz Loerke
“Happy wife, happy life,” so they saying goes. But according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a happy relationship might all begin with a happy childhood. Through a longitudinal study spanning more than six decades, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that men who grew up in caring homes felt more secure in romantic relationships in their 80s.
“Our study shows that the influences of childhood experiences can be demonstrated even when people reach their 80s, predicting how happy and secure they are in their marriages as octogenarians,” researcher Robert Waldinger of Harvard Medical School said in a statement. “We found that this link occurs in part because warmer childhoods promote better emotion management and interpersonal skills at midlife, and these skills predict more secure marriages in late life.”
Growing up in a warm family environment in childhood is associated with feeling more secure in romantic relationships in one’s 80s, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings show that men who grew up in caring homes were more adept at managing stressful emotions when assessed as middle-aged adults, which helps to explain why they had more secure marriages late in life.
“Our study shows that the influences of childhood experiences can be demonstrated even when people reach their 80s, predicting how happy and secure they are in their marriages as octogenarians,” says researcher Robert Waldinger of Harvard Medical School. “We found that this link occurs in part because warmer childhoods promote better emotion management and interpersonal skills at midlife, and these skills predict more secure marriages in late life.”
We all strive for happiness and well-being, but getting there can sometimes seem like a challenge. A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital says it may actually be easier than you think.
“It’s about finding a balance,” said Dr. Robert Waldinger. “We’re all going to have our ups and downs, but can we get to a place where life is generally better and we’re more content?”