Article by Globalnet

Robert Waldinger directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the longest-running studies of adult life ever done. He is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and Zen priest. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. The research tracked the lives of two groups of men for over 75 years and  their children to see what influence their mental and phisical health.

The study started in 1938 the scientists began tracking the health of 268 Harvard students during the Great Depression, they hoped the study would discover clues to leading healthy and happy lives. The researchers have studied the health of participants and they lives, how did they managed in their lives, their failures and successes, marriages and offsprings over the years. The most surprising finding was that relationships that we have and how happy we are in these relationships has a significant influence on our health. Researchers have made a lot of interviews and studied the medical records of the researched participants and they came to the conclusion that there is a strong relations between the health and happy relationships that we have with our partners, family, friends.

Robert Waldinger  said  in a popular TED Talk. “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.” According to the research close relatioships influence also the general wellbeing of people, their state of mind and mental health. People who live in satisfying relationships live longer and happier and those who are lonely are basicly unhappy and die earlier.

Robert Waldinger  said  in TED that “Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies; they protect our brains and those good relationships, they don’t have to be smooth all the time. Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker with each other day in and day out, but as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.”