Waldinger also learned from over 75 years of data that “social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills. It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to the community, are happier, they’re physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected.”
The primary finding of the Harvard Study of Adult Development comports with one of the most widely agreed-upon findings in happiness research—that one of the most critical contributors to our long-term well-being is the social connections we share and the time we spend with family, friends, and people in our community.
Get Over Yourself And Revitalize Your Friendships
So what can you do to start developing what I call “CMSRs” (Compassionate, Meaningful, Sustainable Relationships) in my new course, Managing Loneliness?
Waldinger offers advice on that, too:
It might be something as simple as replacing screen time with people time or livening up a stale relationship by doing something new together, long walks or date nights, or reaching out to that family member who you haven’t spoken to in years, because those all-too-common family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.
In short, get over yourself. Move past the misconception that social overtures symbolize that you need others and are not doing well in your life. Recognize that putting yourself out there and reaching out to someone new or old in your life, even if you’ve gone through some challenges together, is a sign of strength, not weakness.
As Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” And he had to forgive the British for almost a century of occupation! What you have to forgive to create the relationships you need to survive and thrive is likely much easier and more possible.
Sleep, exercise, food, and love — are all necessary ingredients to live a healthy life. Let us know what you think about this in the comments section below!
Written by: Anthony Silard Ph.D. Originally appeared on: Psychology Today Republished with permission For information on Anthony’s courses books and free videos, articles and podcasts visit TheArtofLivingFree.org . Use Discount Code iParticipate for a 15% discount on Anthony's new course, Managing Loneliness: How to Develop Meaningful Relationships and Enduring Happiness at theartoflivingfree.org/course-managing-loneliness/