What is the secret to lifelong fulfillment? As a fitness professional, you’re probably guessing that I’m going to say, “exercise” but no! The key to being, and staying, happy and healthy, is good relationships.
Certainly, exercise, career achievement and a healthy diet are key factors to a thriving life, but multiple studies have shown that the one thing that continuously demonstrates its broad and enduring importance is strong personal connections.
One of these studies , “The Harvard Study of Adult Development,” started in 1938 by studying and following 724 teen age boys (and over 1,300 of their male and female descendants) from very different backgrounds for 85 years. The overwhelming conclusion to this well documented study is: Good relationships keep us healthier and happier. Period.
The Wall Street Journal article mentions three other long-term studies in Baltimore, Chicago, and New Zealand that all confirm the findings of the Harvard Study.
It’s easy to get distracted in our daily lives, but if you want to make one decision to ensure your own health and happiness, it should be to cultivate warm relationships of all kinds.
So, pick up the phone! Re-connect with that dear friend that you might have lost touch with. Reach out to your family. Schedule a regular meetup (maybe a walk, says the exercise professional ) with a buddy. You’ll be glad you did – really!
The Wall Street Journal
January 14/15, 2023