I caught a portion of a Ted Talk given by psychiatrist Robert Waldinger who has been overseeing an ongoing seventy-five year study where he shared some of the findings during the talk. The information was uplifting and quality and though technically some things we may already know or think, it was nice and interesting to hear the research to support it.
There were several takeaways I will quote from Waldinger:
- Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.
- Social connections are good for us and loneliness kills.
- The more socially connected we are to family, friends and the community, the happier we are, our physical health is better and we tend to live longer.
- Loneliness is toxic.
- The less happy we are, our health declines earlier, our brain function declines sooner and we tend to live shorter lives, all based on this particular study.
So something we have known but should consider applying, is working on the quality of our connections and friendships, not the quantity. I chose to share this because I am an advocate of removing yourself from toxic relationships. Life is busy enough and in many ways stressful we need to be around people who bring love, joy and support not negativity and destruction.
Take a moment to assess the relationships in your life, not only the value that is being added to your life but also the value you are adding to others. Let’s be genuine and most of all there for one another in healthy ways. If you do not know how to be a healthy connection to someone ask for help. If you don’t know how to exit toxic relationships ask for help.