“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”

That’s the key lesson from a mammoth 75-year Harvard research study. It tracked the lives of 724 adult men over three-quarters of a century.

The director, psychologist Robert Waldinger, shared the study’s three big takeaways in a recent TED Talk:

  1. Social connections are good for us… but loneliness kills. Those who are well-connected with family and friends are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who aren’t.
  2. Quality trumps quantity. You don’t need to have high numbers of social relationships. But you do need high-quality connections with others in order to enjoy the benefits of those relationships.
  3. Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies… they protect our brains. People who have friends/families they can count on maintain sharper mental capacities for longer periods of time.

Professor Waldinger’s full talk is about 12 minutes. You can cut right to the key takeaways from 6:05 through 11:15. Click on the video below to watch it.