“It’s not the things you accumulate or the money you have in the bank that truly makes you happy.” How many of us have heard this from friends and family members over the years? It turns out they were right all along according to data collected from a study on adult development being conducted at Harvard University.
A group of pioneers
The study began in the 1930’s and 40’s with two different groups of teenagers and has continued to monitor the participants, who are now well into their late 80’s and 90’s, to this day. One group consisted of Harvard graduates with affluent families and another of low-income inner city men between the ages of 11 and 16. For over 70 years, Harvard has been in regular contact with these men – keeping tabs on their health, their marriages, their financial status, their families – in order to determine what keeps them happy and healthy.
The key to happiness
Over seven decades, the data collected indicates that happiness and good health are not driven by wealth or fame. Instead, what they found consistently is that those who were the most socially connected to their families and friends were the ones who were the happiest and who lived the longest lives. Those who were well-off financially but lived in relative isolation lived shorter lives and experienced more health and memory-related complications while they were alive.
Maintaining regular, personal contact with others and finding ways to stay involved in your community are necessary to maintain health and happiness as we age. Senior living communities like Primrose offer many opportunities to spend time with other seniors, and they make it easy for family to visit as well. If you or a loved one have questions about senior living, we would be honored to assist you. Just visit www.primroseretirement.com for more information.