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Are the recommendations for being happier and living a long life the same?

 

There is significant overlap:

Via The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study:

…many (but not all) of the recommendations for happiness are nearly identical to recommendations for maintaining health.

For example, those trying to improve their happiness are advised to do the following things:

• Watch less TV

• Improve social relations— spend time with friends

• Increase levels of physical activity— go for a long walk

• Help others and express gratitude to those who have helped you

• Take on new challenges to remain fresh and in-the-moment

These are all connected to health and long life, but we view them differently and would reframe the process: rather than recommending that you do each of these items, our research with the Terman participants suggests finding a lifestyle in which doing each of these things comes naturally. That is, these recommended activities are part of long-term patterns that characterize healthy and happy individuals. The healthy patterns and pathways come first, and they lead to both health and happiness.

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About Eric Barker