Is getting help from others the key to a long life?

No. Giving help to others is.

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

We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest. Surprise: our prediction was wrong. Although other studies have shown that people who feel loved and cared for will report a better sense of well-being— they feel better— we did not find that it helped much for living a long life.

What about focusing on the size of social networks rather than emphasizing only feelings? Does having regular contact with a large number of close, comfortable friends make a difference? A clear finding was that those who had a large social network lived longer. Just as we had seen in our studies of religiosity, social networks matter a lot.

Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

Join 85K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:

What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?

How To Make Your Life Better By Sending Five Simple Emails

4 Lifehacks From Ancient Philosophers That Will Make You Happier


Tags:
Posted In:
Post Details