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The Massive 75-Year Study Shares 3 Secret Recipes To Genuine Happiness With Us

The Massive 75-Year Study Shares 3 Secret Recipes To Genuine Happiness With Us

Social butterflies are scientifically more likely to live healthier and happier lives.  This statement is supported by a Harvard study that lasted 75-years (1938-2013) led by a well-known psychiatrist named Robert Waldinger.  The implication is that isolation, staying to oneself on a regular basis, can actually make you sick.

Happiness is an ever-elusive goal for many people.  It is also one of our major pursuits as humans.  Countless movies, books and visual images reflect our tendency as humans to chase a sense of happiness.

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However, factors such as economics, transportation, social support and outlook on life are just a few criteria that can affect a person’s health and happiness.  Other considerations include diet, sleep schedule and mental health.  The Waldinger study, however, sought to prove that happiness was more easily achieved through relationships.  And although happiness is a subjective term open to interpretation by each individual, it is safe to assume a positive life outlook, coupled with balanced mental health, good nutrition and balanced sleep diet patterns to support a person’s happiness and health.

Lessons about Happiness

1. Happiness is achieved through close relationships

Spending time with people we care about and enjoy is one way to dispel feelings of loneliness. The Social and Personality Psychology Compass journal says biologically we are social by nature and want to be around other people.  Over time, being around with people we can form relationships.  When this happens, we increase our sense of wellness that lasts an entire lifetime.  Our wellness is connected to long-term memory, diet and healthy sleep patterns.

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What to do:  If you are seeking to form new, close relationships, try attending events that reflect your personal interests.  Museums are a great way to drink in beauty while meeting like-minded individuals.  Also, regularly visiting sacred spaces for spiritual renewal can draw us to form close relationships with others who have similar interests.

2. Happiness is achieved through quality relationships, not quantity

The more intimate and strong a relationship, the better it is for someone’s health. A Harvard Health Publication points out relationships that satisfy the mind, body, soul connection promote good health and longer lives.  We can reduce the levels of stress in the body through social connections.  In fact, even if a person smokes, the chances of them dying early is reduced if they have quality, strong relationships, the Harvard report says.

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What to do:  Social gatherings are an opportunity to groom relationships.  If you feel a liking to someone or a group of people, arrange a social gathering for quality time together.  Plan an event that reflects common interests for an opportunity to sit, chat and chew good food.  This is an opportunity to groom quality relationships.

3. Happiness is achieved through stable, supportive relationships

Any old relationship just won’t do. The chances of increased happiness occur when a relationships is positive, free of drama and supportive.  So not only is isolation bad for our health, so are toxic relationships.  Our survival as humans, the Social and Personality Psychology Compass report says, is connected to our ability to shun hostile external situations and gravitate to hospitable and friendly connections.  This is especially true in marriages as several reports state.

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What to do:  Seek out positive people.  Listen to what people say and determine whether their outlook on life is positive or negative.  If you try to steer conversations toward positive thoughts and acts, but a person keeps returning to the negative, think about how their words impact your sense of happiness and wellness.  The same is true for connecting with people who show signs of stability in their personal and professional lives.  These kind of supportive relationships allow us to survive, reproduce and experience happiness.

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Michelle Owens

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Last Updated on October 17, 2019

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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1. Recognize the Signs

If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

Some telltale signs include:

  • You’re always on your phones.
  • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
  • You aren’t together during important events.
  • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
  • You don’t make plans or date nights.
  • You’re not happy.

If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

2. Try New Things Together

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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5. Cook Meals Together

Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

6. Have a Regular Date Night

Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

  • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
  • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
  • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
  • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
  • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
  • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
  • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

Final Thoughts

The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

  • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
  • Lowers divorce rates
  • Improves communication
  • Reduces marital boredom
  • Bonds couples closer
  • Improves friendship
  • Boosts health
  • Reduces stress

These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

Reference

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