Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

The secret to happiness is close relationships. Loneliness kills


Mainly Mattias

Recommended Posts

Can't remember if I posted this years ago or not. Anyway, in a time where loneliness is so prevalent, this seems relevant. This article was pretty powerful for me.

 

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/

 

Some quotes from the article on the (then) nearly 80 year study:

“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” said Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”

Those who kept warm relationships got to live longer and happier, and the loners often died earlier. “Loneliness kills,” he said. “It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”

The study showed that the role of genetics and long-lived ancestors proved less important to longevity than the level of satisfaction with relationships in midlife, now recognized as a good predictor of healthy aging.

“It’s easy to get isolated, to get caught up in work and not remembering, ‘Oh, I haven’t seen these friends in a long time, so I try to pay more attention to my relationships than I used to.”

  • Cheers 2
  • Huggy Bear 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are too many variables to boil this down to one factor. The first initiative of many such studies/articles/etc...is to put the onus on the reader.

"Oh, you're NOT happy. Well here's what's wrong with YOU!"...

 

Nurture relationships

Be sincere, honest & trust yourself

Work hard

Pursue love & passion

Cheer on a WINning franchise!(lol)

 

Try to be born to a 'normal' family in a decent country(subject to one's interpretation)

Stay healthy, & keep learning new things

 

...could prob add 20 or 30 more decent ideas. I can't see how 1 factor trumps all

 

  • Like 1
  • Vintage 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had an elderly gentleman come into work the past week as a client. Little off, not great social skills but seemed ok. Says he's fine being by himself and going home to watch tv and play video games but he's super big into this online forum thing he runs. 

 

Curious as to how online relationships factor into the study. 

  • Cheers 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, -DLC- said:

I worry about my Dad on his own now that his cat (of 20+ years) is gone. It's a whole new thing for him. I go see him every day after work but I see him backing away a bit and isolating himself. We've had a rough go lately...one thing after another. He's showing sure signs of depression as he's losing interest in some of his shows, etc. I'm keeping a close eye on him (and will likely move him into my downstairs suite soon). He's resistant to trying new things (we got him a tablet for poker, puzzles, etc.). Spring and summer are much better for him as he is an avid gardener. Winter blues are very real for many...we are more isolated as the weather and dark days keep us inside more often.

 

I'm on my own but I quite like it that way. Having been in an abusive relationship for a long time, I value my peace and serenity. But I do see how COVID's changed my life and I'm missing people I haven't seen for awhile...we're doing a Family Day thing with extended family who I haven't seen for a couple of years. The kids were babies and are now growing up. I'm really happy to rejoin the human race and catch up. Lost time the past couple of years as we were all in limbo.

 

Going to the game on Saturday too...I'm tired of being cooped up. I still wear a mask though...taking care of Dad means I take no chances.

 

I feel that this article misses the mark a bit because even people in relationships can feel very lonely. I felt lonelier with my ex than I do on my own...because I was trapped in a situation that wasn't good. I was anxious and fearful much of the time. Now I'm alone but that doesn't mean "lonely"....I value my "me" time. I've cared for others my entire life and the freedom to do what I want is important to me. I think that the word loneliness may more likely be in line with depression here. There is help out there and as we creep closer to mental health awareness dates it's a good time to be reminded of that. If you're lonely/depressed...reach out. There are people out there who can help.

 

One other thing is that exercise can really boost dopamine levels and help with "the blues". Especially during the SAD season, you can improve your mood by taking a walk outside, going for a bike ride and getting fresh air or hitting the gym. It can really change the outlook as well as the energy level. Joy is so important but that can come from within. I don't like the idea of having to rely on others...I feel it's a good self-care routine to find things to occupy our time that bring us joy. 

 

Which is why I won't let the Canucks stuff drag me down...I do it for enjoyment and it's often a choice to be happy or miserable.

I belong to a community service group and take great satisfaction with friendships with members and what we do in the community. Sadly, I think many people use social media as a way to interact and IMO that is not healthy. Of course I am saying this on a form of social media. :rolleyes:

  • Like 1
  • Cheers 1
  • Vintage 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Boudrias said:

I belong to a community service group and take great satisfaction with friendships with members and what we do in the community. Sadly, I think many people use social media as a way to interact and IMO that is not healthy. Of course I am saying this on a form of social media. :rolleyes:

Oh I do agree that meeting people face to face and being part of social circles is important.

 

But, for some of us, we go to work then are caregivers and have little time left to "go" out or commit to a structured program. Also, for those with mobility issues and who are aging and have difficulty getting around. SM is a last resort way to still connect with people and offers that from the comfort of our own homes. Not the most ideal way to interact but...something. An option when other options are difficult.

 

Only problem is many out there aren't who they say they are (ha, I learned that first hand here). Easy to be set up but those with less than honest intentions.

  • Cheers 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you need maybe two close people in your life. Perhaps a partner and a best friend. 

Then as many casual relationships as possible. Say hi to everyone you meet.

IMO, tight knit groups of friends and/or familly can be unfortunately the root cause of tribalism. Result often leads to 'us vs them.'

 

I also reject that being alone is a bad thing. I love it. We dont have much time in this life. Maybe one relationship that I find most important is with with existence itself.  Consciousness, and what it is all about. 

  • Thanks 1
  • Cheers 1
  • Huggy Bear 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, -DLC- said:

Oh I do agree that meeting people face to face and being part of social circles is important.

 

But, for some of us, we go to work then are caregivers and have little time left to "go" out or commit to a structured program. Also, for those with mobility issues and who are aging and have difficulty getting around. SM is a last resort way to still connect with people and offers that from the comfort of our own homes. Not the most ideal way to interact but...something. An option when other options are difficult.

 

Only problem is many out there aren't who they say they are (ha, I learned that first hand here). Easy to be set up but those with less than honest intentions.

Taking care of a parent has its own challenges. Like you I visited my mother each day. She was prepared to go and yet life would not let her. If I could do it over I would have taken her home to die. 

 

Much of the value I find in a circle of friends is hearing their life stories. Their challenges and triumphs. In Rotary we do "Rotary's 5 Questions" which feature a member's response. All a lot of fun.   

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, -DLC- said:

Especially during the SAD season, you can improve your mood by taking a walk outside, going for a bike ride and getting fresh air or hitting the gym.

Pharmacy's will have lighting/light bulbs that can help with SAD

A buddy swears the 'yellow' tinted safety glasses he got at the hardware store work for him.

I tried them on, and will say a gray, rainy day does look a bit brighter/better when wearing them.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Gurn said:

Pharmacy's will have lighting/light bulbs that can help with SAD

A buddy swears the 'yellow' tinted safety glasses he got at the hardware store work for him.

I tried them on, and will say a gray, rainy day does look a bit brighter/better when wearing them.

I have battled anxiety and depression all my life.

I remember reading about Inuit tribes that live above the arctic circle, in the winter months when they live without sunlight they had " invented" a series of exercises that set of the chemicals in their brains, Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins that helped overcome seasonal affective disorder. 

 

As for relationships I don't believe there is a one fits all model.

Some people want to have more and deeper relationships with others, some are more content with their own company.

Still no person is an "Island" and we are all to some extent social creatures.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...