Main Ingredient for the Long and Happy Life

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There are areas of the world called Blue Zones – pockets where people reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States. A common theme between these pockets? Strength of social networks. Similarly, when researchers study the happiest people in the world, they find a common quality of strong relationships. What conclusions can we draw from the many studies on happiness and longevity? If you want to live a long and fulfilled life, spend time with friends and family that you feel close to. Nurturing these relationships is an investment that pays huge dividends.

When I first heard this news, I felt a little depressed. See, I am an introvert and being around lots of people can really drain my energy. I much prefer to spend time one on one or with just a couple of friends. But as I learned more, I discovered it’s not the quantity of relationships, but the quality. I now work harder at setting aside time for my friends, realizing that we aren’t just enjoying some good company, we are actually improving each other’s physical and mental wellbeing. So give that friend or family member a call or set up a lunch date. It’s good for your health and happiness!

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