Samara O'Shea

It’s in the Air

Another day, another article about happiness. This one is in the June issue of The Atlantic. It’s actually very different than the one I referenced from Psychology Today a while back. Not different in conclusion, but different in approach. This article is the result of a 72-year study that has been going on at Harvard. The study has followed the same group of men from their college years until now (retirement age), and draws conclusions on the hows and whys some of them ended up where they did—whether that be a good place or bad. The study is called The Grant Study and has been directed by a man named George Valliant since 1967 (the study began in the 1930s). I’m not finished reading it yet, but here are some of the gems I’ve pulled from the article thus far:

~Block [founder of the study] declared that medical research paid too much attention to sick people; that dicing the body up into symptoms and diseases—and viewing it through the lenses of a hundred micro-specialties—could never she light on the urgent question of how to, on the whole, to live well.

~ Vaillant . . . had predicted seven major factors that predict healthy aging, both physically, and psychologically. Employing mature adaptations was one. The others were education, stable marriage, not smoking, not abusing alcohol, some exercise, and healthy weight.

~ Regular exercise in college predicted late-life mental health better than it did physical.

~ “What have you learned from the Grant study?” Vaillant’s response: “That this only thing in life that matters is your relationships with people.”

~ “What we do,” Vaillant concluded, “affects how we feel as much as how we feel affects what we do.”

I’m going to take Monday off from blogging due to the holiday. Let’s all stay far away from our computers for the next few days shall we? Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!