I saw this article about this Harvard study, which is pretty interesting. So I wanted to discuss that with you. It detailed the seven habits that lead to happiness in old age. Hopefully, all of us can reach old age so this is very important. One thing that usually sometimes happens is that the older you get, the likely chance that you become a bit depressed. The study started in 1938. They decided to sign up many men who were studying at Harvard and follow them from youth to adulthood.
Every year or so, they would ask them about things like their habits, relationship, work, etc. The study has now expanded to other people as well. I mean women and people of other races. They also do not have to go to Harvard, which is good because I doubt that a woman or someone from another race had the same experience as a white man going to Harvard. In the study, researchers saw a lot of variations. When they started talking to the older generation, they started seeing some things that seemed to be a collective of what a lot of the older generation were saying regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status. I’m gonna go ahead and read those to you.
1. Not Smoking
The first one is don’t smoke. It seems like smoking for years does invest in your happiness. Something of a good thing is too much. Smoking before the 90s, maybe even in the 80s, people did not know of the health issues that could be caused by it. Therefore, hearing older people say that smoking is not good, then you might want to listen and put the cigarette down.
2. Not Drinking Too Much
The next thing is drinking. So one thing I will share with you all is my sister passed away from alcohol poisoning. Also, my dad used to be an alcoholic. So it’s something that I watch all the time, make sure I do not drink too much. I drink socially. I’ll have a glass of wine on the weekends, but that is as much as I go because I know it’s part of my family. And I do not want to be someone that contributes to that family cycle. Definitely watch your drinking, and maintain healthy body weight.
3. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
I know that’s something that I’m struggling with right now. And I am losing weight. So I’m very happy to say that, but you know, mainly eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, try to exercise. Even if you’re thin, there are people such as skinny fat. So you can be slim, you can be someone that hit the genetic jackpot and are inexpensive. But if you’re eating junk food and all this, like processed food, because who cares if you’re skinny, or vice versa, there could be someone who looks a little bit heavyset, but they’re very healthy, and they’re eating in their habits. And so just make sure that you’re just keeping those healthy habits and are not yo dieting, which affects many women. So make sure that you’re not falling into those diets.
A few years ago, I remember that there was one diet that was insane. People would take injections of hormones or something and eat only 500 calories a day. That is not sustainable. I believe it’s about maintaining healthy habits and prioritizing movement in your life. I.
4. Learn Good Coping Mechanisms
Learn good coping mechanisms and how to deal with the good and the bad. Not everything will be good in your life. I wish it were like that, but it isn’t. So we have to learn how to manage our stress. Some people meditate, others go to church, have other spiritual practices, therapy, etc. Make sure to take care of your mental health, and you’re taking care of yourself.
5. Continue Learning
The next thing is to keep learning. Every day try to learn something new. I’m always on YouTube learning from different people about various things [–. I’m always reading blogs and just reading articles and various journals out there reading books. I’m constantly trying to learn, which I would say to you. When people think about learning, sometimes they feel that it has to be like, Oh, school type of learning. No, you could learn about art, you can learn about graphic novels, learn about anime, learn about video games. It doesn’t have to be something that you deem boring for it to be learning. It could be anything. So I do agree with that. Not sure if it’s been proven to be 100% True. But one thing they do attribute to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Maybe a couple of years ago, I saw this study when people stopped learning. And I have noticed that there have been more apps out there about like, you know, working your brain, and stuff like that. So maybe there is some truth to that. I even saw one article about seniors and senior citizens playing video games. And so that’s one thing, it’s like, just try to learn as much as possible. We could find, it doesn’t have to be what you consider school subjects, it could be anything. So just continue to learn, basically.
6. Have Stable Relationships
Work to cultivate just stable relationships. Keep those toxic people out of your life, and maintain those relationships with people who love you. I have learned that the older I get, the older I think we are very family-oriented. And our mom was always like your family is more important, but blah, blah. But sometimes, for some people, family isn’t everything. I’ve learned that the hard way in the last couple of years. And mainly last year, I cut out a lot of family members. And my sister did as well. And our kids did. And I will say that there’s always a mourning period, or that when you lose someone, it doesn’t always have to be death. It could be someone who you talk to all the time. It could be a breakup, whatever.
There is grief that goes along with that. But then, after that, I feel great. I’m not dealing with their toxicity. If they want to sit there and support and love a person that did so much damage to people, then that’s on them. And I don’t want to take part in that. And it has been great not dealing with that toxic crap that goes along with that. So long way to say it doesn’t always have to be family with which you’re cultivating those relationships. It could be friendships that they’re like family. Some friendships are more like family than your own family. So just try to cultivate those relationships because humans are social creatures at the end of the day. We need people around us, even if you’re an introvert like me or someone with social anxieties. I noticed that my daughter seems to have that. You still need a couple of people who are your tribe.
7. Don’t Live to Work
Money isn’t everything at the end of the day. It’s the love around you and your love for those around you. And I will include my pets in there because I love my dog, and he loves me.
Those are the seven factors that this long harvest study. I think that’s amazing when I see some studies that have been going on for years and years that they have found out, maximizes your chance of happiness, it at your old age, and I will say that it’s not even old age, it’s like just throughout your life like you could apply these seven things to your life. And it will be more whole, more full, just more happiness. So I think that that is something that I will say I’m always talking about, like work-life balance. And the reason I talk about work-life balance so much is because it isn’t just one life category. And I say this all the time it’s it isn’t just one life category that matters. It’s everything as a whole. So whatever you decide is part of your life categories. You can’t just focus on one area, and there has to be a balance if you’ve never taken it before. I’ll probably talk about it in the next podcast or on one of the YouTube videos, the wheel of life. Whoa, it’ll blow your mind just seeing how you’re in balance or if there are just some imbalances in your life. And I think that that would be a good exercise to try. One thing I’m gonna start doing next week, pretty nervous about it, but I’m going to start doing lives. So I will put the schedule out there. And even if I have one person that says hi to me, I’ll be happy because, you know, it’s something that I’m a little fearful of, and I’m trying to fight my fears. So I will talk to everyone next week and hope you have a wonderful weekend. Bye. Take care