Weekly Tools and Tips to Improve Any Relationship

December 14, 2017

Harvard Study Finds Relationships Have Incredibly Powerful Effect on Our Health & Happiness

Here at Color Code we teach that life is all about relationships. Our main goal as a company is to help people understand themselves and others on a deeper level so they can improve both their personal and professional relationships. We’ve seen marriages saved, businesses prosper, families improve, etc., etc., all because people took the time to put an effort into building their emotional intelligence and relationship skills.

With that said, you can imagine how we love research that further validates the importance of what we do. Today, we thought we’d share with our readers one study we find particularly fascinating and encouraging.

Because this isn’t just any study–it’s one of the most important studies ever done on health and happiness, and the results might surprise you.

The study we’re referring to is called The Grant Study and began at Harvard University just shy of 80 years ago and continues to this day. It started in 1938 with scientists tracking the health of 268 Harvard Sophomores. They hoped the longitudinal study would reveal clues leading to healthy and happy lives.

The study has followed these 268 men throughout their lives and measures an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits—from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to body type to so much more—in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.

Of course we don’t have time to go into all the details of this extensive study but if you’re interested, you can read more by clicking the links we provided below.

However, what we quickly wanted to share with you today are some excerpts and quotes from articles written on study’s findings.

We hope this will inspire you to continue in your efforts to foster healthy relationships. Because, as it turns out, your health and happiness could depend on it… read more below to see what we mean.

The following quotes are from Robert Waldinger, current director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

 “The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health.”
“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.”

The most recent article written on the Harvard study results, site Waldinger with the following comments:

“It turns out, that close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed. Those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes. That finding proved true across the board among both the Harvard men and the inner-city participants.”
“The researchers also found that marital satisfaction has a protective effect on people’s mental health.”
“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.”

And lastly, these final two excerpts are in reference to  what George Vaillant, former director of The Grant Study, author of Triumphs of Experience: The Men of The Harvard Grant Study, and many other books, has said about what the study has taught us.

“It is social aptitude not intellectual brilliance or parental social class, that leads to successful aging.” 
“When the study began, nobody cared about empathy or attachment. But the key to healthy aging is relationships, relationships, relationships”. 

So there you have it! After 80 years of study and still going, scientists are more certain than ever that good relationships play a significant factor in our physical and mental health.

Thanks for stopping by our blog and best of luck to you all in your pursuit of health and happiness!

–The Color Code Team


Over nearly 80 years, Harvard study has been showing how to live a healthy and happy life