I’ve been unknowingly advocating this already. But after listening to Jay Shetty’s latest podcast with Robert Waldinger, I was relieved to objectively confirm that time with friends is definitely time well invested.
Waldinger, a Harvard professor, studied 724 men for 75 years and concluded that of course smoking is bad for health and exercise is good but what matters and contribute most to the overall quality of life, are meaningful relationships. Good social relationships keep us healthier and happier / loneliness kills / social relationships make you live longer / people who are isolated will have their health and brain decline sooner.
And it’s not just the number of friends and whether you’re in a committed relationship; it’s the quality of those relationships. If you are in a securely attached relationship in your 80s, your brain is protected and memories will stay sharper, longer. I had the epiphany to send this Chinese subtitled version of Waldinger’s Ted Talk to my parents, Mom swiftly replied: “看过了/honey you’re late to the game I already saw this 💁🏻”.
During the rest of the podcast, Shetty and Waldinger discuss more about one needing secure attachments to take risks (e.g. a toddler venturing out cause he knows his parents are looking out for him), immersing yourself to have a breakthrough (e.g. a 10 day vipassana silent retreat…. or a 4 day Coachella festival.. whatever you fancy) and that “Quiet reminds of being good with less” (aka if you just stop and take it in, you realize you don’t need that new juicer, Simona).
Overall: a lot of wisdom for a Monday.