Living In Gratitude: 3 Life Lessons About Relationships

Since 1938, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has tracked the lives of 724 men over 75 years. This rare and enlightening study has gathered information about these men’s work, health, home life and more from the time their were teenagers to now, when many are well into their 80s.

After three-quarters of a century and tens of thousands of pages of collected data, one main insight rises to the top.

Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

Three primary lessons about relationships came from this incredible study:

  1. Social connections are really good for us

People who are more socially connected to family, friends and community are emotionally happier, psychically healthier and live longer than those without deep social connections. People who are lonely and isolated are not as happy, suffer from declining health as they age, their brain function decreases and they live shorter lives. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Resilience

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. ~Carl Gustav Jung

Resilience is our capacity for stress-related growth, to recover quickly from difficulties.

There are two distinct aspects to resilience:

  • Durability or hardiness, which is 0ur ability to manage daily stressors and hassles successfully
  • Bouncing Back, our capacity to effectively recover and grow from major life adversities like death or divorce

We can build and reinforce our resilience muscles by focusing on three key things.


By recognizing and understanding how we think about adversity, stress and challenging scenarios, we can alter how we think about them and as such, how we react to them. Our thinking runs along a sliding scale from optimism to pessimism.

People who have a more pessimistic way of thinking tend to impart personalization, permanence and pervasiveness on stressful situations. They tell themselves:

“This problem will be around forever. It will affect my entire life and its all my fault.”

Consistent pessimistic thinking increases our likelihood of depression, anxiety, hopelessness and helplessness. Read more