It’s a long article, but the gist is pretty simple. Relationships are what make us happy, and regular contact with the people whose company we cherish is what keeps us happy.
Simple enough, but there are so many other things competing for our attention that it’s easy to forget to make time for those relationships. They might be a spouse, close family members, dear friends, or some other confidant that we emotionally depend on.
This study at Harvard began in 1938 and is still ongoing. The article is definitely worth a read, and I think it also gives some reassurance that while it’s okay to be alone, being lonely can be a real burden. Human beings are social animals, and being lonely isn’t great for our health. And not making time for our friendships makes it easier for us to be lonely.
One of the many benefits of a martial arts class is that we get to develop friendships with people that we see on a regular basis. These friendships can last years or decades, and certainly can combat the loneliness that the modern world so easily inflicts on us.
f you want to skip the article and go directly to the book upon which the article was based, you can read “The Good Life,” by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schultz.