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What Do You Think Makes a Good and Fulfilling Life?

Posted on July 17, 2019 by Susan Robinson

In a recent Amen Clinics blog post, psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen states, “We all are searching for ways to stay healthier, be sharper and feel happier in our lives.” Amen believes that today’s digital world makes it even harder to find what is most fulfilling in life. Provokingly he asks if this is in the size of your bank account, number of awards on your shelf or the number of followers on your Instagram feed? Of course, the answer is none of the above, according to science.

An ongoing Harvard study that began in 1938 attempts to answer these questions. About 60 of the original 724 volunteers are still alive and participating in the study. They periodically undergo a battery of biometric tests and brain scans and answer several personal questions. The conclusions from the extensive study can be boiled down to one thing: love.

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period,” Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, said during a Ted Talk posted in 2015.

For more information about Waldinger’s research findings on relationships and life satisfaction, view his impactful 15-minute TED Talks video on YouTube.

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Susan Robinson

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Susan Robinson is a co-program coordinator for “Thrive," and has been with the program since 2007. She earned a Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Southern Nazarene University and a Doctorate of Education in Health Promotion from Oklahoma State University. Prior to her time with OMES, Susan worked in higher education and taught at Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma and Emporia State University. Susan's hobbies include singing in her church and community choirs, traveling and spending time with her daughter and grand dog, Georgi.