How Good Relationships Can Extend Your Lifespan

There are many things you can do to improve your longevity and quality of life. Plant-rich diets, regular exercise, refraining from smoking and heavy drinking, and getting quality sleep have all been proven to help extend your lifespan (via Healthline).

Taking care of your mental health is also essential for a long life. A 2008 review published in Psychosomatic Medicine took a look at dozens of different studies researching the link between longevity and well-being. They found that regardless of whether study participants were healthy or dealing with illness, an overall sense of well-being including happiness, a sense of humor, and an optimistic attitude were associated with decreased mortality rates. Along these lines, Healthline suggests that managing your stress levels can help increase your lifespan as stress is linked to higher rates of certain diseases and premature death.

In addition to making choices that support your mental and physical health, research shows that the key to a long and happy life may lie in the quality of your relationships.

The link between healthy relationships and a long life

You may already be extending your longevity through eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, drinking water, and reducing your stress levels, but don't forget that tending to your relationships is an essential component to living a longer life, as well.

Psychology professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad from Brigham Young University explained to Deseret News, "Over the past few decades now, growing evidence shows people who are more socially connected live longer and people who are more isolated or lonely are at increased risk for early mortality."

This may be due in part to an association between healthy relationships and better physical and mental health, improved sleep quality, and better immunity against disease, notes Deseret News. Regardless, the healthy influence our connections have on our lifespan is dependent on the quality of our relationships rather than the quantity. Developing close connections and having healthy attachments to loved ones are all predictors of a long and happy life.