Prioritizing these three things will improve your life — and maybe even save it

VANCOUVER — Want to live longer, enjoy life more and actually find that elusive happiness?

Among the dozens of big ideas shared this week at the international TED conference — from a robot that could outperform students on college exams to an ultraviolet light that could kill superbugs — were some simpler, almost obvious, life improvements we should all prioritize to live better lives. While the ideas themselves might not be all that surprising, the explanations for how and why they better your life served as powerful reminders that we might be prioritizing the wrong things, and undervaluing that which makes life worth living.

  • Face-to-face social interaction leads to a longer life

Smoking, drinking, exercise and even heart problems are not predictors of a person’s longevity — a person’s close relationships and social integration were. That’s what psychologist Susan Pinker has discovered in researching the impact that our human connections have on all aspects of our well-being, including our physical health. Those with intimacy in their lives, those with support systems and frequent face-to-face interactions were not only physically and emotionally healthier, but they also lived longer.

It’s why women, who tend to prioritize spending time with their friends more than men,  live an average of six years longer, Pinker said. And it’s not enough to text or email. The actual health benefits of socializing are only achieved through in-person contact, she said.

– Washington Post

Read the full article here.