If you aren’t familiar with TED Talks, it is comprised of a series of speeches delivered by experts or entrepreneurs having a unique insight into their specific subject. These talks range from a neuroscientist developing a drug to prevent depression and PTSD, a Harvard doctor’s plan to save 30 million lives by 2030 and Pope Francis, calling for a revolution of tenderness. See www.Ted.com for many more subjects.
Psychologists delivered a TED Talk in Vancouver last month addressing the age-old subject of Longevity. And yes, good health habits are important, but here are three principles for longevity from different experts.
Face-to-Face Social Interaction Leads to a Longer Life
Psychologist Susan Pinker has a unique view of how this goal can be achieved. “Smoking, drinking, exercise and even heart problems are not predictors of a person’s longevity-a person’s close relationship and social integration were”. She indicates, “the impact that our human connections have on all aspects of our well-being, including our physical health are most important.” 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.
Turning Off Your Smartphone Enriches Your Life
Adam Alter, professor marketing and Psychology, claims “studies show “people who spend time on social networks, dating apps and even online news sites reported being less happy” Alter maintains this slavish use of technology takes away the pleasure of reading a book, watching a movie, etc. He claims scrolling on the phone is endless and we don’t know when to break away. His recommendation is setting guidelines such as never using it at the dinner table, put it on airplane mode when you’re out for dinner or enjoying a weekend.
Chasing Meaning, Not Happiness, Is What Really Matters
Author Emily Esfahani Smith suggests we guard against constantly evaluating our own happiness which contributes to feelings of hopelessness and depression. “Happiness is a fickle emotion, fleeting based on a moment or an experience. What’s really making us feel sad is not the lack of happiness, its lack meaning. Without something worthwhile to do people flounder. So, finding something to drive you forward, whether it’s work or something else, is a crucial slice of having meaning.”