Look younger! Feel more vibrant! Boost your stamina! Live Longer! Those are the promises made to us by marketing gurus about countless products from facial creams to dietary supplements, from the latest diet trend to the newest fitness fad. Psychological research, however, points us to a far greater (and less expensive!) secret to longevity. It is one that is often overlooked in our efforts to follow the advice of the marketing gurus. John Lennon may just have been right when he wrote “All You Need is Love.” Research suggests that love may be an important predictor of longevity.
Consider the fact, for example, that having strong social relationships predicts a 50% increased chance of longevity.
It is not just the strength of our relationships that predict longevity, however, but rather the attitude with with which we engage in those relationships that predicts a longer and healthier life. While many think they need to find someone to love them, research shows that the greatest benefits for longevity and well-being come not from receiving love but rather from giving love to others.