“The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart
withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears
only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.”
Pearl S. Buck
It appears that as far back as 1858, the demographer, William Farr observed this important phenomenon. He wrote that widows and widowers were at higher risk of dying than their married peers. Further studies have showed that marriage can add as much as seven years to a man’s life and 2 years to a woman’s. Of course the marriage has to be a healthy and happy one or else it will cause more stress and cause illness.
A study at the University of Chicago found that a married older man with heart disease can expect to live nearly four years longer than an unmarried man with a healthy heart. Likewise, a married man who smokes more than a pack a day may live as long as a divorced man who does not smoke.
It appears that social interactions can boost the growth of the brain cells and immune system resulting in good health. In supportive relationships, people can handle stress better. Thus if you aim to live a longer life you should aim for a life partner, children and meaningful supportive relationships.
It also appears that church going, with its social networks, helps to boost your longevity. Hence to live a long life, you should have a family life and maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, your children, friends and church members. This looks like a simple mind and body health prescription that can keep you healthy and give you a meaningful life.