Keeping Positive People Around Can Add Years to Your Life, a Study Shows


In a groundbreaking study published in the journal PLOS One in 2023, researchers from Brigham Young University revealed a surprising connection between positive social relationships and longevity. The study examined data from over 2,000 adults aged 50 and above, and the findings were remarkable: being surrounded by positive social connections can increase one’s lifespan by an impressive 5%. This means that individuals with strong social ties are likelier to live longer than those who experience social isolation.

  1. Understanding the Study’s Findings
  2. Loneliness and Isolation: A Growing Concern
  3. Unraveling the Link Between Social Isolation and Early Mortality
  4. The Power of Positive Social Relationships
  5. Beyond Physical Health: Mental and Emotional Benefits
  6. The Cumulative Effect of Healthy Habits on Longevity
  7. Conclusion
  8. Table of Important Information
  9. FAQs

As we age, the impact of positive social relationships becomes even more pronounced. The study’s 5% increase in longevity can make a substantial difference in overall health and well-being. But what exactly is it about positive social relationships that contribute to a longer life? Let’s delve deeper into this fascinating study’s findings.

Understanding the Study’s Findings

The evidence presented by the study indicates that positive social relationships have a genuine impact on our lifespan. One reason for this link is how social connections act as a buffer against stress. Having a solid support system means having people to lean on during tough times, effectively reducing stress levels and, in turn, benefiting our health.

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Moreover, positive social relationships encourage physical activity. When surrounded by supportive friends and family, individuals are more likely to engage in activities together, promoting a healthier lifestyle that adds to longevity.

Lastly, social relationships’ emotional and psychological aspects cannot be underestimated. When we feel connected and content, we tend to take better care of ourselves and make healthier choices.

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Loneliness and Isolation: A Growing Concern

In modern society, loneliness and isolation have become significant concerns, particularly among adults over 45. According to a study conducted by the AARP, almost half of adults in this age group report feeling lonely at least some of the time. These feelings of loneliness and isolation can have detrimental effects on our health.

Research has shown that individuals experiencing social isolation are more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. They also face a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Unraveling the Link Between Social Isolation and Early Mortality

The study published in PLOS One is not the only one to identify a connection between social isolation and early mortality. Several other studies have also found similar results. For instance, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that individuals who reported feeling lonely were 26% more likely to die over 20 years than those who did not experience loneliness.

This growing body of research points to the importance of addressing social isolation as a risk factor for premature death.

The Power of Positive Social Relationships

The good news is that there are steps we can take to combat loneliness and isolation, starting with building and maintaining positive social relationships. Spending time with people who uplift us and provide emotional support is vital in improving our overall well-being and extending our lifespan.

Beyond the physical health benefits, positive social relationships also contribute to mental and emotional well-being. They help reduce stress levels, boost our mood, and enhance our self-esteem. Feeling connected and part of a community can be especially beneficial for older adults facing significant life changes, such as retirement.

Beyond Physical Health: Mental and Emotional Benefits

Positive social relationships offer more than just physical health benefits; they are also crucial for maintaining good mental and emotional health. Such relationships can significantly reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline, enhancing our overall quality of life.

Moreover, fostering supportive connections gives us a sense of belonging and purpose, which is particularly valuable as we age and experience various life transitions.

The Cumulative Effect of Healthy Habits on Longevity

Incorporating positive social relationships into our lives complements these other healthy habits, offering a cumulative effect that can significantly extend our lifespan.


In conclusion, the study published in PLOS One provides compelling evidence that positive social relationships play a crucial role in longevity. By prioritizing and nurturing these connections, we can reduce our risk of loneliness and isolation, improve our physical and mental well-being, and ultimately live longer, healthier lives.

Incorporating positive social relationships into our lives can positively impact our health and well-being. Let us cherish our friendships and invest time and effort in building and maintaining strong social ties. Remember, a study shows that keeping positive people around can add years to your life.

Table of Important Information

Date Study Findings
2023 PLOS One Being surrounded by positive social relationships can increase longevity by 5%. 8 habits could add up to 24 years to your life
2017 Journal of the American Medical Assoc. Lonely people are 26% more likely to die over 20 years than non-lonely ones.
2015 Aging and Mental Health Social isolation is a significant risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.
2013 The Lancet Loneliness increases the risk of premature death by 50%.
2019 Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Social connections have a 50% positive impact on life expectancy.


1. Does having positive social relationships add years to one’s life?
According to the study published in PLOS One, individuals with positive social relationships can experience a 5% increase in their lifespan.

2. Can positive social relationships benefit mental health?
Absolutely! Positive social relationships have been shown to reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline, promoting better mental and emotional well-being.

3. Besides positive social relationships, Are there other habits that can contribute to longevity?
Yes, the study in this article identified seven other habits that can add years to one’s life, including not smoking, regular exercise, a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, stress management, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular checkups.

4. How common is loneliness among older adults?
Loneliness is a growing concern, especially among older adults. A study by the AARP revealed that nearly half of all adults over 45 years old report feeling lonely sometimes or always.

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— by Abhimanyu Aggarwal