Harvard conducted one of the most comprehensive social studies in history. For the past 75 years, Harvard has followed the lives of 724 men. Sixty of the original 724 men are still alive and participating in the study, and most of them are now in their 90s. Their findings as to the secrets to a Happy and healthy life are remarkable and may not be what you expect.

Naturally, diet, exercise, and sleep are essential components to a Long Life. However, the Harvard study identified three specific areas that help you live a happy, healthy and long life.

Social connections are really good and loneliness kills

Apparently, loneliness is a bad for you as smoking or alcoholism. Lonely people die earlier than those surrounded by a solid support network. The health and brain functioning of lonely people deteriorate earlier in life.

Those socially connect with Family And Friends are often in better physical shape and tend to live longer than those who do not.

Estimates show that more than 20 percent of Americans are lonely.

The quality of your relationships matters most

People need relationships they can count on, to bring happiness. People in happy marriages feel much better, even on days where they have physical pain than those in unhappy marriages, who feel both emotional and physical pain.

Not surprisingly, living in conflict has a negative impact on your health while warm relationships protect your physical and emotional well-being.

Sibling relationships are also powerful, as people with close relationships to a sibling show better health. The number of friends is not important, just the quality of the close relationships you have.

Good relationships protect our body and mind

Keys to healthy aging include physical activity, healthy weight, stable marriage, no alcohol abuse or smoking, and the ability to cope. It is important for people to feel they can count on their partners, family, and friends. This will keep their brain more active and keep their memory from declining.

Happy people live longer

The role of genetics is less important than the quality of relationships. A big lesson from the study is that working harder and being wealthy do not create happiness or longer lives. It goes to show that the most important things in life are not materialistic.

A happy and healthy life is built on good relationships. Take care of yourself, stay connected to your loved ones and friends.