1 Tally all the people you could call in the night with a problem



Daily Telegraph



Waldinger’s not talking about the friends you sometimes meet for coffee or the co-worker you like, but the people who would come to your aid at any time, who would support you and make you feel better and who you would be comfortable to cry in front of. “The science shows it doesn’t matter who they are – whether they’re your spouse, a sibling, a parent, a colleague or a friend,” says Waldinger. “And there’s no right number – some people need lots of close contacts, others are happy with a few. What matters is having people in your life you feel fully relaxed with.” Take a note of the names and vow to spend more time with them. “Relationships that create a sense of safety are the fundamental building blocks of a good life,” says Waldinger. One theory why people with strong connections are healthier is that they find it easier to regulate stress. When something upsetting happens, the body goes into fight or flight, but being with someone we are fully relaxed with calms us. And if your list is looking sparse, don’t worry. “Humans form bonds very quickly,” says Waldinger. “Why not send a text right now to an old friend or a recent acquaintance and suggest meeting up?”