Robert is also Director of the Center for Psychodynamic Therapy and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development. As one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history, the study has been following two groups of men over the last 75 years to identify the psychosocial predictors of healthy ageing. Research questions include what aspects of childhood and adult experience predict the quality of intimate relationships in late life, and how late life marriage is linked with health and well-being.
He was the recipient of a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health to study emotion regulation and health in intimate adult relationships. He is the author of numerous scientific papers as well as two books, and he is on the faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute.
Drawing from this work, his talks offer insight into relationships and their impact on the happiness and health of our personal and work lives; meditation and the wisdom of Zen, and how we can practice these for a more fulfilling life; psychotherapy’s role in healing and living the life we want; and the latest research from the longitudinal study on adult life.
- Mindfulness and the Practice of Zen
Mindfulness, when developed into a meditation practice, gradually brings about a fundamental shift in the experience of self in the world. And this shift has tremendous power to ease suffering.
- Stress in the Workplace and your Health - how our work lives can break down our bodies or keep them healthy
There are amazing studies about how our work life can create conditions that promote better health or break down our health. Where you are in an organizational hierarchy is important. But it turns out that your sense of control over what you do is even more important in affecting your health, as is the sense of meaning in your work. These findings have important implications for how organizations can promote or hinder people’s psychological and physical health.
- Why Relationships in the Workplace Matter More Than You Think — and How to Embrace Them
Relationships are vital not only to our personal health and happiness — they’re also central to an organization’s success. Research has shown that productivity on a team and in larger organizations depends less on IQ and/or aggressiveness than on positive personal connections with others. The quality of these connections impacts loyalty, job satisfaction, collaboration, and innovation. Despite this, worker disengagement is running rampant, with loneliness in the workplace at an all-time high. So how do organizations cultivate a relationship-centric approach in order to empower a higher-functioning workforce? In this talk, Robert Waldinger shares research on how organizations can help or hinder people’s psychological and physical health and gives advice on how companies can create more healthy work environments.
- The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things — What Really Makes Us Happy
Would you rather be rich in things or experiences? Advertising, Facebook, and most media give the impression that material wealth is the key to a good life. On the other hand, wisdom traditions have long taught us that material wealth does not bring lasting joy. Science supports this wisdom, showing that material things make us less happy (and for shorter periods of time) than experiences, and personal connections bring more joy than physical objects. Taking findings from his lifespan research, the teachings of Zen, and examples from the media, Robert Waldinger shares the difference between what we expect to make us happy and what actually creates a sense of wellbeing
- What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone—but, according to a long-running life study, you’re also mistaken. As the director of an 80-year-old study of adult development, Robert Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on what brings true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, Waldinger shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how you can build a fulfilling, long life.