What's the key to a long and happy life?
We all have a basic need for happiness, and we all seek it in different ways. At its core, happiness is about feeling contentment and satisfaction with life. It is about feeling connected to those around us and having a sense of purpose and belonging. We seek happiness because it brings us joy and a sense of meaning and purpose. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for living a happy life, but according to the longest-running scientific study on human happiness, there is one particular aspect of life that can lead to a long, healthy, and happy life.
The Study of Human Happiness
The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the longest-running scientific studies on human happiness. The study began in 1938, when Harvard University researchers began following a group of sophomores from the Harvard classes of 1938-1940, tracking their physical and psychological well-being for the rest of their lives. Over the decades, the study has published groundbreaking findings on the correlation between physical and mental health, and the importance of relationships in achieving a happy and fulfilled life.
The results of the study have revealed several insights into human happiness, including the importance of close relationships, positive experiences, and a sense of purpose. When the participants where asked how they overcame adversity - illnesses, war, loss - many said their relationships always remained a cornerstone of hope in their lives. The study has also shown that the key to long-lasting happiness is not money or success, but rather the ability to make meaningful connections with other people. This study has been invaluable in helping us to understand what makes people happy and why it is so important to prioritize our relationships and experiences over material possessions.
Strength in Quality Connections
Our key takeaway from the study: Social connections are really good for us. And it's not about how many connections or relationships we hold, but more about the quality of each connection. Being with people who make you happy, who you care about, and who care about you can lead to a healthier and happier life. A life full of greater purpose, meaning, love, and connection.
Having strong relationships with family, friends, and co-workers not only makes us feel more connected to the world around us but also helps us stay physically healthy. The study shows that people who are socially connected have a lower risk of developing illnesses like heart disease, depression, and anxiety. They also tend to live longer and experience greater levels of overall well-being. Social connections also help us to feel more fulfilled and satisfied in life. Having meaningful relationships allows us to share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others, and can provide a sense of belonging, security, and support. Ultimately, having strong social connections can help us to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
Send That Text, And Say Hi
It's never too late to build strong and lasting social connections. So if you're looking for ways to improve your health and happiness, be sure to nurture your social connections. It could be as simple as getting together with friends for coffee or taking the time to call a loved one. Whatever it is, make sure you're investing in your relationships and giving yourself the chance to make meaningful social connections.
Wishing you a healthy and happy life, my friend. And if you're in the Southern California area, be on the lookout for a string of events we'll be hosting this year to help us connect and cultivate those meaningful relationships.