The world’s longest-ever study to examine happiness was recently completed by scientists at Harvard Medical School. After 85 years, the research found that happy people all shared one common trait, and surprisingly it wasn’t health!
Taking a broad perspective on the 84-year Harvard Study and distilling its conclusions into one fundamental principle for a happy life, the consistent findings indicate that what keep us happier are good relationships! period.
The study found that intimate connections with others are the most significant factor for a lifetime of happiness, surpassing the influence of wealth and fame. These interpersonal bonds serve as a safeguard against the struggles of life, assist in staving off cognitive and physical deterioration, and offer superior predictive power for a contented and prolonged existence, exceeding even the impact of social status, intelligence quotient, and genetic inheritance.
Scientific evidence demonstrates that the lack of positive relationships can have adverse effects on our physical and mental health. Individuals who experience more social isolation than desired tend to experience a decline in well-being earlier than those who feel a sense of social connection.
Sadly, the feeling of detachment from others is on the rise. Approximately a quarter of Americans report experiencing loneliness, while in Great Britain, a minister of loneliness has been appointed to confront what has become a significant public health issue. Therefore, if one were to decide to promote their own well-being and contentment, scientific research indicates that the optimal choice would be to foster meaningful relationships.
Given that we understand that significant relationships are the cornerstone of a happy life, how can we go about cultivating such connections? I will elaborate on this topic in my next post: "How can we establish significant relationships?"
Meanwhile, here are a few links related to this topic: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/