In 1938, Harvard began a study which over the course of the duration of the research included over 700 participants. Through many interviews and observations over time, the results have discovered there are certain characteristics that make someone happier and healthier.
Many people believe the key ingredients for happiness are career achievement, material success, exercise, or diet. However, the most consistent characteristic over the nearly 100 years of research was “positive relationships with family, friends, and community”. The study determined positive relationships increase happiness as well as keeps us healthier and live longer.
One of the researchers found the participants who had strong support systems in place were less susceptible to mental deterioration as they aged. As we know, connecting with others boosts mood.
The researchers discovered genetics still played an important role in longevity, but it was less so as determined by satisfying relationships in midlife. Other factors contributing to happiness and better health were physical activity, staying away from alcohol abuse and smoking, having coping techniques to handle life’s ups and downs, as well as a healthy weight.
Below is a guide to cultivate proper relationships that will contribute to your overall health and happiness.
1. Learning and growing.
2. Emotional closeness and trust.
3. Romantic intimacy.
4. Fun and relaxation.
5. Smile intentionally and often.
6. Express gratitude and appreciation.
Your Action Plan
1. What can you do to increase your happiness and overall health?
2. Try to work on improving one of the six guides listed above.
3. Check out the link to the reference to find more guides to cultivate proper relationships.
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