Have you ever heard of the Harvard study that ran for 75 years to assess what makes us happy? It’s a revolutionary study in psychology.
It followed the lives of two groups of men for over 75 years, and it now follows their Baby Boomer children to understand how childhood experience reaches across decades to affect health and wellbeing in middle age.
So 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 psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction and he lays it all bare in the Ted talk below.
So what is the number one factor in your happiness and wellbeing? According to Waldinger:
“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.”
Yep, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfilment overall in life is, basically, love.
The data also clearly found that those who feel lonely are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger.
“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”
It doesn’t matter whether you have a huge group friends, or if you’re in the perfect romantic relationship, it’s the quality of the relationships that counts – how much depth and honesty exists within them; the extent to which you can relax and be seen for who you truly are.
This a very good reminder to prioritize authentic connection with others. Because the data is clear that, in the end, you could all have the money you’ve ever wanted, but without loving relationships, you won’t be happy.
For a deeper dive into the significance of this study and what it truly means, check out this video below.
NOW WATCH: Here are my 5 unconventional tips to living a happy life
RELATED ARTICLE: Carl Jung says these 5 factors are crucial to living a happy life
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular in the western world.
Celebrities swear by it, scientists study it, and monks still practice it.
But what, exactly, is mindfulness? And how can you deploy it to receive its considerable physical and mental health-related benefits?
Hack Spirit’s latest eBook, The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment, answers these questions and provides a compelling introduction to mindfulness and how to reap its benefits.
This eBook is the perfect introduction to the mindfulness phenomenon. It's filled with practical tips, information and easy-to-follow mindful techniques to live a more peaceful, productive life.