What is the secret to Happiness? On the website, we would like to think it involves buying the latest gadgets online. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
We all know that it is important to foster close relationships in our lives. But just how important is it? Does our happiness and health depend on it?
In 1938, scientists began tracking the health of 268 Harvard sophomores with the hope that they could learn the secrets to a happy and healthy life.
The scientists eventually expanded their research to include the offspring of the men, who are now in their 60s. They were looking to see if early-life experiences affect health and aging over time. Some participants went on to become successful businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and others ended up as schizophrenics or alcoholics.
During the intervening decades, the control groups expanded. In the 1970s, 456 Boston inner-city residents were enlisted as part of the Study, and 40 of them are still alive. More than a decade ago, researchers began including their wives.
The study unequivocally revealed that happiness is directly linked to the number and quality of close relationships in the lives of people. Yes, close relationships were determined to be the number one factor; more important to happiness than money, fame, or material items. In fact, the Study found that close relationships will help to delay mental and physical decline and are better predictors of a long and happy life than social class, IQ, or even genes.
Even more surprising, enjoyable close relationships have a powerful influence on our health. The director of the Study, Robert Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, stated “taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.” Waldinger further stated in his incredibly popular TED Talk, that “people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.”
Others involved in the Study have written about the new revelations. In a book called “Aging Well”, the author George Vaillant, who played an important role in the Study, wrote that six factors predicted healthy aging for the Harvard men: physical activity, absence of alcohol abuse and smoking, having mature mechanisms to cope with life’s ups and downs, and enjoying both a healthy weight and a stable marriage .
It is gratifying to learn that a well planned, long term study has reached an unequivocal conclusion about what makes us happy. Even more gratifying to me is that the key to happiness does not involve money or status.
To help you reach your highest level of happiness, we have some cool gadgets that will help you stay close to your loved ones. As always, you can get these gadgets online for your convenience.