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Harvard's 85-year study reveals the one thing that's the key to happiness and it's pretty simple

Apart from exercise, positive thinking and other things, happiness can also be found through the most simple mechanism that's accessible and easy.

Harvard's 85-year study reveals the one thing that's the key to happiness and it's pretty simple
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels| Helena Lopes

Everyone is on their quest to find happiness and is on the lookout for various elements to add to it. Right from exercise to happy music and so on, no effort is spared in finding a balance in life and staying positive. However, an 85-year-old study from Harvard shared that there is one simple element to add to gain happiness. The study has been one of the longest-running ones and has been experimenting with men who were teenagers back in the 90s. The study shared that there is one factor to consider to procure happiness that many may not know about: Staying connected.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Maria Orlova
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Maria Orlova

Certain behaviors were linked to the happiness levels of the subjects of the test. The study found an association between happiness and close relationships such as family, spouses, friends and so on. “Personal connection creates mental and emotional stimulation, which are automatic mood boosters, while isolation is a mood buster,” says Dr. Waldinger, the project’s director. As per him, those who enjoyed warm relationships lived longer and happier because "loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.” The study hinted towards broadening one’s social life and being socially fit, interacting and finding those close relationships to keep one grounded. CNBC Make It elaborated on the same, concerning Esther Perel’s conversation with Dan Harris on the Ten Percent Happier Podcast. 

Representative Image Source: RDNE Stock Project
Representative Image Source: Pexels|RDNE Stock Project

The psychotherapist, author and renowned TED talk speaker added to the study’s findings by suggesting a simple way to focus on happiness. She suggested that the key to happiness, which is social interaction, can be maintained with the simple practice of asking someone out. “People may often be busy three weeks before but they’re not busy the day of. It’s an amazing thing how many people are going to spend the night at home,” Perel revealed. She added more to her input by pointing out that one didn’t have to necessarily arrange for specific plans for social interaction.

Representative Image Source: RDNE Stock Project
Representative Image Source: Pexels| RDNE Stock Project

The author says that whatever one’s plans are, they can be clubbed with another person. Perel explained, “You’re going swimming, call somebody, you’re going to the gym, call somebody. There is always someone who needs the one who is going to go anyway to do the thing they want to do, but wouldn’t be doing alone because they are on the couch.” Then again, there may always be the question of whom to call. In such cases, Perel recommends asking oneself the following questions. The first was, “Who do you owe a phone call to?” The next was, “Who do you owe an apology to?” and lastly, “Who do you want to go on a walk with?”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Helena Lopes
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Helena Lopes

Perel highlighted that doing chores or things with someone rather than alone makes a massive difference in accounting for happiness. Moreover, asking the aforementioned questions helps pick the right person to spend time with. “I’ve never known anyone that went and regretted it afterwards,” Perel said. The Harvard study further suggested volunteering for one’s favorite cause and sparking social interactions there owing to the similarity in interests, which would also be a smart choice. Happiness is just one step away; all one has to do is step up their social interaction game through the simplest suggestions offered.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ten Percent Happier (@tenpercenthappier)


 

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