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Harvard’s 83-year-old ongoing study reveals the secret of happy longevity.
"Happiness can be hard to pin down. So when we try to measure our own happiness, we often get it wrong. The best we can do is think about what has made us happy before, or check in with how we're feeling now."
But what if the key to happiness was already known to us? What is the one common element that people who are content, healthy, and happy all share?
A Harvard study, spanning over 83 years and still ongoing, has precisely addressed this question. Its vast collection of data delivers one critical lesson for long-lasting happiness:
Starting way back in 1938, Harvard’s Study of Adult Development has been tracking happiness for over 83 years. Such long-term studies are quite rare. Initially, it involved 724 young men, some of whom, now in their 90s, are still participating.
The study discovered that real long term happiness isn't tied to wealth, fame, or hard work as many might think. The secret ingredient is actually a lot simpler - it's all about the quality of our relationships.
This groundbreaking study revealed that strong connections with others are the bedrock of happiness. As Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current study director, succinctly put it: "Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period."
From the data, we derive three key lessons:
So, how can we build and maintain such relationships? Here are some simple steps:
The key message from this exceptionally long study on happiness is straightforward: the quality of our relationships significantly contributes to our happiness and health. By focusing on building meaningful relationships, rekindling old ones, and taking care of ourselves, we pave the way for a happier, healthier and longer life.