“WHAT THE LONGEST STUDY ON HUMAN HAPPINESS FOUND IS THE KEY TO A GOOD LIFE”
The title caught our eye – The longest study on human happiness? The key to a good life?
What would you guess? Money? Success? A large house? The car of your dreams? Retirement at 35?
None of the above.
It turns out the key to happiness is having deep, nurturing relationships with the significant people of your life.
"all we need is love"
Since 1938, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has been investigating what makes people flourish. Their most well known study followed 268 men who entered college in the late 1930s for 72 years. The study saw them age through them through marriage, war, career, and old age.
“It’s the longest in-depth longitudinal study on human life ever done, and it’s brought us to a simple and profound conclusion: Good relationships lead to health and happiness. The trick is that those relationships must be nurtured. It requires stepping back from the crush of modern life, taking stock of our relationships, being honest with ourselves about where we’re devoting our time, and whether we are tending to the connections that help us thrive. Even small investments today in our relationships with others can create long-term ripples of well-being.” -Joshua Wolf Shenk via The Atlantic
The quality of our relationships depend not only on how we support each other when the chips are down but also when good things happen – this may actually be more important.
When a friend, family member, or spouse comes to you with good news how you react is very important. REALLY important.
There is something called active constructive responding and it is directly linked with commitment, satisfaction, intimacy, and trust. It involves enthusiastic support, eye contact, and authentic pleasure in another’s good fortune.
How do we do this? It’s pretty easy actually. When someone you love comes to you with good news you put down whatever you are doing, you pay full attention and listen and clap!
You make your loved one feel that this is the most important thing you have heard that day. You pay full attention and you say all the things you would want to hear yourself.
Sounds easy but we so often do not give each other the full time and attention they deserve and this hurts the relationship. You want to convey that this matters and it matters to you – you want to share in the joy. Speaking of sharing joy– we have a new feature we are in the process of building which allows you to share your SeeingHappy photos across other social sharing platforms.
Try active constructive response, and maybe take a photo to remember the occasion!
In the words of the Beatles– all you need is love,
The Team at SeeingHappy