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The World's Most Epic Study on Happiness

The world’s longest scientific study ever on human happiness has been conducted and is continuing today! It began in 1938 where Harvard researches started decades-long documented studies to find out: What makes us happy?


With advancements in technology, it’s not just questionnaires participants fill in - also incorporated in the studies are blood tests, DNA and messenger RNA – all tools to help get a clear picture of what goes on inside the body too! Dr Robert Waldinger has researched, talked about and written extensive findings about this study on happiness - you can follow him here on X.


So what did decades of closely studying people conclude about a happy life?

It’s not being a millionaire, it’s not a prestigious job or wearing brand clothing or going on holidays forever - no.


It came down to 1 thing: positive relationships.


Good quality relationships can take different forms – and it’s certainly not about marriage either, which was an interesting discovery also! It can simply be a good friend, a genuine connection with a work colleague or even those little meaningful moments when you are talking to the barista that makes your coffee – I think a lot of it comes down to our perception of a positive connection, of what is meaningful to us, and if we quieten ourselves and listen within, we will know what feels right for us.


I have had conversations with a Pilates instructor that were deeper and more healing than conversations with my own family, and I felt safe to open up about topics that would have been judged and shamed out of me by others.


So my best discovery about human relationships?

Don’t be so quick to judge the appearance or the form in which your relationships take or where they come from. They can be the most impactful and joyful moments in your day and impact your entire life.

 

You don’t need lots of friends to reap the benefits.

You don’t have to be married to reap the benefits of the connection that marriage can bring: It’s about the quality of your connections.

 

If you have one person that you could call up in the middle of the night if you felt scared or were in trouble, then you are doing amazingly well.

 

Do you feel like you can share who you truly are, with a person, without fearing the risk of being ostracised and shut out from the relationship?

I am learning to value being myself more, and being able to express in my weird warped way, like we all do in our own flavours, without being shut down – and of course online, people don’t know you as a person – they might just see one clip of a sentence you said, and assume you’re a jerk out of context.

And that’s the down side to sharing online, but in person there’s something deeper and special because you get to instantly see someone’s reaction.

 

However, the more you can be you, the more happy you will be and you open up to the kind of quality, positive relationships that underpin a happy life.



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