The #1 Predictor Of Health & Happiness

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In Happier No Matter What, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar tells us:

“What is the best predictor of happiness? This simple question looms large over data that has been collected for almost a century. Beginning in the late 1930s, researchers at Harvard embarked on a major long-term study, one that still continues today. For generations, they followed two groups: a large cohort of students and members from the adjoining city. The researchers studied the participants over the course of their lives, using questionnaires, interviews, physiological assessments, and environmental measures. After all these decades, having collected quite literally millions of data points, researchers examined the facts in search of the most important component of a happy life. What did they find? You guessed it. It’s not money or accolades, material success or prestige. According to the research, the number one predictor of happiness is relationships—specifically, having socially supportive, intimate relationships. It’s what amplifies the good times and buoys us through difficult ones. The interesting thing about this finding is that it didn’t really matter who the relationships were with; for some people it was their romantic partner or a best friend, for others it was their extended family or close connections at work. Healthy relationships weren’t the only factor important for happiness, but they were the most significant one. The researchers asked another question as part of this study: What is the best predictor of health? Naturally, our physical health depends on many factors, but which one of these factors matters most? You guessed it again: relationships. Close relationships are the number one predictor of health and happiness.

Wow! The number one predictor of happiness and health is relationships and it does not matter who they are with as long as they are healthy relationships. Let’s reach out to someone today to grab some food, play some games, just chat, or whatever it is you enjoy.

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