How do you feel about your life? Is it fulfilling? Only about one in three Americans reported being very happy in 2016. But what is the definition of happiness? Reponses may vary person to person, but there has always been an emphasis on money and ownership. Can money really buy you a good life?
You’ve heard money can’t buy happiness, and a 2016 Harris poll proved this statement. People whose annual income was between $50,000 and $74,000 reported being happier than people who earned between $75,000 and $99,000.
And now Harvard has released its findings on a 75-year study they conducted to find the secret to leading a fulfilling life.
The conclusion? Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.
“Whether you have at least three people that you can call in the middle of the night at two in the morning who will answer the phone. Those are the kind of social connections we’re talking about," said partnership specialist Brittany Calvert.
The study demonstrated that having someone to rely on helps your nervous system relax, your brain stay healthier, and reduces both physical and emotional pain. And it’s not about the number of friends you have, but the quality of your close relationships.
“If you have people that count on you, that you look forward to connecting with, that’s really going to foster a lot of meaning and purpose in your life," Calvert said.
So next time you’re feeling down, reach out for a friend instead of your phone or your wallet.
And more than 20 million people are trying to live meaningful lives with less through a concept called minimalism. The idea that less is more, or clearing the clutter to make room for more personal relationships and less junk.
For more information on this concept, check out “Minimalism; a Documentary about the Important Things” on Netflix.
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