There have been a couple of incredible studies spanning decades looking into the lives of people to determine what makes people happy. What is success?
One study began in 1938, another around that same time. One looked at college students and life afterward. The other looked at people from a less advantaged neighborhood in Boston, following them all through their lives. It is ongoing.
A couple of key leaders in the study have boiled down all the factors into seven main factors in happiness. What makes us happy and well?
The usual suspects of controlling our habits are there: Don’t smoke. Drink in moderation. Eat healthy. Exercise. Blah blah blah.
The researchers found there is one single most important trait of happiness:
We need each other. It’s not that we’re all extroverts. You can prefer to be by yourself, but there is a definite difference between solitude (healthy) and loneliness (unhealthy).
“People who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.”
We truly need each other. We are better together than alone. “Rugged individualism” is a myth… and if achieved, very unhealthy. I am immensely grateful for deep relationships in my life. They make me better.