The key to happiness: Building strong relationships

Socializing is vital for your happiness. In the Harvard Study of Adult Development, researchers track the lives of more than a thousand people to find out what makes a good life. From time to time, they assessed participants on their health, relationships, and personal and career satisfaction. This 75-year study found many things that affect well-being throughout a lifetime. Perhaps surprisingly, it finds strong relationships to be the best predictor of happiness. Having good relationships gives many benefits to your mental health. For one, socializing can reduce feelings of isolation, which can harm your overall well-being. When you go through prolonged loneliness, you suffer an increased risk of depression. Spending time with others helps prevent that. Socializing can also help you feel less stressed. When you have good social connections, you have someone to turn to in times of need. Having someone to depend on can reduce stress by making you feel safe. When you spend time with others, you are more likely to engage in activities that bring you joy. Being with others can also make you feel like you are part of a larger community. This sense of belonging can feel very fulfilling. Ultimately, we are all social beings. Having great relationships with others is the key to our happiness.

Who do you want to form a closer relationship with? What can you do?