Throughout life, we seek happiness in many different forms. We seek excitement and challenge, as well as comfort and relaxation. Some seek wealth or fame to validate their life, while others prefer spending time in nature to find solace. But according to a recent study by the Center for Adult Development at Harvard University, there is only one key factor that truly contributes to our sense of lasting satisfaction. In this blog post, let’s discuss how to embrace this essential factor when it comes to achieving true contentment for eternity.
The objective of the study.
The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the oldest studies of happiness, and it has been ongoing since 1938. Over the past 74 years, researchers have studied 724 men from different economic and social backgrounds, from those living in poverty to those who received a rich education – including President John F. Kennedy himself.
Every two years, the study looked at all kinds of information about participants’ mental and emotional health, including data on relationships with family and friends, lifestyle habits, physical health and personality traits. . By analyzing this valuable information over such a long period of time, Harvard researchers were able to highlight two essential sources of happiness, necessary for lasting satisfaction throughout life. Here they are !
The only thing that can truly bring long-term happiness is having meaningful relationships with family, friends, and community. The study found that while material possessions such as a house, car, money, or clothes can provide temporary satisfaction, they cannot compare to the lasting joy that comes from human relationships.
Strong social ties provide us with psychological support that not only helps us cope with difficulties and stressful situations, but also builds our resilience in the face of future difficulties. According to study director Dr. Robert Waldinger, when we have an emotional connection with someone we can trust and rely on for advice and help, it increases our feelings security, which ultimately leads to increased well-being. Additionally, being part of a vibrant circle of friends can give us the opportunity to engage in activities together where we can learn more about ourselves while growing closer through shared experiences.
Therefore, building healthy relationships and engaging in supportive relationships within the local community can enrich your lives by providing connection and belonging. Two essential components of a happy life.
Let go :
The second key to happiness, which is almost as important as the first, is learning not to worry about the little things. This is called the art of letting go; when we focus on what matters most to us – our passions and dreams, rather than all the little details that can distract us from our true purpose – we are much more likely to be satisfied.
This idea is supported by research other than the study conducted by Dr. Waldinger, which suggests that seniors are more likely than younger generations to forget their past disappointments and focus on what brings them joy in life. here. According to Dr. Waldinger, “When you’re older, you have a lot more opportunity to return to activities that you associated with childhood happiness. »
It follows that it would be incredibly beneficial for people of all ages to step back and reconnect with those activities they found so enjoyable when they were younger. Whether playing a sport or listening to music, cooking or drawing, reading or writing, everything that brought joy in childhood should still bring joy today and be practiced again with enthusiasm. It allows us to tap into an almost forgotten feeling of elation, the one that comes from doing something for sheer pleasure. In addition, it allows us to release stress by immersing ourselves in a creative and useful activity.