As a scientist by day, I can’t resist deconstructing a new Harvard study that looked at what truly makes people happy. This Harvard study began 80 years ago and has expanded to the offspring off the initial cohort to now include data on thousands of participants.
The bottom line? Social relationships. We already know from studies done on cancer patients and those with heart disease that a patient’s recovery is bettered by the social networks they have; friends and family who support them.
Being lonely is as risky to you as smoking, drinking and having high blood pressure.
But it’s more than just having a good group of friends and family to get you through the tough times. Here are the takeaways from the Harvard study.
1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. The study found that as people got older, they focused on more important things and that’s what made them happy. So that closet that stresses you out because it’s not organized? Let it be.
2) Focus on the personal connections. Let the dirty dishes keep until the morning and spend the time pillow talking with your better half or calling up a friend and catching up with her. Connecting with people helps solidify those social networks.
3) Be grateful. Take a moment to be thankful for the things you have. The little things that bring joy to your life; whether it’s the smile of your child/grandchild or a good book.
Speaking of good books, don’t forget to check out the May line of fabulous Harlequin Heartwarmings! While you work on the three things above, take a moment to fill your heart with some love.
Thanks for reading the post. I always love hearing from readers. You can find me on twitter/facebook or my website.
Tell me, what are some things that make you smile or make you happy?
Reading books and spending time with loved ones makes me happy.ReplyDelete
And you’re right about not sweating the small stuff. Life’s too short to fret about the little things.
I agree. While writing this blog, I counted all the little things I was fretting about and realized it was a lot! And in the grand scheme of things, they hardly matter.Delete
It's all about relationships and attitude. Isn't it funny that even though we all know this instinctively, we get caught up in other things and forget to focus on what's important? I wonder if they counted pets as relationships in the study. If not, they should.ReplyDelete
Interestingly, pets were not featured in the results, the focus was more on people relationships. Though there is a different Harvard study that shows pets help people make friends; and a lot of other studies showing pets help lower blood pressure.Delete
Beth, I agree... where are the pets! Laurie, reading books with a pet curled up at your feet is definitely my kind of day.ReplyDelete
Not having pets myself, I didn't even notice the missing pets until you pointed it out. Now I'm going to dig deeper.Delete
Now that I'm older, it doesn't take much to make me happy - a rainbow, roses, a baby's smile, a good book...lovely post!ReplyDelete
Great tips to live by! I'd say that nature's beauty and babies (any species!) make me happy no matter what. Honestly, if I'm down, I can look up pics or videos of cute babies (again...any species) and I'm bound to laugh or smile.ReplyDelete
My kids are grown but I still talk to them every day pretty much. Nothing cheers me like getting a call from them.ReplyDelete
I don't know where I'd be without my women friends--they're here where I live and all over the country in places they've moved or where I used to live. I'm so grateful for them--and my writer friends have a special place in my heart!ReplyDelete