An 80-Year Harvard Study Found the Secret to a Happy Life. These 9 Simple Habits Make It Happen

An 80-Year Harvard Study Found the Secret to a Happy Life. These 9 Simple Habits Make It Happen

You’ve almost certainly heard about this study before. It’s one of the most famous of it’s type exploring factors that contribute to health and wellbeing, happiness and longevity.

I’ve referred to it many times and I’ve also referred, often, to the key health and happiness habits it cites as being crucial.

But, we can all do with a reminder some times; and we can all benefit from being reminded of what will help us live a happy and healthy life so …

via by Bill Murphy Jr

“One thing continuously demonstrates its broad and enduring importance …”

This is a story about simple habits to improve your happiness and fulfillment in life. It’s inspired by the key findings of a huge Harvard University study of happiness, that’s now gone on for more than 80 years.

Maybe you’ve heard about this research: It’s the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has followed more than 700 men — and now their families in some cases — from the late 1930s until today.

The study’s current leaders have a new book out: The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. I don’t mind admitting that I devoured this book, start to finish.

Who doesn’t want to live a better life? Who doesn’t want to be happier? And co-authors Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz give you the bottom line, right up front:

“For eighty-four years (and counting), the Harvard Study has tracked the same individuals, asking thousands of questions and taking hundreds of measurements to find out what really keeps people healthy and happy.

[O]ne crucial factor stands out. … [I]t’s not career achievement, or exercise, or a healthy diet. Don’t get us wrong; these things matter (a lot). But one thing continuously demonstrates its broad and enduring importance:

Good relationships.

[I]f we had to take all eighty-four years of the Harvard Study and boil it into a single principle for living, one life investment that is supported by similar findings across a wide variety of other studies, it would be this:

Good relationships keep us healthier and happier. Period.

There you go. To their credit, Waldinger and Schulz spend a lot of time examining how to improve relationships, as opposed to simply sharing the results of the study. (Although, there’s a lot of that as well, which is fascinating.)

This week, I’ll be interviewing the authors. But in advance, here are 9 simple habits that can help you improve the quality of your relationships, based on the Harvard Study, other research, and additional sources.

1. Take stock of your relationships.

We can’t improve things if we don’t measure them. So, as unromantic as it might seem, it makes sense to assess which relationships are important to you, which ones have proven less so, and which ones you wish were better.

Heck, make it annual. Waldinger and Schulz write:

“Perhaps every year on New Year’s Day or the morning of your birthday, take a few minutes to draw up your current social universe and consider what you’re receiving, what you’re giving, and where you would like to be in another year.”

Write it all down, too, so that you can look back 12 months from now and see how things have improved or not. “A lot can happen in a year.”

… keep reading the full & original article HERE