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It is an inherent human trait to strive to achieve happiness in one’s life.

From early stages of life, people have different ways to try to achieve happiness. A lot of people unfortunately are never satisfied enough with the amount of happiness they have which makes them constantly unhappy.

In a recent study published by Harvard university in America stretching over a period of 85 years, the following interesting information came to light.

The Harvard study was the most comprehensive study ever conducted as it followed participants for their entire life. The study was started in Boston in America in 1938 and covered three generations of children, parents, and the grandparents. It analysed more than 2000 people throughout the 85 years of the study.  The study uncovered some very interesting factors.

The studies happiest participants had two major factors in common throughout the 85 years: firstly, building loving relationships with others and secondly taking care of their health.

It seems obvious, that being in good health, is essential to live well and that this would be the most sought-after achievement.  However, to the surprise of the researchers, it was found that good relationships were more a significant predictor of health and happiness especially during aging.  Professional success, although this is important, does not guarantee happiness. This is where a lot of people that never achieve true happiness, fall short. The study revealed that the happiest people were those that fostered good relationships with their family and friends and people they communicate with daily.  Levels of education and higher income brackets were generally more adept at adopting healthy habits, and have better access to healthcare, and this improved their happiness levels.  As people grow older, loneliness becomes a real challenge, and this influences the happiness levels dramatically.  Friendships and relationships need regular commitment to allow them to endure.  A simple telephone call or group activities can bring joy and encourage camaraderie. It is therefore recommended that older people participate in group sports within their capabilities, hobbies, and do volunteer work which might be very gratifying, and this may also broaden their relationship network.

Looking at the picture that is painted on social media it seems that all people that participate in these activities are well and happy.  This is very far from the truth as no one’s life is free of difficulties and challenges.  Social skills contribute to resilience to endure these bad times. It is never too late to turn around one’s life and foster good relationships and start looking after one’s health.

The study showed that good things happen to those who chose to change their situation and good news appeared when it was least expected.

The conclusion of the study highlights the importance of having social skills and always cultivating our relationships to help us become more adept, at overcoming the challenging moments, and then achieve the happiness that we all strive to and desire.

This article, for the first time, gives a robust evidence-based data to affirm what was discussed above.