Five keys to happiness inspired by a Harvard study

In 1938 researchers from harvard he set out to know what makes a person prosperous; 724 participants were allowed to study their lives, from childhood problems and first loves to the last days. In addition to gathering information about their health, every two years they were asked a questionnaire to find out their emotional state.

Eighty-five years later, the Harvard Study on the Adult Development it expanded to three generations, with more than 1,300 descendants of the first subjects approached; It is the longest-running investigation into human health in the world.

The main conclusion is revealing: more than intelligence, wealth or social class, what influences a happy life are strong and healthy ties. Along these lines, an article by The New York Times review that report and the premises of the psychiatrist Bob Waldinger to propose seven actions -of which we highlight five- that seek to bring happiness closer to our daily lives.

“From well-being to happiness”, how to live a meaningful life, according to Gisela Rosenthal

1. reflect on relationships. The most connected people live longer and are less vulnerable to the stressthe depressionhe memory impairment and of the language. But like muscles, a neglected relationship can also atrophy. Our social life is a vital system that needs to be exercised week by week, year by year.

2. Talk to strangers. Evidence supports that brief but warm interactions — asking a cashier about her day, praising someone’s baby passing by — can affect mood and energy throughout the day. The reason is simple: we tend to like people more than we think.

3. Talk eight minutes on the phone. Beyond the fickle and endless exchanges for WhatsAppA phone call allows us to come into contact -sometimes with people we haven’t seen for years- with our sentimental, family and work situations in a frank, sustained and focused dialogue.

4. Do not cancel planes. Although it sounds tempting to stay at home, the benefits of going to that party or meeting that generates more doubts than certainties can be very tangible: interesting, unexpected or just fun encounters. The motivation You can go through setting modest goals, such as talking for a while with two or three people instead of forcing yourself to stay four hours at any cost. The pandemic turned off that those months were not the paradise of introverts, but a limbo that led to social disconnection and mood swings.

5. write a eulogy while alive. It is about telling a loved one how important he is in our lives and thanking him for what he does for us. The chosen medium does not matter; yes the message arrives. A gesture that, on either side, enhances the importance of the links that we sometimes manage on emotional autopilot.


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