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Harvard's 85-year study finds happiness is all about relationships

A recent study by Harvard University has found that the quality of our relationships is the most important factor in determining our happiness. The study, which was conducted over 85 years, followed 724 men from adolescence to old age.

The study's findings

The study found that people with strong, supportive relationships were happier, healthier, and lived longer than those with weak or troubled relationships. The study also found that social fitness, or the ability to build and maintain strong relationships, was more important to a long and happy life than genes, social class, or IQ.

The benefits of strong relationships

There are many benefits to having strong relationships. For example, people with strong relationships are more likely to:

  • Have a sense of belonging and purpose
  • Feel loved and supported
  • Cope better with stress and adversity
  • Have better physical and mental health
  • Live longer

How to improve your social fitness

There are many things you can do to improve your social fitness. Here are a few tips:

  • Spend time with loved ones. Make an effort to connect with your friends, family, and other important people in your life on a regular basis.
  • Be a good listener. When you're with others, really listen to what they have to say.
  • Be supportive. Be there for your loved ones when they need you.
  • Be forgiving. Everyone makes mistakes. Learn to forgive others and yourself.
  • Be positive. A positive attitude can go a long way in strengthening your relationships.

The importance of physical health

In addition to strong relationships, physical health is also important for happiness. The study found that people who took care of their physical health, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, were happier and healthier than those who did not.

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