The Key to Happiness

The Key to Happiness

Do you know the number one contributor to happiness?

It’s not career achievement, a perfect physique, material possessions, or even money. While we may enjoy these things, according to research, they aren’t the key to happiness. Recent studies reveal that the number one contributor to genuine happiness is the strength of our social relationships.

You might be thinking, “Well, yeah. That’s common knowledge,” but in our world which is becoming increasingly isolating, it’s a helpful reminder. Over the past few years, quarantine, remote work, and doorstep deliveries have made it easy for us to stay in solitude, but this convenience comes at a cost. Many of us are feeling more anxious, stressed, and lonelier than ever.

Consistently, studies reveal that people with deep, meaningful connections to family, friends, and colleagues usually lead happier, longer lives. In fact, countries like Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, which prioritize social support, consistently rank higher in overall happiness.

Investing in and nurturing relationships not only heightens our happiness but also enriches our lives in so many ways. Learning and growing with others brings joy, fulfillment, and a sense of belonging that no amount of wealth or success can provide.

Here are three questions to consider to help strengthen your relationships this week:

1. Who would you like to build a deeper relationship with?
2. Who is your primary source of support, and when was the last time you enjoyed quality, screen-free time with them?
3. Where can you meet new people this week?
4. When was the last time you expressed appreciation to one of your favorite people?
5. Is there someone from your past you’d like to reconnect with? What’s holding you back from doing so?

I love scrolling through old text messages from months ago and sending thoughtful notes to friends I don’t speak with often. I also enjoy scheduling group lunches with friends. This week, I’m going to send a handwritten note to someone in my life who I truly appreciate. A small gesture that I hope will brighten their day. What will you do to strengthen your relationships?