A stressful work routine, unpaid according to all the work done and leading to bad habits of life. This picture is the one faced every day by millions of workers around the world who, like everyone else, wonder what the secret to happiness is. Despite what many may think, money, although useful, cannot buy happiness. A study carried out by Harvard University over the last 80 years establishes this.
Scientists began analyzing the health of 268 university students in 1938 during the Great Depression, extending the analysis towards the present days by adding more participants. Some of them became successful businessmen, doctors, lawyers, while others ended up schizophrenic or alcoholics.
Over the years, researchers have studied the evolution of the health of those involved, as well as their wellbeing in general, including their successes and failures in their jobs and personal life, which resulted in clear conclusions.
Healthy relationships and an active and enjoyable social life, not money, are the secret to happiness and a healthy life
“The amazing discovery is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships have a huge influence on our health,” explains Robert Waldinger, director of the study and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Having important friendships, rather than money or fame, is what brought happiness to people throughout their lives, the study reveals. These bonds protect us from the obstacles we bump into life, help to slow down both physical and mental decline, and promotes for a long and happy life even more than other factors such as socioeconomic position or genes.
Scientists who have collected and analyzed the data, including huge medical records and hundreds of personal interviews, found a strong correlation between men’s successful lives and their relationships with family, friends, and the community.
Successful marriages promote the mental health
Also, several additional studies have established that people’s level of satisfaction with their 50-year-old relationships is a better predictor of physical health than their cholesterol levels.
In addition, successful marriage situations have been found to have a protective effect on mental health.
People with happy marriages started in the 1980s say their mood didn’t suffer even when the days of physical pain came. On the other hand, those who lived through unhappy marriages felt more emotional and physical pain.
Thus, is now scientifically proved that money doesn’t bring happiness but successful relationships are the secret to happiness and a healthy life.