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" When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. "
- ♥ - Quoted By HH The Dalai Lama - ♥ -

Photograph courtesy of Vision Drawn
Photograph courtesy of Vision Drawn

The Happiness Formula

In my life, I have not met anyone who aspires to be permanently sad. Most people wish to be happy. If this is so, then, it would be important for researchers to try to find the holy grail of happiness.

In a Harvard study that spanned 72 years, researchers have wondered 'What Makes Us Happy?' Is there a formula? If there is an answer, we can work towards this goal.

A 4-page article by The Atlantic reported that researchers have found the factors that will predict if you will be happy & age well physically & psychologically.

7 factors that predict healthy physical & psychological aging:-

  1. Ability to use mature adaptation. Mature adaptation is defined as a way of turning our own emotional pain into positive actions, such as human connection, creativity & achievement
  2. Good education
  3. Stable marriage
  4. Not smoking
  5. Not abusing alcohol
  6. Some exercise through life (Exercise predicts later-life mental health better than it predicts later-life physical health)
  7. Healthy weight

Contrary to many other claims, these Harvard researchers found that the following factors do not predict if you will be well physically or psychologically as you age.

Factors that do NOT predict healthy physical or psychological aging:-

  1. Cholesterol level at 50 years
  2. Significance of social ease (Social ease correlates with good psychosocial adjustments only in early childhood & college but not in advancing age)
  3. Childhood temperament (correlation between childhood temperament & healthy aging diminishes over time)

Other significant findings:-

  1. It is social aptitude, not intellectual brilliance or parental social class, that leads to successful aging.
  2. The only thing that really matters in life is your relationships to other people.
  3. What we do affects how we feel. What we feel also affects what we do.
  4. Money does little to make us happier once our basic needs are met
  5. Distortions serve a protective function - older people tend to remember fewer distressing images & more pleasant ones than younger people.

What does this mean for you?

We can learn from prior emotional pain & transform it into positive relationships.

In the end, it's the relationships you form with others that will matter throughout your life. And the beauty of it all is this YOU can do something about this right now!

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