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The Key to Happiness in the New Year

The Key to Happiness in the New Year

Although many of you will be making New Year’s resolutions, there really is only one
thing that can truly provide happiness and well-being in the coming year. This thing can
be allusive, difficult to maintain at times, stress-inducing, and require hard work,
however, the more time and effort dedicated towards it, the closer you get to overall
happiness and even joy. You guessed it; the key to your consistent well-being begins
with relationships.

The topic of adult satisfaction and development was first studied at Harvard in 1938.
The longitudinal study has continued on the 19 living participants (now well into their
90’s) and the children of all the original participants. The study found the key to
living longer, contented lives lies in relationships, how happy we are in our
relationships and embracing the community.

In the 1960’s, a man named Arthur Aron decided to research love and relationships and
exactly how they impact our emotional and physical lives. He told Tech Insider, “The
single biggest predictor of human happiness is the quality of [a person’s] relationships.”

Aron piqued the interest of many other researchers who followed up on his study. A
review of literature on the topic concluded that individuals who demonstrated solid
social relationships were 50% more likely to live lengthy, joyful lives compared to
those with weaker or nonexistent social relationships. In other words, the deeper the
attachment, the greater our overall happiness and well-being.

This fact also rings true in the therapeutic community. Research tells us that the
single biggest predictor of success in psychotherapy depends on the perceived strength
of the relationship between the therapist and client, as well as the therapist’s honest
belief their client can and will improve. Not surprisingly, if the therapist is invested
in the therapeutic relationship, the client feels that connection and will likely
respond accordingly.

When you are thinking about how much weight you want to lose or how to better budget
your income this year, please consider dedicating some time to your friends and family.
Although the importance of tending to your physical and financial health cannot be denied,
nurturing your relationships may very well be the ultimate key to happiness in the new year.

By Amber Fasula, Psy.D., BCN

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