Having a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream might create a sense of happiness for about 10 minutes – while purchasing that shiny new car might leave you elated for an entire month! But what are the ingredients to long-lasting happiness?
Researcher John T. Cacioppo, from the University of Chicago, explored the subject of happiness in a recent study which he wrote about in the article, ‘In Pursuit of Happiness.’ Recreating a prior population study done by CHASR (Chicago Health, Aging and Social Relations Study), Cacioppo and his team reinforced earlier findings which revealed a key ingredient to happiness: satisfying interpersonal relationships. Cacioppo explains: “People who had satisfying interpersonal relationships became happier over time whereas those who felt lonely or isolated, whether married or not, became less happy over time.”
The early study concluded as well that people with satisfying personal relationships were happiest overall.
The other area that directly relates to happiness is household income. In Cacioppo’s study, he found that quality of interpersonal relationships actually led to increases in household income. How does this work? “Happy people form good relationships in the workplace as elsewhere,” He writes, “and good relationships promote better job performance, positively influence the likelihood of receiving good performance reviews and promotions, and provide better networking opportunities that lead in financially productive directions.”
Essentially, fulfilling personal relationships have a huge impact on happiness, which can translate into a more positive and prosperous work life. “These results suggest that sacrificing quality relationships with spouse, family and colleagues in pursuit of higher raises may be counterproductive,” Cacioppo concluded. “When you are happy with your personal relationships, you perform better at work … taking time to develop and maintain meaningful and personally satisfying relationships may pay great dividends.”
What do you find brings you the most happiness in life?
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