Study: 5 Factors That Can Make One Feel Happy and Fulfilled

Our lives can have many setbacks and disappointments. In fact, many people are unable to overcome these and resort to ending their lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) even reports that about 800,000 people die to suicide every year. It’s a sad fact that for about every 40 seconds, a person decides to end his life.

Despite of this, it is also a fact that in spite of life’s many challenges, many people are still happy and this is celebrated every 20th of March during the International Day of Happiness.

So, what does make people happy and fulfilled? Here are 5 factors that can make one happy according to the long-term study conducted by the Harvard Study of Adult Development.

1. A Happy Childhood

A happy childhood can have lasting effects in an individual. A warm relationship with one’s parents is a predictor that one will have warm, secure relationships when you become and adult. The study even showed that people with a happy childhood increases the probability for a person to have more secure relationships that people had with their spouses even in their 80s. Moreover, having a close relationship with at least 1 sibling decreases the chances of a person to become depressed at age 50.

Study: 5 Factors That Can Make One Feel Happy and Fulfilled
A warm relationship with one’s parents is a predictor that one will have warm, secure relationships when you become and adult.

2. A Happy Midlife

While a happy childhood is a big factor that makes a person have a happy fulfilled life, it is not yet too late to live happy and fulfilled even if you are already an adult. People who have reached the middle age who have an interest in establishing and guiding the next generation or what psychologists call “generativity” were found to be happier and better adjusted than their peers. It didn’t matter if they have their own kids as long as they are able to mentor younger adults.

3. Coping Well with Stress

Managing stress is not only beneficial. It also helps relieve anxiety and it even has long term benefits. In the Harvard study, researchers found that people who used adaptive strategies in managing stress makes it easier for people to be with them and had better relationships. This led to more social support which predicted a healthier aging.

4. Spending Time with Others

Time spent with a partner or spouse and time spent with other helped the subjects of the study feel happier. Spending time with a significant one particularly helped “buffer” against mood changes that people experience with aging.

Study: 5 Factors That Can Make One Feel Happy and Fulfilled
Spending time with a significant one particularly helped “buffer” against mood changes that people experience with aging.

You may also read: Study: Giving Up Facebook Can Make You Happier

5. Good relationships

Aside from spending time with others, it was also found that being in good relationships matters a lot. Robert Waldinger, the director of the study said, “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” He also emphasized being in quality relationships is what really matters and not the quantity of relationships you have.

Waldinger also said further that the biggest predictor of happiness and overall fulfillment in life is love.

“The good life is built with good relationships.”

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