Have you ever asked yourself this question? Not in relation to the statement we so frequently throw around “I would be happy if” but in the actual, sit down and reflect kind of way? What is it that actually makes you happy? Lots of things temporarily add joy to our lives: new clothes, a new car, a vacation. It is true, that in small impermanent ways, sometimes money can buy happiness.
But what of the form of happiness that actually resides in who we feel we are and how we experience our lives? The happiness that is inside of our being vs out there in our fleeting environment? Study after study has shown, for decades now, that the one greatest predictor of happiness is our relationships. Not only do people report feeling happier when they are with people (even if they had previously reported enjoying time alone more than spending time with people) but the effect is equally as true for introverts as it is for extroverts.
The New York Times recently wrote an article all about this that I think is worth reading. I have attached it here.
More so, I think this shows how even though relationships may be some of the hardest things we do in our lives, they are also always worth it and significant. This isn’t to say that anyone should stay in toxic or unhealthy relationships, rather that the grass really is greener where we water it. I think we all could use more happiness and joy in our lives, so look to see the people in your life that fill you up and invest in spending some quality time with each of them.