Happiness is something we all seek and there are endless experts telling us how we can achieve it. We can get more of it by spending more time in the sunshine (something I’ve covered before) but what else really helps us feel happy?
It can’t be money although admittedly it’s probably more comfortable to be miserable on a yacht than in a rowboat. Besides, too many studies have found that money is not enough to “make” us happy.
Is it “being successful”? I mean this in the Western world version. Middle to upper-middle class. If you have a good job you like, a home you enjoy and recreation options, would all of them “make” you happy. In fact studies show those things have limited impact on our ability to feel happiness.
Far and away the research suggests reaching out to one another and not just virtually. That having human contact is critical to happiness. In fact developmental psychologist Susan Pinker makes the case for this in her book ‘The Village’ where she outlines the need for human interaction. That it is vital to human mental and emotional well being and without it we would suffer.
So on the end it turns out we need each other to help keep us happy. That’s right, it means isolation is not the answer. This is especially important for those of us with bipartisan disorder. Get out and DO something. Join a meetup, go to church, volunteer, but do something that gets you in touch with other people.
Find your village.