75-Year Study Reveals Key Factor in Human Happiness

The key to happiness has huge meaning for addiction treatment

A 75-year Harvard study argues that the key factor in human happiness is good relationships.

The study, directed by psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, took two groups of men and followed them for 75 years from baby boomers to the present day.

Waldinger said: “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship. It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

The findings surrounding the attainment of happiness are particularly prevalent given the model of addiction as a condition of disconnection in personal relationships of the affected individual.

Prominent voices, such as Dr Gabor Maté, believe difficulties in making deep and trusting emotional connections result from childhood trauma.

However, a study by Vincent Felitti has challenged this model, stating only a minority of those affected by childhood trauma turn to intoxicants to soothe emotional pain.

Regardless of the addiction models, the Harvard study does so a lot for the treatment of addiction issues.

The 75-year study emphasises happiness is dependent upon having someone to rely on, which in turn helps the nervous systems relax, helps your brain stay healthy and reduces emotional pain.

The data also clearly found that those who feel lonely are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger.

Read: To Die is to be Born, with the Death of Addiction Comes the Birth of Sobriety

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