Wednesday 14 November 2012

'Happiness is the wrong word'

A 72-year longitudinal study has concluded that the key to a long and happy life is in close relationships with others - who'd have guessed! Friends and family are far more important factors than any inherited benefits, the scientists report.
 'The finding on happiness,' says the current director of the project (who sounded a happy fellow on the radio this morning), 'is that happiness is the wrong word. The right words for happiness are emotional intelligence, relationships, joy, connections and resilience...' Or, to put it another way, loving, giving, enjoying and enduring.
 Not for the first time, science 'discovers' what we have always known.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I agree, we have always known what happiness is. As one gets older it becomes more apparent that loneliness is a killer. Having a friend to support you through the ups and downs is essential to obtaining happiness. That's what you've also just summed up here too.

  2. I dunno, all this talk about joy and connections and gooey good feelings is bringing out the curmudgeon in me. I suspect that what the study points to is that a key to longevity is having someone dependant on you--in reality or in your mind. Grandparents forced to raise grandchildren, seniors with disabled or declining spouses and yes, even a dog to worry about and keep you shopping and moving, all keep you going. It's inspiring to imagine that it's because it's joyful and reciprocal, and lucky the senior for whom it is, but I doubt that in reality that has a lot to do with it. Nurses outlive patients, even when they don't think they can stand their whining for another minute.