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Happiness Tip: Make Relationships Your First Priority

“What is the secret to happiness?”

Everyone I meet eventually asks me this question, usually sooner rather than later. (Most recently, Dr. Oz asked me. Check out the episode!)

The good news is that there are many secrets to happiness. But I think the most consistent finding from science of well-being is this: The best predictor of a person’s happiness is his or her relationships with other people.

For example, the Grant Study found that “the capacity to love and be loved was the single strength most clearly associated with subjective well-being at age eighty.”

Ask yourself this: “Is there someone in your life whom you would feel comfortable phoning at four in the morning to tell your troubles to?” If you don’t have such a person in your life, make it your top priority to cultivate a close friendship that you can depend on. Derek Isaacowitz, who conducted the research that asked this question, came to the following conclusion: “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

Take Action: Make a plan to nurture your friendships this week. Call an old friend, make a lunch date, take food to someone who could use a little support. Nothing could be more important for your happiness in the long run!

Join the Discussion: How do you nurture your connections? Inspire others by leaving a comment.