If You Want to be Happy: Involve Other People

M.A., Health Writer

The pursuit of happiness remains an elusive one for many people, as does defining exactly what “happiness” is. However, new research in the journal Psychological Science says that improving life satisfaction probably does involve more social interaction.

According to the Association for Psychological Science, 1178 adult study participants in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study described their life satisfaction in 2014. They also reported how satisfied they imagined they'd be in five years, and how'd they'd sustain that future life satisfaction. A year later, they re-rated life satisfaction. Analyses of those responses showed people who had a social strategy such as "helping others" had greater life satisfaction a year later, while those without—with nonsocial strategies, such as "stop smoking"—stayed about the same. Time socializing with family, friends, and neighbors increased life satisfaction ratings a year later.

The authors noted that spending time with others may indeed increase well-being, compared to just doing certain activities on their own, without nonsocial pursuits.

Sourced from: Psychological Science