A number of researchers in recent years have launched out in search of the keys to the type of happiness that apparently eludes many. But the findings of those research studies have yielded results that may surprise many who review them. The following are the top five keys to achieving happiness and fulfillment in life according to a recent Harvard Grant Study.

1. We were made to love. While most people will readily admit that having strong, supportive relationships is an important factor to overall happiness, the Harvard Grant Study underscored how critical healthy, loving relationships really are. The study highlighted the fact that even those who have experienced success at work, and those who are both prosperous and healthy are still wildly unhappy if supportive, loving relationships are not present in their lives. With that, love truly is the master key to happiness.

2. Living In Pursuit of Happiness. Some operate under the wrong belief that those who are happy perhaps have had no significant challenges to cause their outlook to sour. While those who have experienced more challenging and emotionally distressing situations are generally thought to wear a less pleasant countenance. But the Harvard Grant Study disproved this theory by revealing that regardless of a person’s history or beginnings, happiness is possible for every individual. This fact was illuminated by highlighting one study participant who had, at one time attempted to commit suicide. However, by the end of this subject’s life, his commitment to searching for love landed him among the happiest of the study’s participants.

3. Strong Connections Bring Joy to Every Individual. The findings of this 75-year-long research study were very clear; solid, healthy relationships are the most accurate predictors of a person’s overall satisfaction in life. While this research study focused greatly on male subjects, the results of the Harvard Grant Study were very consistent with an earlier study, conducted at UCLA in 2002. That study indicated that when women interact with their girlfriends, there’s a significant, positive impact on each woman’s overall mood. Oxytocin, the so-called “feel good” hormone, is released, causing feelings of euphoria. The comfort that’s derived from familiarity is thought to play a role in the overall boost in mood among female friends. The activities that bring women together for ‘Girls Night Out’ adventures can run the gamut from a fun evening out on the town to a relaxing trip to the beach or a pulse-pounding Vegas weekend.

In conclusion, happiness is far from some elusive quality set apart for a privileged few. Instead, it is the focus on pleasurable activities, on finding true love and on building supportive relationships that create lasting fulfillment in life.

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