This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission to help keep my blog up and running, but it won't cost you a penny more). For more information, please read my disclosure policy.
Like it or not, we are social creatures who crave human connections.
It is hardwired into our brains because we need to work together to ensure the survival of our species. It only makes sense then that forming and maintaining those connections has an internal reward built in.
On the flip side, when we spend too much time isolated and alone, we start to feel sad and depressed.
It is, more than anything else, our interactions with other people that brings us happiness.
It’s not the amount of money we make, the big house, the fancy car, or all the stuff we might accumulate over the years.
What makes us happy is spending time and sharing experiences with other people.
Of course it’s just any old person that can make us happy. We all have to deal with plenty of people we don’t particularly enjoy spending time with.
We interact with people at work, with our neighbors, or because someone happens to work out next to us at the gym. Some of those people have little or no impact on our lives or feelings. Others we’d rather not spend time with, given a choice.
Yet, there are still benefits to these relationships. We work together, challenge each other and become better people, and better contributors to society at large when we collaborate. This has its own rewards and gives you something to be proud about.
When we are with people we love and whose company we enjoy, on the other hand, we get joy, satisfaction, and happiness out of those interactions. We crave the mental, social, and physical connections.
There’s a reason we appreciate a heartfelt hug.
Spending time with people who love and encourage us, and those that challenge and push us to do better, help us grow as human beings.
We get better when we have cheerleaders and mentors around us.
You likely already work at maintaining a relationship with your children who are at college or live away from home. Those relationships are important because they have defined your happiness for a lifetime. There is no reason why these relationships can’t still be a big part of your overall happiness. But you may want to examine the other relationships in your life and identify the people who genuinely bring happiness to your daily life.
Choose the people surround yourself with wisely if you want to grow as a person.
If your goal is happiness, spend as much time as you can with happy, positive people.
Above all, make sure you make the effort to nurture those important close relationships with family and friends.
Those connections will help boost your happiness and make you feel like you’re part of something bigger that gives meaning to your life.