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  • Writer's pictureAnya Smirnova

Lessons from an 80-year study on happiness

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

A nearly 80-year long Harvard study on happiness followed the lives of 268 men (no women I must note) from the age of 18 until their final days. Their conclusion on what keeps us happy and healthy is – our relationships. Good relationships and how happy we are in our relationships are as important as looking after our physical health.

I see this impact of relationships with every one of my clients. When coaching one-on-one, it's never only about that person, but about that person in her system of relationships.

Relationships become particularly influential around big life transitions or challenges, e.g. becoming a parent, taking a career leap or battling a health challenge. Those moments when we need all support we can get to make the transition possible, and not just survive but thrive.

Relationships produce either a push or a pull. When you have more support than threat, you increase your opportunities for change, because you have more momentum to go in the direction you desire. However, if there is a lot of toxicity in your system, the momentum is pulling you down. 

If you are going through a change or are preparing for a leap, the first step is to recognise what relationships you already have in your system. 


I love helping women transition through life changes.

Reach out to me to have a no-obligation chat to help you clarify issues and explain how coaching with me works.



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