The Happiness Connection: LOVE.

Welcome to "Coffee with Crate"! Join me for a cup of coffee each month as I encourage you to “think OUTside the box” and truly “live a life that demands an explanation.” Turn your phone on silent and grab that steeping hot mug. Sit down with me for a few minutes and let’s chat about various topics of the month that will seek to inspire you to “LIVE YOUR LIFE TO FULLEST!”

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Dreaded or not, on February 14th, we are ALL reminded of LOVE. Past, present and future. Enjoy another sip and relax. This is NOT the topic of discussion today. This month, I’d like to steer our discussion toward JOY and living life to the fullest. Isn’t the purpose of LIFE to be happy? What does that even mean? And are YOU truly Happy? My hope is that you are beaming from ear to ear right now, full of joyful bliss. Whether you are or you’re not, I invite you to travel with me through time. Think about a time in your past that sparked JOY.

Welcome to February’s topic of the month… The Happiness Connection: LOVE.

The Dalai Lamaq put it best, “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” It’s a simple statement, but also a profound one. At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy. And most – if not all of us – are actively looking for it.

It’s not the pursuit of happiness that’s elusive. It’s finding it. Like trying to draw water from an empty well, many people are looking for happiness where none exists. It’s a fruitless journey that ironically ends up creating unhappiness in the end. After a month touring across Asia, experiencing the simplicity in connection and the JOY life has to offer, I came back even more enlightened, passionate and determined to do what truly brings me JOY.

So what does make us happy? There is no easy answer and it varies from person to person. A recent study, conducted at Harvard that tracked the lives of 724 men for 78 years and was one of the longest studies of adult life ever done, could be shining a light on the underlying catalyst for long-term happiness: relationships.

Here’s what the study found:

Social connections are really good for us. Loneliness kills.

Right now, we’re experiencing a loneliness epidemic on an epic scale. This is largely due to the fact that social media continues to take a more prominent role in our lives. As it does, we become more isolated and lonely. A little social media is good, but spending hours a day on it will only increase loneliness.

Connections matter.

People who are more socially connected to their family, friends, and community tend to be much happier and healthier. They also live longer than people who aren’t as connected.

It’s not just quantity. It’s quality, too.

Living in conflict with people might be worse than no connection at all and living in the midst of good, warm relationships is protective.

Food for thought.

It turns out that good relationships aren’t just good for our health and soul – they also have an extremely positive impact on our brains.  From brain health to a longer life, there are a lot of benefits to making sure we build long-lasting relationships and more connections to the people around us and the communities where we live. But perhaps the biggest benefit we’ll ever derive from the effort is happiness – the ultimate goal and reward in life.

During this heart-filled month, we encourage you to pursue MORE of what you love and even more of what truly brings YOU joy. Are you pursuing the LIFE you’ve always dreamed of?