What’s the formula for true happiness? That’s what researchers from Deakin University in Australia wanted to know. So, they surveyed more than 60,000 people over 15 years, and found there are three core elements that comprise, what they call, the “golden triangle” of happiness.
First: We need positive relationships. Harvard research found the happiest people tend to have the most quality relationships. And we don’t necessarily need romantic relationships to be happy. Instead, researchers say what matters is that the people around us are positive, empathetic and supportive.
Next, we need financial security for happiness. However, this report says the actual amount we make isn’t what matters… it’s whether or not we feel in CONTROL of our money. For example: If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, barely paying the bills, you probably won’t feel happy – even if you make a million dollars! Because stressing about money triggers a survival instinct.
The final happiness element is having a sense of purpose. Psychologist Dr. Patrick Hill says finding a direction for our life creates happiness, no matter how old we are when we discover what gives our life meaning. Having a reason to get out of bed every day also helps lower stress and makes us more resilient.
So, to recap: If you have positive relationships, financial security, and a sense of purpose, congratulations: You’ve found the golden triangle of happiness!