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Social connections increase well-being, Harvard says

April 14, 2023

A study conducted by Harvard University set out to analyze whether people who value well-being actually have higher quality of life rates. They found that the importance given to some aspects may be more effective than others when trying to achieve satisfaction.

Analyzing data from 1,209 employees, researchers examined the associations between the perceived importance of six well-being domains:

  • Emotional health
  • Physical health
  • Meaning and purpose
  • Social connectedness
  • Character strengths
  • Financial stability 

Subsequent well-being in these domains was reported approximately one year later. The study provided further evidence that living well appears best achieved by valuing immaterial goods, especially social connectedness and character strengths, as opposed to domains such as financial stability or physical health.  

“Our main findings on the role of valuing well-being to achieve well-being are consistent with a ‘politics of being’ rather than a cultural emphasis on ‘having’ that is associated with resource-intensive economic systems rooted in environmentally degrading forms of consumerism. Interestingly, our research suggests that valuing character strengths and physical health is inversely associated with financial stability. However, we still need further research to explain the mechanism behind these associations.”, Matthew T. Lee concluded.

Source: MDPI | Harvard