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December 2013: “Increase Your Happiness and Improve Your Relationships by Spending Quality Time Together”

Would you like to find out how to increase your happiness, improve your relationships, and save money this holiday season? Turns out that spending quality time with friends and family can accomplish all three desires. Science has recently shown a link between social relationships and happiness. A recent study using the British Household Panel Survey was published in the Journal of Socio-Economics and found that when it comes to happiness social relationships are worth more than $100,000. Conversely, actual increases in income lead to very little happiness. More than the money, often spending quality time with friends and family provides much needed ‘soul food.’ This holiday season, let’s pause and reflect on the commitments we’ve made and choose to make time to connect with those who most matter to us.

In the coming month, find opportunities to meaningfully connect with friends and family. You might choose to go for a walk, volunteer together, or simply share a meal. Consider forgoing gifts this season and instead write a letter of gratitude to your partner or create some other way to show your gratefulness. Whatever you choose to do, do it from the heart and notice what difference it makes in terms of your relationship and your happiness.

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