Happiness is Love

This is the finding of a 70-year-old study which formed the basis of Berit Brogaard’s book ‘On Romantic Love’. The study examined how loving relationships affected the happiness and mental well-being of people from all walks of life.

A healthy, reciprocated love with another person appears to be the key predictor of happiness.

This is not just talking about romantic love – it means the love with friends and family, as well as partners. What seems to be even more important, according to this study, is that the love is reciprocated. Love that is not returned, or loving someone who abuses your love, will not bring you happiness.

But stopping yourself from pursuing an unhealthy and unequal relationship requires emotional resilience. Emotional resilience can be difficult to develop. It is the ability to recognise unhelpful or even harmful thoughts, and to, quite forcefully, tell them “no”. It is the ability to carry on through difficult times. Undoubtedly, having a loving and supportive network of people around you makes being emotionally resilient much easier.

Emotional resilience is a skill that can help you in all areas of your life, including at work. The workplace can be stressful, with deadlines, sales quotas and important meetings. Being able to tell yourself “I can do this” is vital to handling tough situations, and having a supportive person say “yes, you CAN do this” is priceless.

This Valentine’s day we ought to focus on the love in our support network - putting effort into those caring and equal relationships with friends, family, and partners. We also need to think about our emotional resilience. Can you get rid of those unhealthy relationships? Can you handle tough situations?

At Altruist, there are lots of resources on offer for helping you to build your emotional resilience. For more information on our E-learning Resilience course, click here. For more information on our in-person Resilience and Stress Management training, click here.

I am an undergraduate BSc Psychology student at the University of Birmingham. I am driven to banish the stigma surrounding mental illness, and to encourage people to better identify and manage their mental health.

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