The greatest predictor of long-term happiness

The greatest predictor of long-term happiness

The greatest predictor of long-term happiness

The last 2 years have been interesting, to say the least. We were forced to change our routines, habits, how we live, and how we work. It has also been a time of reflection, re-prioritizing, and revisioning what we want our lives to look like.

Jay and I loved our RV hobby so much, we decided to buy a little piece of land in the country, and no one has been more surprised at how much I love it than me! It has also taught me things about myself that I never knew.

While I have always considered myself an extrovert, getting energy from those around me, the pandemic forced us to shift many of our social habits. Rather than the social outings I had become accustomed to, I found myself getting more and more comfortable in my cocoon. I have started to really enjoy my life as an introvert, to the point where lately, I have found myself retreating from social situations.

If you have found yourself isolating, it is important to remember that our relationships play a huge role in our ability to stay resilient. They buffer us against our most difficult and challenging times, providing the deep connection human beings fundamentally need. Our social connections have been found to be the greatest predictor of how long we will live (more than smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity), and the greatest determinant of our long-term happiness:

Our connections shape the way we see the world. Harvard researcher Shawn Achor found that if you were to look at a hill by yourself, you would believe it’s 10-20% steeper than looking at a hill of the same height while standing next to someone who would climb the hill with you. Social connection changes what your brain sees. 

Social connection improves overall wellbeing. When you have a pro-social mindset (when you’re focused on doing things to help others), research shows you are kinder, have more energy, and have an increase in motivation, productivity, and creativity. If you are an introvert (or have found yourself becoming one) this doesn’t mean you have to constantly socialize or be the life of the party, but it is important to connect with others. The quality of our relationships is much more important than the quality. The happiness boost you get from connection with others is crucial to your health and well-being and a key element to building resilience.

Not only does connecting with others give us a sense of belonging, it lowers anxiety and depression, helps us regulate our emotions, leads to higher levels of empathy, and even improves our immune systems. 

If you have found yourself retreating into a cocoon, don’t forget to connect with friends, family, and colleagues. Your health and happiness depends on it.

Stay brave and resilient,

Anne

P.S.What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about yourself since the beginning of the pandemic?

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In person or virtual?

If you adjusted to remote work during the pandemic, you may be struggling to get back in the rhythm of things. I fully admit that I have gotten comfortable in my Covid cocoon and getting back to in-person living has been a bit of an adjustment.

When asked to speak again for my friends at @skyrealtyaustin at the beautiful @hyattlostpines, I jumped at the chance. This small but mighty team is awesome, energetic, and fun, and I was honored to be back with them! That said, wearing shoes instead of slippers and changing out of yoga pants did require some effort.

While it may be easier to meet virtually, there is no substitute for the connections that are made when we are face to face. If you’re struggling to get back into the swing of things, take baby steps and get out of your comfort zone. Learning to socialize after long periods of isolation is a skill, and it’s one that requires practice. #skyrealty #austin #hyattlostpines #resilience #socialconnection #bettertogether #professionaldevelopment #keynotespeaker
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ANNE GRADY IS A SPEAKER, AUTHOR, AND #TRUTHBOMB DROPPER!

Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.

Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.

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