Honoré de Balzac believed that „all happiness depends on courage and work”. From this perspective, happiness becomes a matter of choice and individual action. The idea seems right but scientific facts unveil an interesting, new perspective.

The research conducted by Harvard University in the course of 80 years, which makes it one of the longest ever made, has looked into the physical and mental wellness of 268 sophomore students. By measuring their life satisfaction on the different stages of their lives, the scientists wanted to find a universal answer to the question: What makes humans happy? It turns out the key to joy lays in our relationships.

Close, honest and kind relations with the people that surround us protect our body and mind. Particularly among those who are not prone to addictions – in their case, good relationships can positively affect life expectancy. Mutual understanding, trust and empathy contribute to the overall sense of security that has an impact on human health.

So, the road to happiness is paved with connections – not only within families but also communities. It’s extremely important because as research indicates, loneliness can be as harmful as alcohol overdose or smoking. The sense of belonging and engagement gives an opportunity for self-expression. In one of her books, Rebecca Solnit described human relationships as a process of creating shared stories that people can inhabit and find shelter in. It appears that a long, happy life relies on open communication that allows people to reach self-fulfillment.

Is there any link between happiness and fashion? According to the interviews conducted by  The Fashion Studies Journal, garments and personal style are vital part of constructing one’s identity, understanding one’s own needs and establishing relationships with others. To a large extent, it all depends on the motivations that humans want to pursue through fashion. As science shows, it is worth considering fashion as another, practical and beautiful tool that can evoke human happiness.