It is finally December – the last act of the 12-part play before we take a curtain call and move forward to the next production. In other words, it’s our last opportunity to piece together everything we want from the year that’s about to end. But what is it that we want most? Hint: it is directly related to people, relationships, and communication.
Studies have shown that, when asked what the number one thing people strive for in life, the answer is consistently one thing: happiness. As December begins, people tend to look back and measure the success of the year based on their level of happiness.
But what constitutes happiness?
Psychologists often define happiness as the state of feeling or experiencing frequent positive emotions such as joy, interest, pride, and love. In fact, experiencing “love” has actually been identified as the single most powerful emotion that measures happiness. You can almost conclude that one measures the success and positivity of a year based upon how much love they are surrounded by.
Love. It’s a powerful emotion – and it’s fueled only by our relationships with other people: our friends and family, our close and distant network, all the people who are near and dear to us. No matter what we have or what we are doing – or have done – in life, nothing makes us happier than being surrounded by love. It forms a warm blanket around us and protects us.
The last words uttered by former President George H.W. Bush before he passed away were “I love you.” With all of his experience and accomplishments, he knew that the most important thing about his life was the love that filled it.
We can’t nurture our surrounding love – that which we give and receive – without communication. Our relationships depend on it. When communication breaks down, our relationships suffer, and the love that surrounds us suffers as well. We can’t feel it as strongly. If we don’t feel the love – our overall happiness suffers, and that’s how we measure our year.
There’s still another chance to make sure that we are feeling the love that surrounds us as much as possible. If looking back on the last year you sense that relationships have been strained and your surrounding love is not as palpable, it may have something to do with communication. Strengthening communication – hearing, speech and understanding – will have a direct impact on the sensation of our surrounding love. That can only solidify our happiness.
As we move closer to the holiday season, now is the time to strengthen the relationships that surround us. It would be ideal to enjoy the holidays with the ones we hold close and dear and to move into the next 12-part play with a strong sense of family, friendship, and love. Because truly – that’s what really matters in life.