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This year in our health blog, we are going to focus on the health to be found in relationships. Here at Sparkling Hill, building strong relationships with each other as staff, building robust relationships with our community and building lasting and constructive relationships with guests are what we are all about. We are a wellness resort that wants people to be well, to be even healthier than well, to live to their full potential.

Yet, should one stop anyone on the street and ask them what they want out of life, my guess is that the answer most likely will not be: “Healthier”, or “Wellness”, or “Living to my full potential”. My guess is that the answer most often will be: “Happiness”.

In fact, a whole field of study, called happiness economics, has grown by leaps and bounds since the late 20th century.  It appears that as a bottom line, most all of us are searching for happiness. We seek happiness on various paths, that of health, money, security, leisure or of fame.

Why then bother to make relationships a core value of procuring optimal health at Sparkling Hill?

Here is the interesting thing.

There is convincing and growing evidence that our happiness revolves around the health of our relationships. Amongst an emerging body of work, both the Grant and Glueck studies done by Harvard University from the late 1930s on over 700 young men, and eventually also on their families and other loved ones, show this. (The studies are continuing).

Good relationships are the most crucial factor in what keep us happier and healthier. Consider this astonishing fact. (There are many similar findings).  At age 50, our healthy, flourishing ties with our family, friends, and community is a better predictor of our physical health at age 80 than our cholesterol levels.

This year, then, the focus will be on how to strengthen, enrich and nurture all our relationships. With the next installment, we will look at how early in our lives relationships start, and how that can go wrong even at that early age.