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Advisors: The Key Factor to Guarantee Your Happiness and Mental Health


Advisors: The Key Factor to Guarantee Your Happiness and Mental Health

Research focusing on what we need to do to remain mentally healthy and happy has found many important factors that contribute. There is one key element that consistently proves to be the most important and the good news is that advisors can relatively easily attain this life skill, because it “goes with the territory” of running an advising/planning practice.

The Importance of Healthy Connections

The all-time longest study ever conducted with humans, The Harvard Grant Study (beginning in1938, with the graduates lives analyzed for 75 years), was directed at determining which factors predicted health, happiness, success and wellness for more than 250 white, male Harvard graduates. (For the full study, see Vlillant, G.,[2012]. Triumphs of experience:  The men of Harvard Grant Study.  Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA).

Valliant found that the single most important predictor of happiness was the ability to care for and be cared for by others…not money, social class, career, or status. This doesn’t mean that you have to be in a romantic relationship in order to be happy and healthy. Relationships with friends, family and even clients can all contribute to your happiness and health. 

Let’s say you have recently gone through a divorce or major break-up with a partner.  Having a support system of caring family, friends, and clients can make up for that loss.

Why You Should Maintain Warm Relationships With Your Clients?

In the Harvard study, Vaillant discovered that men who had the “warmest relationships” with family, friends, spouses, and in their businesses were significantly more successful economically, compared with those men with the least warm relationships.

It seems obvious that having warm relationships with your clients will contribute to your business success, but now you know that an even more important reason to keep those relationships genuine and caring is because they will actually contribute to your health, happiness and mental health.  For those of you who try to keep your clients separate from the rest of your life, you may want to re-think about this and nurture a few client relationships to become genuine friends.

You Have A Lot More Control Over Your Mental Health and Longevity Than Genetics Does

So what does all this mean for your happiness, mental and physical health, and your longevity.  Much research now estimates that about 15% of the determinants of your longevity, physical and mental health are related to your DNA, and you actually have control over the other 85%.  It’s all about your relationships.

Besides making sure that you have healthy and warm relationships, the other way to build health and happiness is by taking charge of your self-talk, which I have discussed in other blogs. You can learn much more about the methods for changing your self-talk quickly in my book, The Financial Advisor’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,”

The Impact of Your Relationships on Your Brain

Recent advances in neuroscience, including the use of sophisticated brain scans, continue to confirm these findings about the critical importance of relationships. The sciences of “Interpersonal Neurobiology” and “Neuroplasticity” prove that our brains constantly rewire themselves, and much of this re-wiring and results from our connections and relationships.

Again, these findings show that people are happier and more mentally healthy when they have a strong support system of caring connections to other people.

The key take-away from this article is that you actually have the power to maintain your happiness and your success, by focusing on your connections with people. It doesn’t mean you have to be happily married to be happy and healthy.  That helps, but having warm and caring relationships with friends and clients can contribute much to your happiness and longevity.

So, take good care of your relationships.

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