What makes people happy? Inquiring minds want to know. Dr. Daniel Gilbert wrote a book called “Stumbling on Happiness” and found that the greatest source of happiness is social. In other words, happiness comes from family and friends, not work and money. This fits with my clinical experience and teachings in my practice. The problem is that many people either don’t realize it or don’t accept it. A study by British researchers from the U.K.’s Chartered Institute of IT found a connection between internet access and increased happiness. It is plausible that connections to friends and family through the internet may be a positive factor. These “virtual friends” can also increase a person’s sense of freedom, security and influence. The bottom line is that positive connections with people create happiness, regardless of the medium. I would venture to say that deeper and more intimate connections heighten the level of satisfaction and happiness. It’s not the number of Facebook friends, but the level of connection that exists offline. I work with people all the time that are married or surrounded by tons of people, but remain unhappy. Often, their unhappiness is linked to the lack of deep emotional attachment and connection. In other words, they have lots of surface friends and maybe even a spouse, but few deep relationships where feelings are shared. How connected are you to people? What creates happiness for you? Choose happiness, be connected, and nurture relationships. Life is more fulfilling when you are connected to healthy people.