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Mental Health and Relationships 'Key to Happiness'

New research by the London School of Economics shows that what really counts when it comes to happiness is having good mental health and a partner — even more so than getting a double increase in salary, BBC.com reports.

Time and again it’s been proven that the secrets to happiness are all in your head and your own hands, belying the idea that money alone buys happiness. In fact, a review of more than 200 studies found that positive psychological well-being is linked with a lower risk of heart disease as well as lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles — all keys to health happiness.

Defining happiness is as difficult as defining how to achieve it, but one fact remains: that self-acceptance may be a huge key in getting on the road not only to good physical and mental health, but for maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner or spouse. To get a boost on happiness, other research has shown that doing things for others, connecting with people, exercising, appreciating the world around you, trying new things, having goals, being a part of something bigger, and taking a positive approach all go along with accepting yourself, and ultimately personal happiness.

Researchers have also found that people who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and less anxiety, sleep better and have better heart health, as well as lower levels of inflammatory gene expression and stronger antiviral and antibody responses.