Surprise, surprise: Social bonds are devastatingly important.
This is because in the end, relationships are all that there is.
I read an article once – and I wish I could remember the source – that spoke about this topic in relation to space and opportunity.
Essentially: The more space you have, the more opportunity there is for social isolation and depression. The less ability we have to escape others, the less depression has the opportunity to take root.
(I know this does not touch on any physiological aspects of depression.)
But this reminded me of the virtue of small houses. Perhaps, a big family in a small house is not so bad?
I mean, what if relationship is what we have been searching for?
One conclusion was blatantly clear from my happiness research: everyone from contemporary scientists to ancient philosophers agrees that having strong social bonds is probably the most meaningful contributor to happiness.
-Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project