Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist at Northwestern University who has been researching decision making for more than 10 years. Through his studies, he strongly believes that the key to happiness doesn’t involves materialistic things or experiences. Cerf says that true happiness comes from the time you spend with other people.

His decision-making research has lead him to believe that we think making certain decisions will have positive impacts on our lives, whereas it could be simpler than that. Real happiness comes from family and friends.

Decision-making is too draining to keep up on a daily basis

Making decisions all day is a task that fatigues the brain. The mental energy required to do it everyday wears thin. It’s the people in your life that have the biggest impact on how you behave and what your mood is like.

When you’re with other people, there’s an actual connection going on

Cerf has found that when people are with each other, their brain waves start to look exactly the same as each other. A study into brain waves revealed that the best trailers invoked similar patterns in all of the participants’ brains.

Simply being around another person causes changes in your brain waves. When you’re happy about being with another person, or a group of people, it’s because your brain waves are all syncing up with one another.

Your behavior also changes when you’re around other people

Similar to how your brain waves sync up with other people’s, your behavior also does the same. For example, when you’re in the presence of someone who’s feeling down, you also begin to feel negative yourself, right? Regardless of what your mood was before, it can be altered by how another person is feeling. This also works when you’re around people who are more cheerful. You also start to feel the same as them.

These neuroscience discoveries can be used to help you find true happiness

Being around people who are always complaining about their job or other issues will automatically cause your mood to become more negative. In this case, talking to the people about being more positive would be a good option. Alternatively, distancing yourself from them may be the only option that ensures you remain uplifted.

Surround yourself with people whose traits you admire to create happiness for yourself  

Seek to be around people who encourage you to succeed in life. Even if you’re in completely different situations, you will help each other by increasing the overall positive energy.

This cuts out the tiring decision-making processes that never end up leading to happiness. Instead, you are hanging out with people who have traits that you would like to have yourself and over time, you’ll end up incorporating these characteristics into your life effortlessly. It’s how you make your own happiness.