Over the last 8 years or so I’ve found I’ve been strongly drawn to seeking to understand, as well as experience, happiness.
I don’t believe happiness is something trivial, fluffy or a ‘nice to have’. It’s more than just an antidote to the pain and suffering we can experience in our lives.
Happy people can sometimes be portrayed as irritating, shallow or inane; that it’s not ‘realistic’ or bland to be happy. I feel to the very depths of my being that this isn’t true, but I want to understand why.
I want to understand the science and the facts that either support or challenge my beliefs – hence my current studies with UC Berkeley and their Science of Happiness course.
It’s fascinating exploring the emerging benefits of being happy. It now appears from many studies that happy people:
- Live longer
- Have stronger immune systems
- Have better physical health
- Are more resilient
- Are better negotiators and leaders
- Earn more money
- Have more flexibility and ingenuity in their thinking
- Are more productive in their jobs
- Are more likely to get married and stay married
- Have a richer network of friends and social support
- Are more sociable
- Have more energy
- Are more charitable and co-operative
- Are better liked by others
It’s quite a list (source for this summary is an extract from The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, by Sonja Lyubormirsky)!
Imagine what would happen if whole communities and societies became happier.
This of course is why Action for Happiness exists as a movement for change. Such a compelling case; in becoming happier, not only do we boost our experiences of joy, contentment, pride and awe, but we get all of the above too!
We also become more self-confident, boost our self-esteem and self-worth and our positive impact on all those around us.
So it’s good to know why happiness matters – the trick of course is mastering the how!
Well, you’ll just have to keep reading this blog to find out then, won’t you 🙂