- Feel Great
Happiness is fun and it feels good. Waking up each morning feeling excited to discover what the day holds – going to bed satisfied that it was a great day – feeling gratitude for what ever the day presented. Having truly been aware of those around you.
- Longer Life
Happy people live longer. “We reviewed eight different types of studies,” Diener said. “And the general conclusion from each type of study is that your subjective well-being — that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed — contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations.” A study that followed nearly 5,000 university students for more than 40 years, for example, found that those who were most pessimistic as students tended to die younger than their peers.’
- Are Healthier
Is it that happy people are healthier or healthy people are happier? ”Everything else being equal, if you are happy and satisfied with your life now, you are more likely to be healthy in the future. Importantly, our results are independent of several factors that impact on health, such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and age,” said lead author Mohammad Siahpush, Ph.D, University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The researchers looked at data from two waves of an Australian survey conducted in 2001 and 2004. Nearly 10,000 adults responded to items about health indicators including the presence of long-term, limiting health conditions and physical health. They used the question, “During the past four weeks, have you been a happy person?” to assess happiness. They determined satisfaction with life by asking: “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life?” “We found strong evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health,” Siahpush said.
Professor Fiona Wood Head of Royal Perth Hospital’s Burns Unit and Director of the Western Australia Burns Service said that those with the predisposition of positive energy are far more likely to heal well– than those who are negative.
- Keep Going
Happiness and positivity work together. Positive people see that the ‘glass is half full.’ Their positive view that good things will happen helps them see and act on options and opportunities faster. Many studies have shown that people who are positive or happy solve problems better and faster. Their solutions are more inventive and they concentrate better. Happiness also improves people’s ability to learn and remember things. Better problem solving is another reason why happiness is important. “You get what you look for.” Unknown
- Are in relationships
Many studies show that if you are happy you are more likely to be married, romantically involved and have multiple close friendships. Which came first though – are you happy because you are in a relationship or are you more attractive because you are happy? Both could be true. Happier people are more attractive and being happier makes you more likely to be attracted to someone else.
- Have deeper conversations
‘Those who reported higher levels of well-being spent less time alone and more time talking with others. The happiest also had about one-third as much small talk and twice as many substantive conversations than those who were unhappiest. Men engaged in slightly more meaningful conversations than women, contrary to the belief that women are more likely to discuss their deeper feelings. ‘According to Sonja Lyubormirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside and happiness researcher/author, “There’s lots of research showing that happiness is linked with greater social support. Happier people spend more time with others. Substantive conversations would be a marker that they are talking to closer friends.” She was not involved in the study.
- Look for good
Negative or pessimistic emotions spur us to ‘fight’ or argue by generating chemicals in our bodies. We experience a completely different outlook when we are positive. Happiness spurs us to discover, learn, develop and grow the same way. In short, positive emotions create a completely different way of thinking. Happy people look for the good in things… and tend to find it. Happy people want to ‘make love not war’. The physiological state caused by happiness helps happy people see good and be drawn to avoid conflict.
- It spreads
Simply speaking others will benefit from happy people. The old saying ‘one good thing deserves another’ is true when it comes to kindness and happiness. Not only is happiness infectious. ‘Happiness is a network phenomenon, clustering in groups of people that extend up to three degrees of separation (for example, to one’s friends’ friends’ friends). Happiness spreads across a diverse array of social ties’ There is a strong link between feeling good and doing things to assist other people. So when happy people ‘do good’, they feel god in doing this as well as making another person feel good. It multiplies – and is not linear. Happy people are more willing to share their good fortune to help others than unhappy people. Happy people are innately generous and as a result the world becomes a better place.
- Are productive
Happy people = Happy profits. Thomas Wright, professor of organisational behavior at the University of Nevada, states ‘employee happiness accounts for as much as 10% to 15% of the variance in performance between different workers’. In a 40-hour week, that could mean up to three-quarters of an hour’s lost productivity per day. Managers who don’t attend to the happiness of their staff are unlikely to be getting the best out of them. Gallup tell us that disengaged workers cost billions in lost productivity. Yet those organizations with a happy workforce also have 20% higher profits.
- Are Lucky
Happy people are luckier. There seem to be several factors that contribute to this. First, happy people are optimistic. Then tend to see opportunity more frequently and they are more likely to make lemonade when life gives them lemons.
Happiness makes sense at every level – on a personal, community, social, organizational, national and global level. Yet happiness is often overlooked as a critical component of work. A new Human Resources manager at a friends company questioned one of it’s values ie: ‘fun’, saying that ‘fun’ didn’t make business sense. Really? We spend so much time at work – surely it is important to have fun, be ourselves and as a result benefit the organization and society.
And it is no hard to share happiness – by showing a little kindness – and saying an authentic thank you.
‘Positive affect – positive emotions, positive moods and positive attitudes – may in fact be the single most important active ingredient in the recipe for human flourishing’ (Barbara Fredrickson, 2005)