Is Happiness important?

I guess that if you think about your loved ones you would agree that their happiness is important to you, after all you probably feel good when they are happy. What about you? Is your happiness important? I mean, does it matter to you if you are happy? Does it matter for our society if you are happy?

Because of everything that is happening specially in Greece and Europe I was really interested in the scientific perspective that answers these questions.

Well, there is an increasing amount of research that is giving really good answers to these questions. To such an extent that in 2012 the United Nations established the International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March of each year.

What researchers have found is that people that are generally happier or have higher levels of well-being are more sociable and have more energy than people that report being less happy. They are generally more charitable and cooperative, and perhaps not surprisingly more liked by others.

In fact there is evidence that the thinking process of people that are generally happier is substantially more flexible and ingenuous. In relation to work they show greater levels of productivity, they are better leaders, better negotiators and possibly as a result they earn more money.

In terms of health and the ability to face difficulties happier people also have a considerable advantage. They are more resilient in the face of hardship, have stronger immune systems, are physically healthier and live longer.

So it is an advantage to be a generally happy person! But I have to wander, are these people happy and therefore they experience these benefits? Or: some people have these characteristics anyway and because of that, they experience generally happier lives?

So what I really want to know is this: If I increase my happiness levels in general, do I start experiencing higher levels of these characteristics? Short & Simple answer: YES!

So, what do you think? In light of this knowledge is it relevant for you and me to be happier in our lives for the improvement of our society?

Here is the Mothership of all questions: Can we increase our happiness? YES! HOW?

The answer to that is not as simple as one may think but we will start to explore it on the next blog on this topic.

Ivan

(Original version of this article was published in it´s Greek version on the newspaper Ανατολή)

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