What is happiness?  Really, what is it?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the state of being happy”. 

In my experience happiness has two components –

The first component involves the experience of positive emotions – joy, contentment, interest, affection, love etc.  Happier people have been shown to have more frequent positive emotions.

The second component is having a sense of satisfaction with your life, being content with the way that you are progressing towards your life goals.

It is possible to have plenty of the second component, for example, getting promoted, being awarded a pay increase or winning a new client.  But if you don’t have the first component alongside it you cannot be truly happy.

In the UK today we are wealthier, more educated, and live longer than any previous generation.  And yet who out of us can say they are truly happy?

We have been taught that hard work equals success equals happiness – and everyone I speak within business certainly seems to be working hard.  But would it surprise you to know that research shows that happiness is actually a precursor to success?

Neuroscience proves we are hard-wired to perform at our best when we are happy.  Studies show that happy, positive and optimistic people earn higher incomes, set and achieve more aggressive goals, experience less stress, remain calm in high-pressure situations, are more energetic, recover from illnesses faster and live longer.

When we engage positively with others our bodies release chemicals that help reduce anxiety and increase concentration and focus.  How you feel and your attitude towards life all stem from your thoughts, actions and where you focus your time and energy, yet we are constantly surrounded by negativity. 

If we want things to change for ourselves, our families and those around us we must create the change, and we start by choosing positivity and happiness.  Imagine the possibilities if there were more happy and positive people in this world. 

A world with more peace, optimism and compassion is possible.  Like a pebble thrown into a pond, it only takes one to create a ripple of happiness.  Happiness is so contagious that one positive person can spread happiness to more than one thousand people.  That means all it takes to create change is one person.

Happiness is bold, courageous, audacious and challenging.  You have the power to choose happiness and choose to share it.  You can be the catalyst to spread happiness directly and indirectly.

Written by Adeline Garman Kinesica