March 20th celebrates the United Nations International Day of Happiness as a means of recognising happiness as a fundamental human goal.
For me a great definition of happiness ‘Something useful to do, someone to love and something to look forward to.’
Just think for a minute. How many people in your network do you know that are really thriving and living lives that are happy, purposeful and fulfilling?
If it’s more than 1 in 5, chances are you’re lucky enough to be in the company of particularly positive people. Research shows only about twenty percent of people are flourishing or living life at, or close to, their optimal potential, while the rest of us are in the middle somewhere or even worse languishing at the bottom.
You see we are not hardwired for happiness; we are hardwired for fear and survival.
The primitive brain was and still is concerned with staying alive and safe, with happiness very much an optional extra. But in today’s world, where there is so much distraction, and so much needless negativity, I believe happiness, fulfilment and contentment are not optional extras but essential, the essence of your wellbeing.
The good news is that you can learn simple happiness-boosting habits which not only feel good but can have a big impact on your sense of wellbeing. And make you more successful by whatever way you want to define success – whether it’s by the quality of your relationships, career accomplishments, creativity, energy or your health. Furthermore positivity is contagious through your social networks, spreading in a ripple effect through your family, organisation/workplace and community. A real win-win-win.
As humans, we seem happiest when we have not just pleasure and engagement, but also a strong sense of purpose and meaning in our lives.
Choosing to be kinder and express gratitude; valuing your relationships; embracing realistic optimism, simplicity and a more mindful approach to everyday life. Not forgetting regular exercise – the greatest pill of all.
Choosing to expand your happiness is a fundamental commitment to become aware of the potential for wellbeing that lies within. You can choose to gift yourself more balance, harmony and fulfilment; a platform for success and a life of real contribution and significance.