You might wonder why happiness is important. If you believe as I do that happiness is a choice and a skill that can be learned, why is it important enough to go out of your way for.
Why choose happiness?
We can find some good reasons in this list of ten things happy people have in common.
1- Feel Good
Happiness is fun and it feels good. That is a worthwhile reason why happiness is important all by itself.
2- Live Longer
Many studies have shown that happy people live longer. One study followed nuns who wrote a short biographical sketch before taking their vows. At the age of 85, 90% of the nuns with cheerful biographies (top 25%) was still alive, compared to just 54% of the least cheerful. At 94 years of age, 54% of the most cheerful quarter were alive compared to only 11% of the least cheerful. Many other studies have shown similar results.
3- Have Better Health
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Another reason why happiness is important is that the link between stress and illness is very well known and well documented, as is the reverse. Happy, positive feelings change the chemical make up of our bodies, producing chemicals that enhance immunity, cell repair, and building strength. Happiness is the opposite of stress. See the article, Three Research Findings on the Link Between Happiness and Health, for more ways being happy is good for your health.
4- Bounce Back Faster
Happiness and optimism go together. Optimistic people see bad things as temporary and good things as permanent. Their positive expectation of good things helps them see and act on options and opportunities faster. There is a saying, you get what you look for. Optimists look for opportunities for a good outcome.
5- Are More Likely to Be Romantically Involved
Happy people are more likely to be romantically involved. Study after study shows that happy people are more likely to be married, romantically involved and have multiple close friendships. Scientists have struggled with whether being happy makes you more attractive or more likely to get married or getting married makes you happier. It seems both may be true. Happier people are more attractive and being happier makes you more likely to be attracted to someone else.
6- Solve Problems Better and Faster
Many studies have shown that people who are in a positive or happy mood 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.
7- Look for the Win-Win
Scientists theorize that our positive emotions, like happiness, serve an evolutionary purpose. Where negative emotions spur us to fight or flight by generating chemicals in our bodies, positive emotions spur us to learn, explore and grow the same way. In short, positive emotions create a completely different way of thinking in our bodies.
8- Are Not Violent
When you hear about the last few days of a killer’s life people they never say, he seemed so happy. Happy people want to make love more than they want to make war. The physiological state caused by happiness helps happy people see the win-win solutions and be drawn to avoid conflict.
9- Are More Likely to Help Others
There is a strong link between feeling good and doing good. Not only does doing good help us feel good, but studies have shown that happy people are more willing to share their good fortune to help others than unhappy people. Happy people make the world a better place.
10- Are Lucky
Our final reason why happiness is important come from studies that show 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.
Perhaps less obvious is the link between luck and virtue. Almost every culture and religion respects happiness or the behaviors that happy people exhibit. In an extensive study of all the worlds religions, the VIA Inventory of Virtues and Strengths , found six core virtues common to all major religions and cultures.
Wisdom and Knowledge
Love and Humanity
Spirituality and Transcendence
Exercising any one of these virtues usually causes happiness either mindfully or through flow. When we respect and admire someone, as we do with people who are good, we unconsciously give them breaks and the benefit of the doubt- contributing to luck. So happy people are often respected for their virtue and they are more likely to find good outcomes when bad things happen. Truly, happy people are blessed with good luck.
(source: Happy Life U)