My post this week is in response to the split opinions across the world over the US presidential election. Whether you are for or against the outcome, a nation has been divided, rocked to its core and its created shockwaves about our core values — on a global scale.
Now, more than ever, we need our global community to be a place to exercise kindness, inclusivity, generosity, happiness and love. Each of us must ensure our world is a happy place, people aren’t suffering, and most importantly we each take action to make this happen.
Last year, I joined Action for Happiness, an organisation that includes The Dali Lama as its patron. It invites its members to take action to increase wellbeing in their homes, workplaces, schools and local communities.
More than ever, we need this NOW.
Everyone's path to happiness is different. But, based on scientific research, Action for Happiness have identified 10 keys to happier living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling.
The 10 keys to happier living include:
- Giving - do things for others
- Relating - connect with people
- Exercising - take care your body
- Awareness - live life mindfully
- Trying out - keep learning new things
- Direction - have goals to look forward to
- Resilience - find ways to bounce back
- Emotions - look for what’s good
- Acceptance - be comfortable with who you are
- Meaning - be part of something bigger
Where are you already taking actions of happiness in your life? Small things can lead to big positive changes, so choose an action and make it happen.
Did you know that happy people live longer?
Happiness doesn't just feel good. A review of 100s of studies has found compelling evidence that happier people have better overall health and live longer than their less happy peers. Anxiety, depression, pessimism and a lack of enjoyment of daily activities have all been found to be associated with higher rates of disease and shorter lifespans.
Happiness is a skill you can learn
Western neuroscience has now confirmed what Eastern wisdom has known for a long time: happiness is a skill we can learn. Research shows that happiness, compassion and kindness are the products of skills that can be learned and enhanced through training, thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brains.
Giving is good for you
When we give to others it activates the areas of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins in the brain and boosts happiness for us as well as the people we help. Studies have shown that giving money away tends to make people happier than spending it on themselves.
Happiness fuels success
When we're positive, our brains are more motivated, engaged, creative, energetic, resilient, and productive. We all want to live happy and fulfilling lives and we want the people we love to be happy, too. So happiness matters to all of us.
Be a happiness activist - Be a force for positive change in the world around you.
Go out there and hug someone today!