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5 Reasons Why Your Happiness Is Essential

5 Reasons Why Your Happiness Is Essential

I used to think that I had to sacrifice my happiness in the now to accomplish things that would give me happiness in the future. Boy, was I wrong. Psychologists now suggest that happiness itself creates success. Translation; being happy may help you build characteristics that make success more likely. So, the pursuit of happiness should include… more happiness to begin with?

Happiness has all kinds of upsides. Perhaps you’ve noticed that life seems to flow best when you’re in a good mood. What’s relatively new and remarkable is that psychologists claim that happiness actually leads to more success. Research suggests that happier people actually do perform better, are more satisfied, and are even seen in better light by their peers. Think about it, it seems natural that when we’re in a positive mood, people like us better, and friendship, love, and alliances are more likely to thrive.

Does happiness lead to more success?

Leading psychologists seem to agree. “Happier people are markedly more satisfied with their jobs than less happy people. Research suggests that more happiness actually causes more productivity and higher income,” states Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., one of the founders of positive psychology.

A positive mood expands our resources according to top names in the field of positive psychology. “In contrast to the constrictions of negative emotion, our mental set is expansive, tolerant and creative. We are open to new ideas and new experience. Studies even offer evidence that positive emotional states boost intellect,” Seligman continues, in his book “Authentic Happiness”.

“The relationship between happiness and success is reciprocal: happiness leads to more success and success leads to more happiness,” concludes Tal Ben-Shahar author of “Happier”, one of the early pioneers of positive psychology at Harvard University.


5 Reasons To Cultivate Happiness

A meta-study, of 225 papers, comprising over 275,000 participants, conducted by forerunners in the field of positive psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener, set out to find if happiness could lead to success. The study found that happy people are indeed successful and flourishing, and that happiness does precede success in a variety of scenarios ranging from performance, to health and quality-of-life improvements. Furthermore the study concluded that “happiness is associated with and precedes behaviors paralleling success and that happiness may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness”.

Here’s list of advantages that happy people have, according to the above mentioned meta-study. I’ve included a few example findings with each advantage.


1. Happy people have clear advantages at work

They are more likely to secure job interviews, be evaluated more positively by supervisors and to show superior performance and productivity. Happier people earn higher incomes and are more satisfied with their jobs.


2. Happy people have better social relationships

Studies show that happier people have more actual friends, companions and high-quality relationships. Happy people also feel more positive toward their friends and judge them more favorably. In a meta-analysis of 286 studies the amount and quality of contacts with friends was strong predictor of well being, even stronger than that of contacts with family. Happy individuals report having stronger social support, and engaging in a greater frequency of activities.


3. Happy individuals tend to have fulfilling marriages and to be more satisfied with their marriages

One study, for example, presented that happy people who are either married or in committed relationships are more likely to describe their partner as being their “great love”. Also, happy people are less jealous of other people competing for their partner’s affections.


4. Happy people are more satisfied with their lives

Another study found that happy and contented individuals have been found to be satisfied with their family life, romantic relationships, friends, health, education, jobs, leisure activities and even their housing and transportation.


5.  Happy people self-report better health and fewer unpleasant physical symptoms

A large Russian study reported that the number of days of work missed because of health problems was also related to happiness. In another study, optimism predicted less pain in a sample of aging veterans.


So, it seems that the pursuit of happiness really is worth while. Indeed, according to studies, happiness seems to boost most life areas. When in a good mood we restrict ourselves less, we’re more open to connect with others, and we have the right mind-set to engage in new ventures. Happiness can create success, and experiences of success in turn build more happiness. This builds a positive spiral.

What I’ve learned from the science of happiness is that I interact best with the world when in a good mood. I perform best when happy, it even makes me a nicer person to interact with. You could argue that this is all pretty obvious. But, what’s key here, in my opinion, is that we find ways to apply this insight in our everyday lives – that we find ways to cultivate happiness.




Ps. I’ll discuss strategies and concrete examples of how to cultivate more happiness in later posts 🙂

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