Why Does Happiness Matter?

Happy older Japanese womanHappiness comes in all shapes and sizes. For one person it might be a making a delicious healthy meal for their family, for another—crossing a marathon finish line in record time, and for still another–a soft, sweet kiss from a smiling grandchild.

Does happiness matter? Does it affect your personal life, work or have no impact at all?

Most people would probably say happiness does matter in all aspects of their lives. But how exactly does it matter?

Researchers looking into that very question are finding happiness has a big impact on business and even society as a whole.

According to a study from economists at Warwick University, happier people are more productive. Scientists showed two groups of people either positive or negative film clips. The group viewing the positive film clips was 11% more productive in an experiment controlled for age, IQ and other factors.

Similarly, researchers at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania found companies with happy employees outperformed the stock market year after year, and a team at UCL discovered that young people who identify themselves as happy grow up to earn more than those who don’t.

Studies also show happiness can benefit society as a whole. Happy people are less likely to get sick, less likely to engage in risky behavior and more likely to positively impact society. For example, happy people are more likely to vote, do volunteer work and respect the law.

Happiness does seem to matter. However, it is no easy thing to achieve and more increasingly in today’s society, happiness seems to be tied to money. But the pursuit of happiness is about helping people to live better lives and creating a society that is more productive, healthy and cohesive. That is why “happiness” is one of the main issues Healthy Central Florida works to promote. Being happy can mean spending time with your family, hanging out with friends or even cuddling up with your pet. Healthy Central Florida looks to promote happiness by getting neighbors to know each other, families to get off the couch and interact with one another and communities as a whole to have environments that promote these activities. As Aristotle said: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

For more on happiness, read this article in The Guardian from Action for Happiness.

What are your thoughts on happiness? Tell us in the comments below, write on our Facebook or tweet us @HealthyCentralF. We want to hear from you!