Why bother being happy?

What kind of ridiculous question is that? Isn’t “being happy” supposed to be the holy grail of human experience? We each go through our lives trying to achieve things we have determined will finally help us “be happy”. This can include making more money, getting that promotion, being thinner, winning that award, getting that degree, looking like Brad Pitt, and a plethora of other goals with the hopeful result that, if we just get that thing, then we will be finally, blissfully happy.

Pitt

This is a picture of Brad Pitt

Do you want to know something terrific? You don’t need to reach all of your goals to “be happier” now. Right now, as you are reading this, you can “do happiness”.

“Doing Happiness”? But how?

What is your posture while you are reading this? If you are slouched down on your couch and kind of hunched over in a funky way, then chances are you’re not going to be feeling as good as you could be. If you are sitting (or standing) upright, with a straight back and breathing deeply then you are more likely to feel good. Go ahead and try it. If you are slouched, shift your posture so that your back is straight. Now put a big smile on your face. It doesn’t even matter if it’s a fake smile. Just paste a big goofy grin on your face. Studies have shown (and you’ll get the skinny on that later) that by shifting your posture and physically smiling you can have a direct and measurable effect on your present level of happiness and mood. See that? You just “did happiness” and this is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg. This is what this book is about- teaching simple strategies to incorporate “doing happiness” into our daily lives.

But Isn’t Happiness Over-rated?

I don’t think so, and I hope to prove it to you as you read on. There are many who believe that happiness is not enough of a benefit or a satisfactory goal. Sure there is wonderful research that doing simple things every day will make us feel better, regardless of our present circumstances, but so what?

chicken

And does it matter?

What are all the things that happiness does for us?

What happiness does for us.

The evidence has shown that “being happy” in and of itself, brings great improvement to almost all areas of our lives. This is where things get interesting.

When we feel happy, good things tend to happen more often and more consistently. In fact, many studies have shown that when we feel happy, we become:

-more productive,
-more creative,
-better at our jobs,
– we have better relationships,
-we are far healthier (we even live longer if we’re happier),
-we are perceived as more attractive,
-we tend to make more money,

That’s a pretty impressive list, don’t you think?

So, is being happy the end in itself? Or is happiness the way we get all of these terrific benefits? It doesn’t actually matter, because once we are happy, we get all this great stuff, which will then, help us be happier. You see how that works? It’s a virtuous cycle. Who cares if the chicken or the egg came first when we can have both?

 

How I feel when coffee is ready.

The idea of “doing happiness” can run contrary to a lot of our established societal beliefs. We are often taught that we need to “earn” our happiness. That satisfaction and joy must only come after tremendous amounts of hard work and sacrifice. I mean, you can’t just go around “doing happiness”, you must earn it so you deserve it. This just isn’t true. However, if hard work and sacrifice are your thing, that is completely fine, but please know that feeling good, while you are working hard and sacrificing, will help you be more productive, so that you can accomplish what you want in an easier and more effective way.

Can we uncover the secrets of not only being happy but also the many benefits that happiness brings us to give us a richer and healthier life? You bet!

This blog is an excerpt from my upcoming book Doing Happiness: Uncovering The Hidden Benefits of Feeling Good.

Watch this space for more! Have a  great day.

Rob