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What Makes Us "Happy"?

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

For the majority of 2020 most of us have been stuck at home working, home schooling and doing whatever else we can to keep ourselves occupied. Some of us have managed to turn a new leaf, with healthier habits, while others decided to eat, drink, zoom and be merry. Some have found deeper connections with family and friends, while others realized their relationships needs to either be tweaked or end. Some of us have thrown ourselves into our work, while others decided to quit their very lucrative jobs and reconnect with their genuine selves again. Although not everything has been on the most extreme sides of the spectrum, many of us did a lot of self reflecting and introspection during this most unusual year. I believe that many of us can answer the question of "what makes me happy?" better today compared to a year ago.

With that said, what makes YOU happy?

The most common answer has been financial security. Knowing that you can do what you want when you want to, and still have food on the table and a roof over your head. Is that really happiness or simply security of knowing that you are financially stable?

Studies have shown that people who define themselves as being "happy" are not happy 24/7, rather they are happy in their lives for the following reasons:

Socializing: They have strong relationships with friends and family. When they're down or need to talk things out they feel good and comforted they have someone to confide in.

Positivity: It's not surprising that the way we speak (choose your words carefully is a pun for a reason), the way we rationalize (glass is half full, not half empty), colors, music, movies, plants and whatever else we choose to surround ourselves with has an impact on our mood.

Gratitude: People are thankful for what they have, and not just material things. Health, family, friends, colleagues and even looking forward to events such as dinners, parties, concerts-even virtual ones, date nights and getaways may perk us up.

Love: Family, friends, kids, pets, having fun and doing what you love. Anything that brings pleasure typically puts an automatic smile on our faces.

Moments: Smells, memories, cleaning out your closet, organizing, taking a nap. All little things create a positive emotion that can boost moods, energy levels and make us just a little happier.

Philanthropy: Lending a helping hand and making a difference has a positive lasting effect on our internal selves.

Of course most people aren't happy every minute of the day or even daily, but having close ties, enjoying a beautiful day, having fun and being altruistic enhances our personal lives and boosts our state of mind and energy levels. Would the same hold true for productivity in the workplace? Isn't productivity a function of positive emotion and meaning at work? Contact Inspired Action at Work for a Free consultation on how to have, bring back or maintain happiness in the workplace.

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