If someone were to ask you if you’re happy with your life right now, what would you say? About half of all Americans would say they feel stressed, worried, or dissatisfied with life.
We live in a society where feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, burnout, lack of fulfillment, and hopelessness are normal. It’s scary to think happiness is a gift only a few can achieve.
But happiness does exist. Several countries around the world find their daily lives satisfying and describe themselves as happy.
There are numerous facts about happiness and the good it can do for you. Finding a sense of happiness improves your overall health, emotional, mental, and physical. Should you be obsessed with achieving total happiness?
Here are a few facts about happiness and why you should find it, too! If people abroad can find happiness, so can you— without having to move out of the country.
Does Happiness Exist?
The idea of happiness is different for each person. Some find having money and material goods means happiness, while others find healthy relationships with friends and family to mean happiness.
There are several happy countries in the world including Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, and the Netherlands. Their freedom, trust, income, life expectancy, generosity, and social support boost their life satisfaction and happiness.
That being said, happiness does exist, but it won’t simply fall into your lap. While there are parts of your brain that control and create a feeling of happiness, there’s a lot more to it.
One of the many facts about happiness you should note is happiness isn’t just a feeling, it’s something you can do. Look for meaning in your life in the little things rather than chase a grandiose idea of happiness.
Happy people build positive habits that help promote joy. A few simple examples include:
- Writing a list of what you’re grateful for every day
- Focusing on positive experiences
- Taking time to appreciate who/what is around you
Small positive changes in your everyday habits will help you find a sense of happiness. It’s a lot easier and more attainable than trying to win the lottery.
Scientific Facts About Happiness
Deep inside your head, there’s an area of the brain responsible for happiness. It’s called the hippocampus, which controls the formation and organization of new memories and emotional responses.
Taking care of your hippocampus is key to maintaining a healthy memory and happiness even during the low times. A healthy hippocampus requires adequate sleep, a healthy diet comprised of OMEGA 3s and antioxidants, exercise, and brain games.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is the chemical that makes us feel happy. It’s in charge of our learning, appetite, mood, sleep, and libido. Low serotonin levels can lead to depression and mood swings. A healthy diet, exercise, and certain types of light help maintain healthy serotonin levels.
Exercise raises serotonin levels and releases endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical in the body. In some cases, patients struggling with depression use exercise as a form of medication rather than turning to prescription drugs.
Happiness leads to better mental, physical, and emotional health.
Facts About Happiness and Your Health
Healthy individuals are 20 percent happier than those who don’t regularly exercise. Happiness and health help work together.
The scientific facts about happiness show how exercise and a healthy diet can improve your mood. However, it works the other way too; feeling happiness improves overall health as well.
Happiness provides health benefits such as lower blood pressure, healthier heart, stronger immune systems, and people with these health benefits bounce back from stress faster.
Other facts about happiness and health include a longer life span, fewer physical aches and pains, and in some cases can fight chronic diseases.
It’s important to mention happiness is not a cure-all for all diseases. Happiness can help you reduce the stress associated with chronic or life-threatening disease but you should always refer to your doctor.
With the numerous benefits to your health, it’s no wonder people are obsessed with finding total happiness.
Facts About Happiness and Work-Life Balance
Stress from work is one of the leading causes of people’s negative outlook on life. We feel the need to constantly be available for work even when we’re done for the day or on vacation.
Feeling the need to constantly be available for work leads to less sleep, exercise, and mental health. This causes stress and deterioration of relationships, health, ability to process information, creativeness, and work performance.
Poor health due to a lack of happiness in the workplace costs employers $190 billion a year in healthcare costs, missed work, and lack of insurance.
For a while, the obsession with happiness meant finding a work-life balance. Rather than focusing on work-life balance, employers and business leaders can add policies to the workday that help foster happiness and health.
A few examples include providing healthy snacks, fitness breaks, email-free weekends, requiring employees to take a vacation/time off, and paid time off for volunteering or parental leave. Not every business can afford all of this, but integrating a few health-oriented policies can improve employee and management morale.
Are You Happy?
Would you consider yourself to be happy? If you’re unsure or feel you’re not at your happiest, there are few behaviors and feelings to look for.
Unhappy people experience much of the following:
- Feel they don’t matter
- Feel like they have nothing to offer
- Compare themselves to others
- Feel that life is meaningless
- Fatigue, pain, weight loss or gain
- Anxiety and depression
- Use alcohol, drugs, sex, or keeping busy in excess
If you’re feeling a few of these, then you’re not as happy as you could be. Fortunately, you can and will find happiness and reinvent yourself.
As described above, making a few changes to your daily routine and taking a few minutes to reflect on the positives of the day will make you happier. Here are a few more facts about happiness that make you happy.
- Nurture relationships in both your personal and professional spheres.
- Be kind, even when it’s hard.
- Look for meaning in the little things.
- Be active.
- Make time for the activities and hobbies you enjoy.
- If necessary, cut out the activities that are detrimental to your emotional and mental health. This includes resigning from a stressful job or avoiding toxic people.
Recognizing and pursuing the activities that bring you joy (including exercise) helps you become a happier and healthier version of yourself.
Reinvent Yourself with Happiness
Now that you know a few facts about happiness, it’s plain to see why so many people today are obsessed with finding happiness. Being grateful for the positives in a day and doing what makes you happy will bring you happiness.
Looking for more great ways to stay happy and healthy? Our latest blog articles keep you in the loop on the latest personal health news to keep you happy and healthy.