Contrary to popular belief, happiness is anything but fluffy. There is a strong business case for happiness, and scientific evidence shows that it matters to organizations, people, and communities. In fact, it will be a key ingredient for success in the future of work. Happiness can fluctuate, but a general sense of well-being, satisfaction and fulfillment matters a lot.

Happiness can be defined in several ways: it is joy and a feeling of general well-being. It is contentment and a feeling of positive emotions. Of course, no one is happy all the time, and happiness levels rise and fall depending on circumstances, challenges, and context. Consider that all lifestyle choices have their pros and cons. Every job has things you like and things you don’t like. Partners are a mixture of characteristics that you appreciate and others that annoy you. Even the area or neighborhood where you live will have positive and negative attributes. But overall happiness occurs when the positive outweighs the negative in a macro sense. The best choices are when you get more of the good and less of the bad over time.

Create the conditions for happiness

You can create the conditions for happiness. Even when situations may seem particularly difficult, you can adjust your thinking (“change your mind, change your life”), change your situation, or withdraw from a situation. By empowering yourself and actively choosing what is best for you and others, happiness comes true.

One searcher find happiness is based on three ingredients. First, there is a genetic link to happiness, and those with a “happiness gene” tend to experience greater happiness. Interestingly, researchers at Oxford University have found a gene that predisposes people to experience the conditions around them more intensely, which may also contribute to happiness. But in addition to a genetic component, circumstances contribute to happiness and so do actions. It is the combination of the three (genes, circumstances, and selections) that tends to determine a person’s overall level of happiness. This is good news because our state of mind and our choices count for our feeling of joy and contentment. We can create our own happiness.

Proof of the importance of happiness

Need proof? There is a wide variety of evidence that happiness matters to individuals, businesses, and communities.

Happiness is linked to better health, longevity and well-being for individuals. In a study of nearly 13,000 people by the University of British Columbia, life satisfaction and happiness are linked to everything from reducing the risk of death and depression to reducing chronic pain and physical limitations. Additionally, greater satisfaction with life tends to result in higher levels of purpose, positivity, and mastery. Happiness leads to more happiness and a lot of other goodies too. Another study by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign followed 5,000 people for 40 years and found that those who were happiest had better health and longer life expectancies.

Happiness contributes to the success of a business. In another study by Kansas State University, the researchers found that when people were happier, they exhibited better decision-making and better job performance. They also enjoyed higher levels of physical and emotional well-being, which lowered costs for businesses. In addition, they were more likely to stay with their employer, reducing turnover costs. The effects of happiness on these outcomes were true regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, job tenure, and level of education.

Happiness contributes to success in life. The fact that happy people tend to be more successful in life also contributes to business success. From studies to University of California Riverside found that the positive moods of happy people helped them work harder to achieve their goals, as well as to learn and develop their abilities. Additionally, their confidence, optimism, and energy tend to make them more likable which works in their favor in life. Of course, these elements of character and approach also make a difference for their employers: happy people put in more effort and achieve positive results.

Happiness contributes to well-being and job satisfaction. There is also a relationship between autonomy at work and happiness. According to research by the Birmingham University, when employees report greater control over their tasks and work schedules, they also report higher levels of well-being and job satisfaction. Work is part of life and life is part of work, and the conditions of each have an impact on the other.

Happiness at work contributes to happiness at home. There is still more evidence of this reciprocal relationship between positive experiences at work and those in life. Researchers at Kansas State University, when employees are more engaged, invigorated and dedicated at work, the experience extends into a more joyful family life, which is good for individuals and families as well as for organizations to which they contribute.

Happiness contributes to positive outcomes in communities and societies. In addition to the constructive effects of happiness on individuals, family life and business, contentment and satisfaction are also important for communities. Researchers from University of Leicester produced a large country map and compared happiness with country results. They found that the countries where people were happiest had the best levels of health, wealth (GDP per capita), and educational attainment.

Achieve happiness

You are empowered and can create the conditions for the happiness of blossoming. Although you cannot change your genes, you can achieve greater happiness by influencing your circumstances and making good choices. Say yes to new opportunities, make your contribution to others, and work hard to achieve the goals you hold dear. Achieving happiness is possible through so many ways. You can find the joy and contentment that matters the most.

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