A recent study out of Britain confirms what I think the wellness community already knew:  Happiness suggests and actually contributes to well-being. The opposite is also true: A lack of happiness can predict illness and death. The later statement I think contains a little more shock and awe.

There are over 7 billion people living today on planet earth. How much of this population is actually happy? This is probably an impossible question to answer. Does money buy happiness? I think most of us would agree money is not the key to happiness. Money does buy us comfort and freedom which can lead to less stress and more happiness. The key with money is to use it as a tool and as a means and not become a slave to it. Yet money it seems makes the world go around.  According to globalissues.org almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day! Can you believe those statistics?

Still, those in poverty may be lacking important social attributes like education, proper healthcare and adequate water and healthy food.  Still despite these challenges, happiness can be found anywhere; even in poverty. Some of my fondest days were back in college when I was cash strapped and working my way through school.

So if happiness leads to wellness and longevity; what is it that makes people happy? According to Joyfuldays.com here is the Top Ten things that lead to happiness:

  1. Family and Relationships
  2. Meaningful Work
  3. Positive Thinking
  4. Gratitude
  5. Forgiveness
  6. Giving to Others
  7. Religion or Spirituality
  8. Personal Freedom
  9. Good Health
  10. Watching TV

Watching TV? Watching the boob tube goes against conventional wisdom, yet studies by psychologists and economists confirm that this simple activity increases our enjoyment and happiness in the moment. I find it interesting that “Family and Relationships” is number one because that can transcend poverty which is encouraging. I am a little surprised “Meaningful Work” is number two – I guess having a rewarding job is important. My favorite: “Positive Thinking”…. I am a huge advocate for positive thinking and recent studies in quantum physics shows that we are all connected to energy and having a positive outlook creates positive energy which can govern wellness, karma and even positive manifestation.  Having a positive outlook is important.

So, according to this study, the more happy you are the less of a chance you will be sick, depressed and or dead. So get out there and be happy. Need help? I wrote a book on the subject….


John C. Bader