Thursday, 26 May 2011

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy? This question was the subject of a BBC series called “Happiness Formula” There were 6 programmes examining issues like What is happiness?; The price of happiness; the role of trust in making us happy. One of the reasons for this examination is that research has shown that Britain is less happy than in the 1950s - despite the fact that we are three times richer. The proportion of people saying they are "very happy" has fallen from 52% in 1957 to just 36% today. So what does make us happy? Many of us have been sucked into the lies; if only we had more money then we would be happy; if I purchased the right products; if I wore designer clothes then I will be happy. Shopping has become the number one leisure past time for our nation where we are all in pursuit of happiness through consumerism!  One of the reasons for this is because at the heart of consumerism is the concept of comparison with others. We struggle with being content because pressure comes on us from all angles to “keep up with the Jones” If only we had…. then I will be happy.

What does bring happiness? I believe that meaning and relationships are important and would all go someway in helping us becoming happier people. Firstly relationships, the research highlighted that people who score high on life satisfaction tend to have close and supportive family and friends, whereas those who do not have close friends and family are more likely to be dissatisfied. Secondly, those who had a strong sense of meaning and purpose to their lives were general more happy, especially if the person enjoys his or her work, whether it is paid or unpaid work, and feels that it is meaningful and important, this contributes to life satisfaction.

As a foundation for life I see spirituality really contributing to our happiness, after all it was Jesus who once said I came so you can have real life, more and better life than you ever dreamed of. And aren’t we all looking for a better life?