Who among us would not like to be happier? The quest for happiness is arguably the defining quality of the human condition. And so positive psychology - the science of happiness - is one of the key guiding principles of Horizons Life Coaching.
Happiness lies at the heart of most religions, drives most of our life choices and is even enshrined in the constitutions of nations such as the United States. And in November 2010 UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that whilst he regarded economic growth as his most urgent priority, he also wanted to find a way to evaluate the nation’s happiness in order to find “a better measure of how the country was doing than GDP (Gross Domestic Product)”.
Positive Psychology and the science of happiness is big news. Inspired by American psychologist Martin Seligman, there has been a tidal wave of research into happiness in recent years. This has led to a substantial body of new scientific evidence about what makes us truly happy. Why is this needed? There are two main reasons:
The result of these two factors is that as economist Richard Layard has pointed out “Today most of us are richer, healthier and have better homes, cars, food and holidays than ever before. But yet we are no happier than we were 50 years ago”.
The science of happiness is starting to provide us the reasons why this should be the case; and is giving us much clearer guidance than we have had before about what does actually make us happy. So we now have considerable evidence that beyond certain (fairly low) levels, acquiring more wealth and possessions does not tend to increase our overall long-term happiness. However, we can all improve our levels of happiness by, for example:
The above is only a very small sample of the many things that we have already learned from the science of happiness. And equally, there is growing evidence of all the actions and behaviours that don’t brink us happiness, such as comparing ourselves with others, spending a long time considering all the options before making any purchases, and watching TV for more than a few hours a week.
The Happiness Pinnacle"© - The unique Horizons' model of Human Happiness.
Horizons Life Coaching Wellbeing Workshops and Consultancy Services.
Three Incredibly Easy Ways to be Happier - Article exploring some of the lessons of Positive Psychology
Working Back to Happiness - Article looking at happiness and wellbeing from a workplace persepective
“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life! This perspective has helped me see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way! So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no-one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination!”
Alfred De Souza