Gosh, I am on a roll this week.
Just read an article on the BBC news website where they claim that your level of happiness is determined half by your genes, the other half by lifestyle, career and relationships. Thought-provoking...read it here.
I guess this kind of research leads to a deeper consideration for me of what is actually meant by happiness. I assume they no doubt would have provided a definition of happiness upon which to base this research, but I can't see it referred to explicitly in the article.
So, here's a definition I found doing a google:
Happiness is an emotional or affective state that is characterized by feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction. As a state and a subject, it has been pursued and commented on extensively throughout world history. This reflects the universal importance that humans place on happiness (Wikipedia)
How much we can rest on Wikipedia's definition I am not sure, but it's food for thought. My brother and belle-soeur bought me the Dalai Lama's book 'The Art of Happiness' two Christmases ago, and a very good book it is too. It is rather Buddhist in its outlook (well, there's a surprise) but common sense too. Underlines the ideas of non-attachment - because if you become attached to things this will only cause suffering and misery as nothing lasts. And encourages you to develop compassion and goodwill towards others which should raise your happiness levels because you are giving, and helping others kind of thing.
The BBC article states that researchers who did this believe that even if one is more predisposed to feelings of unhappiness than happiness, there are things we can all do to increase our happiness levels.
So these are some of the things I do to try and maintain a healthy dose of happiness in my life:
- Singing and dancing to music
- Drinking wine occasionally (like right now - haha! well, I have had a tiring day!) ;)
- Spending time with my family and friends and friends' children (especially Little Miss GodDaughter!)
- Writing down whatever stuff comes into my head
Lots lots more besides but they're some of the immediate things that have popped into my head. Nothing particularly unusual or out of the ordinary.
I hope you are all happy and remember to invest your time and energy into the things that make you feel happy and give you a sense of fulfilment and joy.
So as a parting note, here's yet another youtube video of a man whose music makes me very happy. I think I must be one of his biggest fans - he's fab! This is him singing on dear old Richard & Judy...