What's So Great About Happiness, Anyway? (The Answer: Plenty!)Here are 14 research-backed reasons why it's totally worth striving for. By June Silny
Who needs another habit to worry about? You barely have enough hours in the day to fit everything in, let alone trying to exercise a couple times a week and sleep 7 hours instead of 5…why add trying to be happier to your to-do list? Well, here are 14 facts about happiness that prove the effort is truly worthwhile.
1. Happy people are more successful.
You might be thinking that success makes you happy, but as reported by psychologists Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener, numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. Happiness leads to success—and yes, even a longer life (more on that later!).
2. Happy people get sick less often.
A study from Carnegie Mellon University found that people who are happy are less likely to catch colds, while depressed, nervous or angry people are more likely to complain about cold symptoms. The authors report that the happier study participants weren't infected as often, and experienced fewer symptoms even when they did get sick.
3. Happy people have more friends.
Let's face it: Happy people are more fun to be with. Nobody wants to spend too much time around a downer.
And here's why social relationships are so important: Warm, caring friendships provide a stabilizing support system. Good friends are validating, inspiring and motivational. They boost our sense of purpose and belonging, and countless studies have shown that strong social bonds are key to a well-lived life. Not surprisingly, happy people have more friends because they are stable, giving, and supportive.
4. Happy people donate more to charity (and giving money to charity makes you happy, too).
You may have heard that generosity lights up the pleasure and reward regions of the brain. (These are the same areas that light up when humans are exposed to things like art, attractive faces, and cocaine. Science shows that it works both ways: giving to others makes us happier, but happy people also donate more t