As Aristotle said, “happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” For centuries, happiness has been studied and shown to be a significant aspect of our day-to-day lives. Countless research studies have shown how our mood impacts our relationships, our engagement at work, and our overall well-being. Happiness plays such a large role in our lives that colleges are now adding courses to their curriculum on the importance of being happy.
When we are happy we are more likely to make healthy decisions. In our professional lives, we are more likely to be engaged in our work when we are feeling positive. According to a Harvard Business Review article by Annie McKee entitled, Being Happy at Work Matters, disengaged, unhappy employees don’t add much value and can have negative impacts on the rest of the workforce by infecting others with their attitude. As McKee put it, “their emotions and mindset impact others’ moods and performance tremendously.” This is one of the reasons we see companies devoting more time and resources to creating fun and engaging workspaces. These spaces allow employees to decompress, relax, and enjoy some social time with their coworkers.
Despite our best efforts to control our environment, we often have little control over outside influences. A person can feel a number of emotions throughout the day depending on what is happening in their personal lives. Stress, hunger, and lack of sleep can all have a negative impact on our ability to see the glass as half full. There are, however, things a person can do to help improve their overall mental state. Practicing yoga or meditation, creating a daily list of things that you are thankful for, spending time with friends and family, or even seeking the professional help of a therapist are all positive actions that can help to improve your mood and general contentment.