An interesting article on some of the news bulletins this morning (Tuesday 30 December 2014) was the latest survey on how happy people were with their lives. People living in Fiji were the happiest and those in Iraq were the most unhappy. Details were taken from the End of Year Survey by WIN/Gallup International. So where did the UK sit?
It is difficult to find specific details but it appeared to be in the 50s of the 65 countries that were surveyed. Is that surprising? I don’t think so. We have been through a festive period that feels like it has been more focused on consumerism than ever before. It is all about having things to make you happy. If you buy this item you will have a better life, if you buy this food it will make you happier, if you go on this holiday it will make you smile – all things we are being bombarded with through advertising.
If you are to believe what you are having thrown at you it is things, products and services that will make you happy. Clearly this isn’t the case. If you listen to the stories from many of the lottery winners having things, money etc doesn’t make you happy.
I have been thinking a lot about happiness and how to achieve it this year. My conclusion is quite simple, happiness is something inside you. We all have the ability to be happy but we have to recognise it and reassess our priorities and what matters to us. A smile from a friend, a chat to your mum and feeling as though you have made a difference to someone or something cost nothing and can all make you happy.
I am taking part in The Guardian Happy for Life project which is an interesting way to gauge what makes you happier. It is well worth a look or considering downloading the app to take part http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/happy-for-life . As 2015 approaches I will continue the quest to understand happiness, my own and others and how I can have more in my life.