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#HappyFacts: The Secret to Happiness

Each week, Live Happy Radio presents #HappyFacts designed to enlighten, educate and entertain you. Here’s a look at what we’re talking about this week:

The secret to thriving revealed

Many Thumbs Up!In the ongoing search for what makes us happy, it makes sense that people who are thriving in life will have greater well-being. But the definition of thriving and exactly how it’s achieved has remained something of a mystery.

Even researcher Daniel Brown of the University of Portsmouth in the U.K.—who just completed a study on thriving—acknowledges that the exact definition is nebulous. But for the sake of his research, he settled on “feeling good about your life and being good at something.”

Daniel discovered that thriving people share certain characteristics such as spirituality, optimism, motivation, flexibility and self-esteem. But they also have certain factors in their life, such as opportunity, support and a calm environment. When pro-thriving characteristics collide with these factors, ta-da! You’ve got happiness.

These factors will of course change throughout our lifetime. Daniel is now looking at what kind of lasting or cumulative effect thriving has on us and how learning to thrive in good times can help sustain us when things aren’t going so well.

Building better employees

You Got This!If you’re a boss looking to create a better work environment, maybe you need more mentors. While the benefits of on-the-job mentoring will vary from one person to the next, studies show that having mentors in the workplace can lead to happier and more fulfilled employees. 

Not only does on-the-job mentoring allow the mentee to build more confidence and take better control over his or her career, but it also builds a greater sense of job satisfaction. That, in turn, can lead to greater company loyalty – which, of course, means they’re more likely to stay on the job instead of looking for new opportunities. 

The person being mentored isn’t the only one who benefits, either. Mentors find an increased sense of self-worth as they share their knowledge and it can help re-energize careers.

Live like you were dying

ThinkingIf you spend a little time thinking about death each day, you might just make yourself happier. Really!

That’s because thinking about death and pondering your own mortality can help you strive to create a legacy and find more purpose in your life. According to a new study published in OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, those who acknowledged their own mortality were more likely to do something to make a lasting difference.

Rather than fearing death, they saw an opportunity to leave something behind, which gave them a sense of purpose. Not only does a sense of purpose increase our personal well-being, but it can offset feelings of powerlessness about our lifespan and inevitable death. Along with that sense of purpose comes greater self-regulation and responsibility for our health, as well as a greater tendency to participate in personal development.

But if you’re one of those frightened by the thought of death, take heart—there is a silver lining. Researchers found that people who were afraid of their own mortality were more likely to make healthier choices as a way to offset an early demise. Just think of it as a “scared straight” program for your soul.


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