From Health Promotion to Facilitating Happiness?

November 13, 2011 at 10:21 Leave a comment

According to a known estimate approximately 50% of happiness is hereditary, approximately 10% the result of external factors such as an occupation, health or age and the rest 40% is defined by our own attitude, lifestyle and actions (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). The latter is the one that can be affected by regular happiness exercises and changes in thinking.

THL (Terveyden edistämisen laitos, National Institute of Health and Welfare) executed a survey “Onnellisuuden salaisuus” (The secret for happiness) a year ago and one major factor contributing to subjective happiness was cherishing interpersonal relationships. Also positive thinking was strongly related to healthy lifestyle choices (whatever those are) and happiness.

According to THL’s follow up research participants gained happiness as a consequence of THL’s team’s actions:

I’m really happy about the fact that THL does this kind of research since I strongly think that the key in health care and especially public health is in health promotion, not in treating illnesses or even prevention. I also think that putting more emphasis on taking care of one’s relationships is worth while not only due to increased happiness but to prevent strokes and other health issues. Health follows happiness. Maybe we should even start to speak about happiness promotion instead of health? Fresh research shows that psyche and soma often cannot be separated from one another. My guess is that in the future we don’t separate them neither in health care.
Anyway, encouraging people to foster their relationships (family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, public transportation staff, random by-passer or anyone we meet really) would rehabilitate the whole community and society resulting in not just better health but also less crime and increased quality of life. 

Entry filed under: mindfulness. Tags: .

How to: happiness More proof for Valkee earlight

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