Cultivating Happiness

How to cultivate Happiness…

The pursuit of happiness takes a lifetime, we have condensed what is a lifelong series of adaptations and optimisations in one blog! Please treat this with a pinch of salt the below merely scratches the surface with a few tips that can help you on your journey for the quest towards the holy grail!

Happness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

Happiness is important because it can improve your overall well-being, physical health, and quality of life. When you’re happy, you’re more likely to experience positive emotions, have better relationships, and perform better at work or in other areas of your life. Additionally, happiness can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Here are some ways to cultivate happiness: 

Practice gratitude: Focus on the good things in your life and express appreciation for them.

Practicing gratitude is a simple yet powerful way to enhance your overall well-being and mental health. It involves focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of your life, even during challenging times. 

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn

Engage in activities you enjoy:

Spend time doing things that bring you pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, or spending time with loved ones.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” – Mark Twain

Build positive relationships:

Surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel good.

Building positive relationships is an essential part of a fulfilling and happy life. Here are some steps to help you build and maintain positive relationships with others:

Effective Communication:

Listen actively: Pay full attention to what the other person is saying, without interrupting or forming your response in your mind. Communicate openly and honestly: Be open about your thoughts, feelings, and needs while also being respectful of the other person’s perspective. Use positive body language: Maintain eye contact, offer a warm smile, and use open and inviting gestures.


Quality Time:

Spend quality time together to strengthen your connection. This could include shared activities, conversations, or simply being present with each other. Be mindful of the time you spend together, ensuring that it’s meaningful and enjoyable for both parties.

Positive Feedback and Appreciation:

Express appreciation and gratitude for the other person’s contributions and qualities. Regularly provide positive feedback to acknowledge their efforts and achievements.


Be willing to forgive and move past conflicts or mistakes. Holding grudges can be detrimental to relationships. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning hurtful actions but rather letting go for your own well-being.

Maintain Balance:

Balance your time and energy among various relationships in your life, including family, friends, and romantic partners. Don’t neglect self-care and personal boundaries in the pursuit of building relationships.

Take care of your physical health: Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep.

Taking care of your physical health is essential for overall well-being. Here are some key steps to help you maintain and improve your physical health:

Balanced Diet:

  • Consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  • Limit processed foods, added sugars, and excessive salt in your diet.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.

Regular Exercise:

  • Engage in regular physical activity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days.
  • Find an exercise routine that you enjoy making it sustainable.

Adequate Sleep:

  • Prioritize getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Create a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation and restful sleep.
  • Avoid excessive screen time before bed, caffeine, and heavy meals close to bedtime.

Stress Management:

  • Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or mindfulness to manage stress and promote mental and physical well-being.
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent chronic stress.
  • We have talked about stress in more detail in one of our other blogs.

Remember that physical health is interconnected with mental and emotional well-being. A holistic approach that combines good physical practices with mental and emotional self-care is essential for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance regarding your specific health needs and goals.

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Maintaining Happiness


Practice self-care: Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and taking time to relax and unwind.

Keep a gratitude journal: Write down things you’re grateful for each day to help you maintain a positive perspective.

Focus on the present moment: Practice mindfulness or meditation to help you stay present and fully engaged in the moment.

Surround yourself with positive people: Spend time with people who uplift and support you and try to avoid negative influences.

Engage in meaningful activities: Find activities that give you a sense of purpose or contribute to your overall well-being.

Stay curious and keep learning: Engage in activities that challenge you and help you to learn new things.

Practice kindness and compassion: Show kindness and compassion to yourself and others, and practice forgiveness.

Remember that maintaining happiness is a continual process, and it’s okay to experience ups and downs along the way. These strategies can help you to stay on track and maintain a positive outlook over the long-term.

Science says that Happiness is real...

There is a significant amount of scientific research that supports the benefits of happiness for individuals and society as a whole. Here are some examples:

Improved well-being:

Happiness has been linked to increased life satisfaction, positive emotions, and better mental and physical health outcomes. Research shows that happy people have lower levels of stress and anxiety, lower rates of depression and other mental health disorders, and better physical health outcomes, including a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.

Better relationships:

Happy people tend to have more positive relationships with others. They are more likely to be social, make friends more easily, and have more satisfying romantic relationships.

Improved work performance:

Research shows that happy employees are more productive, creative, and engaged in their work. They are also less likely to experience burnout and more likely to stay with their employer for longer.

Increased resilience:

Happiness can help people cope with stress and adversity more effectively. Happy individuals are more resilient, which means they are better able to bounce back from setbacks and overcome challenges.

Positive societal outcomes:

Countries with higher levels of happiness tend to have higher levels of social trust, greater levels of economic prosperity, and better governance.


The evidence suggests that happiness has a wide range of benefits for individuals and society as a whole. The above represents just a few examples of the many studies that have been conducted on the benefits of happiness. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the idea that happiness is an important factor in promoting individual and societal well-being.

So, what about being Unhappy what does that mean for our health...

“meta-analysis based on 24 studies estimated that happy people live 14% longer than persons who report that they are unhappy.” – Bruno S. Frey

Research suggests that unhappiness or chronic negative emotions can have negative effects on both mental and physical health. Here are some examples:

Mental Health

Unhappiness is strongly associated with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress. People who are unhappy are at a higher risk of developing these conditions and may also have poorer coping skills to deal with difficult life events. A study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that people who experienced chronic negative emotions had higher rates of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Physical Health

Unhappiness has been linked to a number of negative physical health outcomes. Studies have found that unhappy people have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic pain, and other health problems. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that people who reported feeling unhappy had higher levels of inflammation in their bodies, which is a risk factor for a range of chronic diseases. Another study published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine found that unhappy people had higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can contribute to a range of health problems.

Immune System

Unhappiness can also have an impact on the immune system. Research has found that chronic negative emotions can suppress the immune system, making individuals more vulnerable to infections and illnesses. A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that people who reported feeling lonely or unhappy had weaker immune systems and were more likely to get sick than those who reported feeling happy and socially connected.


Unhappiness can also affect sleep quality and duration. Studies have found that people who are unhappy or stressed are more likely to have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and may have more frequent nightmares. A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that people who reported feeling unhappy or stressed had poorer sleep quality and were more likely to wake up during the night.


A large body of research has linked happiness and positive emotions to a longer life expectancy. Conversely, unhappiness has been associated with a shorter life span. For example, A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who reported feeling happier tended to live longer than those who reported feeling unhappy. The study followed a large sample of individuals over a period of several decades and found that those who were happier tended to have a lower risk of death from a range of causes.

Overall, the evidence suggests that being unhappy or chronically experiencing negative emotions can have significant negative effects on both mental and physical health. It is important to take steps to improve emotional well-being and seek support if needed.

Here are a few of our references…

  1. Mental health: Kuppens, P., Realo, A., & Allik, J. (2008). Individual and situational predictors of negative emotions in Estonian and Dutch young adults. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(2), 373–385.
  1. Physical health: Steptoe, A., Dockray, S., & Wardle, J. (2009). Positive affect and psychobiological processes relevant to health. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 66(5), 41–50.
  1. Immune system: Pressman, S. D., Cohen, S., Miller, G. E., Barkin, A., Rabin, B. S., & Treanor, J. J. (2005). Loneliness, social network size, and immune response to influenza vaccination in college freshmen. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67(6), 881–888.
  1. Sleep: Lallukka, T., Sivertsen, B., Kronholm, E., Bin, Y. S., Øverland, S., Glozier, N., … & Kivimäki, M. (2013). Association of change in sleep duration with healthy ageing in the young-old: a longitudinal study. Sleep, 36(11), 1809-1817.
  1. Life expectancy: Diener, E., Chan, M. Y., Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2011, 108 (45) 18212-18215.
  1. Bruno S. Frey Happy People Live Longer.Science 331,542-543(2011).DOI:10.1126/science.1201060

The Science is overwhelming now go get happy!

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