Economics of Happiness

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Happiness is an important, but often overlooked item when someone is discussing how successful and well developed a country is.

Countries are often pitted head to head against each other, vying for the top spots on charts measuring average incomes of households, net profit earned, GDP, per capita income, unemployment rates, crude-oil prices, and how much their stocks are worth. We are now judging a nation’s development through these old-fashioned statistics or numbers. These statistics are brought together with some standard mathematical formulas, however it’s a good question if these numbers can also measure smile or sadness on your face? However, as society evolves, many other types of measurements come to light, from the serious, like the pay gap between men and women, to the silly, like how many public washrooms there are per square kilometer. Despite all of these measurements, though, the happiness of citizens is rarely talked about. Measuring levels of positivity, though seemingly insignificant, can determine the number of people immigrating to the country, help depressed people get the support they need, and even strengthen economy.

The lack of good feeling can also be the product of other more malignant factors, such as lack of employment, or an abundance of stress in general. Naturally, people will gravitate towards countries that may be less developed, but are in a more optimistic state of mind. It is surprising that stress levels, anxiety, or depression rates are higher in the developed countries than their less developed fellows.

Depression and other mental illnesses are life threatening. It is imperative people suffering from internal diseases get the help and support they need, which is why the happiness quotient matters so much. People are often more likely to seek help when they are confronted with the cold hard truth. Filling out the questionnaire that determines their positivity towards life, they can easily see if they are crossing over into dangerous, depressive territories. Even better, workplaces can retrieve the results, and then discreetly monitor employees who may be at risk.

Happier workers make for more productive workers, and a boost in productivity will naturally lead to more profit and a stronger economy. Plus, with less negativity, there will be less tension and stress in the workplace, leading to a happier environment. Also, as mental illness causes many health problems, a higher degree of contentment will put less strain on healthcare systems, and save the money that is usually put towards antidepressants and similar medications.

Obviously, happiness is an important, but often overlooked item when someone is discussing how successful and well developed a country is. What people often forget is that the men and women working within society are the ones that truly matter, not profit. After all, money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, nor does it buy you true friends and loyal family members to look out for you. Our society needs to change from the money, money, money mindset to a more beneficial, healthier train of thought that focuses on inner peace and the enjoyment of life.

At last, if people of the country are not happy, then we cannot call the country developed, doesn’t matter what numbers are saying and what policies their government is adopting. A smile on a face is important!

Should You Disclose Your Struggles to Your Friends?

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Undoubtedly, life is not known for being excessively kind all of the time. There will be occasions where the situation is less than ideal, and the ensuing struggle is difficult to bear alone. However, the debate then becomes whether or not one should discuss these challenges with friends and family. On one hand, the conversation may be constructive and helpful in recovering from the current darkness, but, unfortunately, the sharing process may lead to rejection and discomfort for all parties involved. Therefore, it is necessary to use one’s judgment in deciding through consideration of a few general factors such as type of relationship, past experiences, and what the end result may be.

The instinct may be to share with whomever one knows for the longest period of time, but this may not be the best route. The ideal confidant is familiar, but can also keep their distance and be objective with regards to giving advice. Of course, a mere acquaintance is a poor choice and may lead to uncomfortable circumstances, but a best friend may be quick to defend and shift away responsibility, which can turn the meaningful discussion into a pity party. Additionally, each friend probably has a ‘designated’ role in one’s life (the wing-person, the partier, etc.). Decide what type of role would best fit the need, and reach out to that person.

Stereotyping, though, will only be accurate to a limited degree. The best indicator of future success is past experience. If one friend has a track record of being a good listener, then they would be an obviously advantageous choice. However, if another person is loose-lipped and threatens any hope of being discrete, look elsewhere. The objective is to create a safe environment, so insecurities can be temporarily swept under the rug and vulnerabilities can show.

Finally, it is essential to consider the end result of the conversation. Hopefully, the disclosure will accomplish something, even if it is only relief from being able to share a burden. No dramatic outcome such as a complete and total resolution needs to come from it, but progress towards recovery should be achieved in some form, which may not be immediately obvious. In other words, the most important aspect to consider is a sense of well-being. However, this will come at the price of complete and utter honesty, which is incredibly difficult to achieve. Therefore, it is ultimately best to confide in someone removed from the situation in order to decrease anxiety.

All in all, confiding in a friend about struggling with some aspect of life is a meaningful and helpful process for alleviating the pain of emotions, but only with the right person. Remember, the ultimate goal is to have an outlet to which to voice frustrations and a figure who offers advice in a positive form.

From grief-stricken to a good time – Five tips to rise

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In life, everyone suffers some kind of downfall from time to time whether it be the passing of a friend or disappoint arising from a setback in their career. However, what defines a person is never their losses, but how they recover and learn about themselves in the process. Obviously, this is easier said and done, requiring effort and commitment to come to terms with grief and rise above it to face the brighter future, but the five steps outlined below simplify the process and provides a starting place for people who feel lost in the world.

Firstly, understand it is natural to be upset, and know that everyone, at some point in time, will go through a similar experience. However, after a few days, strive to get your life back on track by reintegrating one routine every day to gain back some control and sense of normality. For example, going grocery shopping, browsing your favorite store, and meeting up with a friend for coffee are all viable options designed to dull the impact of grief. Be open, and accept help from others. It is difficult enough to deal with pain even without having to shoulder the burden alone.

To cope during the earlier days, distractions are necessary to prevent sinking into a deep, dark hole of despair and depression. Exercising, watching television in moderation, and working on a hobby are all viable options for quelling the overwhelming desire to mope. This is not to say reminiscing about the past should be avoided at all costs, but it should be limited to only short periods of time in safety and comfort. However, if the pain does bubble to the surface unexpectedly, acknowledge it and move on without making a big fuss.

As many may already know, talking about loss is an important step on the road to recovery. It is still unacceptable to rant to your barista or post a five mile long status on Facebook, but having a chat with a few close friends can provide some relief. Closing in and detaching from the people who care is one of the most harmful actions you can take. Refusing to share with anyone is a sign of denial, which can slow down the recovery process and present barriers to future social interactions.

Although this may sound counterintuitive, do not only think of the good times. Remembering a friend’s laughter and companionship or how a supervisor once bought gourmet coffee for everyone at the office is normal and pleasant, but does nothing in the long run. To effectively deal with grief, your viewpoint needs to be at least somewhat impartial, taking into account the bad as well. Some negativity regarding your past can alleviate some of the feelings of losing something holy, allowing you to turn the rose-colored glasses towards the future instead.

Finally, believe in that you will overcome this hurdle, and find footing again in the very near future. Appreciate whatever glimpses of happiness that arise, without guilt or allowing judgment to register. It is genuinely all about perspective, with optimism always winning in the race towards recovery and living to the fullest once again. With the right attitude and an honest acknowledgment of pain with a reflective and open mind, the world will grow brighter in no time.

Though this process can be complex and difficult, the first step is always finding the courage and will to follow through with it in order to truly live once again. Grief is definitely unpleasant, but it is also a fact of life and denial of it will only aggravate the situation. Instead, take it in stride, learn from the experience, and rise up to reach the sky of happiness once again.