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Embrace Happiness for a Better Life

Jonathan Riley

“Happiness is a deep sense of flourishing, not a mere pleasurable feeling or fleeting emotion, but an optimal state of being.” – Matthieu Ricard

For the first time, antidepressants have become one of Australia’s most commonly prescribed drugs. Antidepressants were the third most commonly prescribed drug by people of all ages around the world, and the most commonly used by those aged 18 to 44. According to research, the global rate of antidepressant use increased nearly 400% between 2005 and 2021. So why are people so unhappy? Well, happiness is the result of joy, contentment, or positive well-being combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile. Unhappiness on the other hand is a byproduct of stress, anger, insecurity, unresolved trauma, frustration, low self-esteem, poor health, a lack of belonging and connection, and a lack of life purpose and meaning.

More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence,” and his words still ring true today. Aristotle believed that happiness is a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself. This has led him to give the topic of happiness more attention than any other thinker before the modern era.

Mental health is the second most significant factor affecting happiness and unhappiness in life. Over the last few decades, a growing body of scientific research has established a link between happiness and physical health and overall well-being. A significant portion of this research comes from the emerging field of Positive Psychology, which seeks to understand the benefits and causes of positive emotions by compiling a body of research that aids in our understanding of the characteristics and circumstances that contribute to happiness. A substantial body of research now shows that positive emotions have an effect on physical health, resulting in a healthier and longer life.

Why is happiness so important?

1. People who are happy are more successful in a variety of areas of their lives, including marriage, friendship, income, job performance, and health.

2. People who are happy are less likely to get sick and have fewer symptoms when they do.

3. People who are happy have more friends and a stronger support system.

4. People who are happy are more likely to donate to charity.

5. People who are happy are more likely to be helpful and volunteer.

6. People who are happy have an easier time navigating life because optimism alleviates pain, sadness, and grief.

7. People who are happy have a positive influence on others and encourage them to pursue happiness.

8. People who are happy have more in-depth and meaningful conversations.

9. People who are happy exercise more frequently and eat more healthily.

10. Instead of being envious of others, happy people are content with what they have.

11. People who are happy live longer than those who are not.

12. People who are happy are more productive and creative.

As the list above indicates, there is a strong correlation between mental health and happiness. When you consider that happy people are healthier, have stronger relationships, make friends more easily, and achieve greater success in life, it’s easy to see why happiness and mental health are connected.

In conclusion, research indicates that happiness has a variety of beneficial effects on our performance, health, and relationships. As a result, rather than success being the key to happiness, research suggests that happiness may be the key to success. There is compelling scientific evidence that happiness is important to society. The pursuit of happiness is significant because it can help people live happier lives and contribute to a more productive, healthy, and cohesive society.


Allen, K. (2020, June 22). The habits of unhappy people (and what you can do about them). Retrieved from

Williamson, M. (2014, November 03). Why does happiness matter? Retrieved from