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  • Writer's pictureDr. Francis Battisti & Dr. Helen Battisti

The Zone - Volume 129

Why be happy?

Recently, the World Happiness Report 2022 was published for the tenth year. The purpose of this report is to offer governments insights into “happiness and well being in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development.” as reported by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The 158-page document is rich with data, perspectives and insights into the importance that happiness plays within the world community. We strongly encourage individuals, who are interested in a meta-analysis of happiness, that you go directly to the report.

This report offers the world a panoramic view of why happiness is so important and how it has evolved over the past ten years. One point that we found particularly interesting is “the most remarkable change seen during COVID-19 has been the global upsurge in benevolence in 2021.” This benevolence has provided notable support for the life evaluations of givers, receivers and observers who have been gratified to see their community’s readiness to reach out to help each other in times of need. In every global region, there have been large increases in the proportion of people who give money to charity, help strangers and do voluntary work in every global region. Altogether the global average of these three measures was up by a quarter in 2021, compared with before the pandemic.

Upon reviewing this report, several questions regarding personal happiness came to mind. While this report offers an international view of happiness, we thought about how individual differences and personal behaviors need to be considered when thinking about ones’ happiness.

One question that we have been asked in some of our workshops addressing happiness is… “Why should I strive for happiness, life just is, isn’t it?” Again, looking at the literature and speaking with others we have found the following reasons to pursue happiness.

  • Happy people are more generous.

  • Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.

  • Happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.

  • Happy people are less likely to get sick and also live longer.

  • Happy people are more likely to get married and have fulfilling marriages and they have more friends.

  • Happy people make more money and are more productive at work.

Another question that has been frequently asked is…” Are there keys to happiness that I need to follow?” While thinking about individual differences or preferences, some concepts to consider are:

  • Build relationships.

  • Give thanks.

  • Practice kindness.

  • Give up grudges.

  • Get physical.

  • Get rest.

  • Pay attention.

  • Don’t focus on material wealth.

Finally, some of the ideas that have been brought to the workshop by participants include:

  • Yearning: What kinds of activities are you naturally drawn to?

  • Rapid Learning: What kinds of activities do you seem to pick up quickly?

  • Flow: In what activities did the steps just come to you automatically?

  • Glimpses of Excellence: During what activities have you had moments of subconscious excellence, “How did I do that?”

  • Satisfaction: What activities give you a kick, either while doing them or immediately after finishing them. “Oh, when can I do that again?”

Experiencing happiness is a life-long process. Thinking about some of these questions may give us insight into additional ways that we can enhance our quality of living.


Key Takeaways

  • Happiness is complex.

  • There are different ways to measure happiness.

  • Happiness needs to be an important component of social policy.

Best Practices

  • Awe Narrative: Recall and describe a time when you experienced awe.

  • Best Possible Self for Relationships: Visualize what your life would be like without the good things you have.

  • Meaningful Photos: Photograph, then write about, things that are meaningful to you.

Things to Limit

  • Not believing that you deserve to be happy.

  • Comparing yourself to everyone else.

  • Not making time to be happy.


Quote of the Week

“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.”

Dali Lama


Happiness can add a richness to one’s life that is full of joy and contentment. While it can be elusive, our mind and our actions can bring it to our door. And then we need to welcome it in.

Be well,

The paraDocs

Check our Welcome Greeting on YouTube

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.

We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.

If you would like to get copies of The ZONE that you may have missed or if you know someone that would like to start receiving The ZONE, please signup today... It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

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