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Why be happy?

There are many books and programs showing us how to be happy. And, just about everyone wants to be happy. In fact, many people are constantly working on it (which may or may not be a good thing).

One question that is rarely asked, though, is why be happy?

The fact of the matter is, there are many reasons for us to be happy.

Before getting into the answer to the question, here are some facts:

  • 25M people in the US and 150M people globally are “depressed”
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability for people 15-44 years old (cost to the US estimated at $35B annually)
  • 1 in 5 people in the US are on anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs (that’s 60M people) … costing over $20B annually (and $75B globally)

Those are some pretty scary statistics. Even scarier, an article from 2009 states that...

  • Preschool children (children under the age of 5) are the fastest growing segment of the antidepressant drug market!

So, first, from a strictly financial point of view, being depressed (i.e., "unhappy") cost our society billions of dollars annually and makes our world less productive.

Then, from an even more important perspective, even though taking chronic drugs can be "essential", in some cases, taking drugs of any kind is never a great thing - especially in young children.

Now, on a much more positive note, studies show that happy people:

  • Live longer
  • Are healthier and have less disease
  • Have better, longer-lasting relationships
  • Are wealthier
  • Raise happier, more balanced children

So, in addition to the high cost of "unhappiness", there are many positive reasons to be happier - especially if you want to live longer, be healthier, have better personal relationships, have more money, and raise happier kids.

Certainly, this is somewhat of an oversimplification, but the evidence is quite clear that it is better to be happy than unhappy.

For a lot more on this topic, click here.

BeHappy! my friends