What a weekend – tennis, cricket, Formula 1, and in my case, sitting in traffic trying to get into, and then back out of, Kent! But it was such a pleasure whilst we were actually in Whitstable with friends this weekend, that the amount of hours we sat in the car pales into insignificance. Isn’t it funny how some good weather, great music, but most of all people make everything worthwhile?
There’s a lot of research now showing that pro-social behaviour is one of the keys to happiness. The more we have healthy social interaction, friends, loved ones, the more likely we are to be happy. It doesn’t even have to be a special partner, but taking time to listen to a colleague, saying good morning on the street as you pass someone else, looking in on your neighbours, holding a door open for someone or helping them lift their shopping into their car, in fact just about any interaction done with a smile is beneficial.
When people feel a bit down, they often withdraw from social life, perhaps in fear of burdening people with their mood. But when you feel like it the least is when you need it the most. Wouldn’t you want to help your friends out of a funk? In the absence of a friend to talk to or distract you, try volunteering, donating to a charity, joining a club, going on a course – whatever you do, do something social. The more you get out there, the more you stand to increase your happiness levels. And, if you can’t get out of the house, try a massively multi-player online role-playing game – virtual worlds have been found to offer friendship and fun too. Go on, create some more happiness in this world. People make everything worthwhile.