Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of
happiness or have gone stark raving mad.
Happiness Australia has been established given the rising levels of anxiety, depression and a wide range of mental health challenges. In Australia approximately 1 in 5 people suffer some form of mental illness. From an economic perspective this creates apathy at work, detachment from work, lower productivity, isolation, absenteeism and contributes to a culture that disempowers rather than empowers.
Positive psychology is a recent branch of psychology whose purpose was summed up in 1998 by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: “We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise, which achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving individuals, families, and communities.” Positive psychologists seek “to find and nurture genius and talent” and “to make normal life more fulfilling”, rather than merely treating mental illness. Positive psychology is primarily concerned with using the psychological theory, research and intervention techniques to understand the positive, adaptive, creative and emotionally fulfilling aspects of human behavior. (Source: Wikipedia)
Susan Carew the founder of WorldPeacefull and Happiness Australia has worked in approximately 400 workplaces. She indicates that in most workplaces people are not happy. In her experience entertaining the public as a World Peace Clown she estimates that 99% of people are mildly depressed. That is there is a level of suppression inherent in society whereby people are given permission to behaviour in certain ways. Thus there is a normal level of control witnessed on the streets. Increasingly, as society breaks down, people move through society with increased detachment and on automatic pilot. There is less spontenaity or feeling of belonging. This brings a wide range of social problems such as: loneliness, isolation, mental illness, low self esteem, suicide, violent behaviour and so on.
Happiness Australia will provide public lectures on the topic of Happiness and provide workshops to help reconnect people to emotional intelligence, sponteneity, connection, self esteem, belonging and a vigorous feeling for life. When people feel happy they are more cooperative, aware of others, energetic, enthusiastic, creative and open to leadership skills.
Martin Seligman, one of the leaders of the positive psychology movement wrote a book called Learned Optimism. People can be trained to see the world in a positive light, face problems as opportunities and are typically more resilient as they seek for hope. They are typically high achievers with attitudes of ‘why not’ rather than ‘it can’t be done’ and have better health. Below are some explanations on the differences between optimists and pessimists.
Other differences exist between pessimists and optimists in terms of explanatory style:
- Permanence: Optimistic people believe bad events to be more temporary than permanent and bounce back quickly from failure, whereas others may take longer periods to recover or may never recover. They also believe good things happen for reasons that are permanent, rather than seeing the transient nature of positive events. Optimists point to specific temporary causes for negative events; pessimists point to permanent causes.
- Pervasiveness: Optimistic people compartmentalize helplessness, whereas pessimistic people assume that failure in one area of life means failure in life as a whole. Optimistic people also allow good events to brighten every area of their lives rather than just the particular area in which the event occurred.
- Personalization: Optimists blame bad events on causes outside of themselves, whereas pessimists blame themselves for events that occur. Optimists are therefore generally more confident. Optimists also quickly internalize positive events while pessimists externalize them. (Source: Wikipedia)
Happiness is the goal of every person but it is not seen as the overall goal of society. We are here to be happy and happy people are the ones that get things done and are the shining lights leading the way. Happiness Australia intends to spread this message of happiness and have it enshrined in policies from Government, Business, Community organisations and individuals.
All of us can make a difference, and when we are happy we are unstoppable. Why not join with Happiness Australia and promote happiness what we are all working towards.