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What is happiness?
Happiness can mean different things to different people. For example, for one person, it may mean being in a relationship, whereas for someone else it may mean feeling you have the ability to handle whatever life throws at you. While you might think that there are certain things that make you happy (or could make you happy if you had them), research has shown that there are certain common traits amongst happy people --- and it is not necessarily what you might have thought. What makes happy people happy?

You might think that happy people have lots of money, are physically attractive, have great jobs, or own the latest gadgets. Or, you might just think happy people are plain lucky, and are born that way. Research suggests, however, that there are a number of variables that make a far greater contribution to happiness than external and more superficial factors. That does not mean that if you have a lot of money you would not be happy, or that having a lot of money is bad, it just means that other factors are more important in determining happiness. In fact, a strong positive relationship between job status/income/wealth and happiness only exists for those who live below the poverty line and/or who are unemployed. What distinguishes happy people, is that they have a different attitude --- a different way of thinking about things and doing things. They interpret the world in a different way, and go about their lives in a different way. to be continued....

Why is happiness important?
This might seem obvious --- why would not you want to be happy?! But the implications are greater than you might think. Happier people are generally healthier people --- not only mentally, but also physically. So you can see then happiness is actually something that is really important, that you might want to increase if you can. The "happiness equation"

It has been suggested that there are several factors that contribute towards our happiness. This is an...
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