The link between happiness and safety explained
- How to stay happy and safe
13 May 2021
Happiness often seems like an abstract concept, but here at SmartCitti we believe it’s possible for all of us to identify what makes us most happy so we can continue to build on that and stay safe, fit, and emotionally well for years to come.
“As individuals we all aspire to be happy, but as a society and especially following the collective stress plus the fear of the future we have all experienced over the past year, it’s crucial we work together within our individual communities to look after one another and be happier,” Carolyne Bennett, SmartCitti’s Happiness Guru says.
“Our collective and individual safety, good health, and wellbeing are more important to all of us than ever.” Carolyne adds: “Safety is a crucial component of happiness.
“Knowing you and your family are not under threat from imminent danger is a wonderful feeling, but it also helps overall contentment because you’re free from the chronic stress which is less easy to identify than acute stress but leads to unhappiness and ill health over time.
“You can also add to a feeling of safety by planning for any eventuality – for example you can prevent a huge amount of stress by having an intruder alarm system fitted in your home so you can sleep more soundly at night. Taking out ample insurance coverage for your vehicle, pets and your home is always wise, so you have peace of mind.”
There are other ways to look after your personal safety, which will help you feel happier long-term.
What is the science behind happiness?
The science of happiness has become a global pursuit: The leisure industry spend across the United States amounted to roughly 4.69 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019, and the wellness industry generated a whopping $639 billion in 2020, growing at twice the rate of the health sector.
“As a society we’ve become much more aware of the science of happiness,” says Mark Chappell, President of SmartCitti US. “The pursuit of happiness is a tangible goal that’s possible for all of us.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, what your background is, or how much money you earn, happiness is equally possible for all of us.
“People are more aware now that when they’re happy it has a knock-on effect in all the key areas of their lives. Happy people are more productive, they don’t call in sick to work as often, they tend to accomplish more than unhappy people and, happy people are also healthier.”
“The booming wellness industry is proof of this concept,” Mark continues. “Wellness is linked to happiness and health is wealth.”
Is happiness inherited from our parents?
A scientific study found that happiness is not inherited from our parents so it’s not something we are genetically disposed to, as people once thought. Having a bad-tempered parent who has a negative outlook on life doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be miserable in life too. Instead, happiness is determined by our life experiences and our day-to-day lives.
Can therapy make people happier?
An estimated 40.2 million Americans seek out therapy every year. Whilst seeking out professional help for mental health issues is crucial, many of us are going to therapy as a preventative measure, so we can learn emotionally healthy ways and coping mechanisms to protect ourselves from unhappiness in future.
How people are learning to be happy
There’s been a significant shift in psychology from focusing on what we feel is wrong with our lives to looking at what makes us happy and doing more of that. Now, we’re looking closely at the thoughts and feelings that drive happiness, instead of focusing on the things that make us feel sad.
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the numbers of people who practice meditation now rivals yoga as the most popular type of alternative health practice in the US. 14.2 percent of Americans reported they had practiced meditation at least one time in the past twelve months and the numbers are steadily rising, thanks to the popularity of free classes on platforms like YouTube.
Stop worrying and start living
“Meditation centers on monitoring thoughts and noticing the ones we have that make us unhappy,” meditation coach Lana Bracco tells SmartCitti.
“With meditation we sit in a relaxed manner and quietly observe the thoughts that float through our minds. We might think something like, ‘Oh, look, it’s that unfounded worry about grandma’s health again,’ but we can become disciplined enough to simply let the thought go and not end up worrying about it.
“We really can stop worrying and start living. It’s not just a bumper slogan.
“Eventually, we’re always able to protect our inner contentment and happiness levels by only thinking thoughts we want to think. We can make our inner world a safe space.
“If a fear or a worry pops into our heads, about work, or anything else, we can consciously let it go. So, we can learn, to choose our thoughts, and only think about the things that make us joyful.”
How happiness and emotional safety are linked
“Worrying makes us feel unsafe and fearful of the future,” Lana says. “It doesn’t change any future outcomes, if anything worrying makes things worse, because we become more tired and less able to deploy positive coping mechanisms.
“More and more as individuals and as a society we’re learning how to put together our own emotional safety toolkits. I do believe we’re getting better at this all the time.
“Meditation becoming mainstream is just one example of the positive shift in society towards positive thinking. Meditation’s rise in popularity shows how self-aware we’re becoming. It is just one way we have now of keeping emotionally safe and happy.
“The bottom line is we are all starting to realize happiness is a choice.”
What is the link between happiness and career success?
Happy people are more likely to be successful in their chosen careers.
Studies have shown happiness leads to career success, and researchers have found it doesn’t have to be “natural” happiness – researchers found that “experimentally enhancing” happy emotions also contributed to improved outcomes at work.
“Perhaps the answer for some people is to fake it each day until they make it, but you can work on your happiness levels and consequently do better at your place of work, or in your career field,” says Carolyne Bennett.
The three pillars of happiness in the workplace
“We have been studying happiness in the workplace over the past few years,” says SmartCitti’s Architect of Happiness Dr Mo Al-Husban. “We have done a lot of research to try to understand and capture the impact of employees’ happiness on three main metrics within the workplace.
“The three pillars of employee happiness are productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. We’ve confirmed the idea that a happy employee is always more productive. We were also able to work out, in financial terms, how much is lost when employees are unhappy and how much is gained when employees are happy. The data we have collected from different workplaces strongly suggests that investing in employees’ happiness can have a positive impact on revenue.”
Does being happy at work mean happiness outside the workplace?
A recent study by Smartcitti found that there is a definite relationship between happiness in the workplace and happiness outside of work.
Dr Mo Al-Husban says: “It’s no surprise that a happy workplace contributes significantly to a happy life because so much of our lives today revolve around work. Considering the current situation where many people have had to work from home, it has become really important to make sure that your work and your home are happy places because they are deeply linked.”
How to be happier?
SmartCitti has learned from recent studies that people are becoming more stressed out.
“The past year has weighed heavily on many people,” says Mark Chappell. “But this downward trend does not have to continue. Far from it, we can work together as a whole to feel safer and protected. If we all do this and try to look after each other, it will have exponentially powerful results for society.”
Dr Al-Husban adds: “How we build our shared economy should be defined in people terms, not financial terms.”
Can technology help make us feel safer?
“At SmartCitti, we believe technology can play a role in helping people recognize, celebrate and share happiness with friends and family,” says Dr Mo Al-Husban. “We view happiness as an important ingredient for community. We believe sharing happiness is especially important for building and strengthening communities.
“Safety is necessary for happiness. The SmartCitti app is built to ensure the safety of users at all times,” says Mo. “This is why risk and security assessments have been prioritized within the emotional review feature of the app.”
SmartCitti’s app has an option called Happy To Help where users can request help for all sorts of things from walking their dog, to looking for an out of stock food item, or care with an elderly relative. It is all about community. If you get your teenagers involved with this, there’s solid research that shows it will help the transition into adults who are community focused and take an active share in civic responsibility.
There’s also an option within SmartCitti to monitor your driving and work to make it safer over time, for example breaking more slowly and driving less fast. You can also monitor the physical whereabouts of your loved ones and easily message them to check if they’re alright.
As well as the community aspect, Smartcitti offers home, auto and pet insurance at the push of a button.
Safety is the key to happiness, here’s a checklist to help you be safer
We know that feeling secure about your health and wellness, about your job and knowing your friends and family are safe and well-protected.
Make your health a priority. Take time out from work to relax, have fun and interact with your local community. Exercise at least three times a week.
Worrying about work, or about money, is counterproductive. Happy people do better at work. Instead, try meditation as a workout for your mind.
Remember, money won’t buy you happiness but contributing to your local community in a positive way will.
Sign up for an app where you can send an SOS message your friends and family if you feel as though you’re in danger.
Protect your vehicle, pets, and your home with comprehensive insurance coverage. Check your friends and family have adequate vehicle, pet and home insurance, and if not help find them a great but inexpensive quote.
Keep your home well maintained. Make regular repairs and look out for signs of leaks or electrical issues.
Look after your vehicle. Make sure your tires have adequate tread and are free from punctures before you leave home and keep an eye on your oil and anti-freeze levels. Drive safely, always.
Go to the places that make you happy in your spare time. This can include favorite restaurants and stores. There’s nothing like an ice cream or freshly baked cookie to put a smile on your face.
Dr Mo Al-Husban says: “Happiness is important because by influencing our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, it also impacts our finances, performance, learning, and interactions significantly, and this impact extends from the individual to the community.”