THE POWER OF HAP­PI­NESS

Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Karen Pasquali Jones, Editor kpasqual­i­jones@gulfnews.com

The smell of my kids’ hair, a snug­gle with them, my hus­band and our shih-tzu dog where we all try to out-squeeze each other, a vase of freshly cut white lilies, hold­ing the first copy of Fri­day to come off the presses each week, and a Dip­tyque can­dle on the edge of my bath. These are the things that make me happy. They might not be free (those school fees, vet’s bill and flow­ers don’t come cheap!) but they are price­less. When I was young I prob­a­bly would have said a mil­lion dol­lars would be the route to hap­pi­ness, but now I’d pick health over wealth any day. I’m not the only one – in fact be­ing paid can ac­tu­ally be counter-pro­duc­tive.

In an experiment, peo­ple who wanted to give blood were di­vided into two groups – the first were told they could do it for free, and the sec­ond that they would be paid. Guess which group had the most vol­un­teers? The al­tru­is­tic group, of course! The fi­nan­cial re­ward be­ing of­fered to the sec­ond group ac­tu­ally put off peo­ple do­nat­ing their blood.

But there are dis­tinct eco­nomic ad­van­tages to be­ing happy – and smil­ing work­ers can lead to busi­nesses laugh­ing all the way to the bank. Keep the staff happy and they will be more pro­duc­tive, health­ier, in­no­va­tive, and loyal.

We’re lucky that the UAE takes hap­pi­ness se­ri­ously. In the 2015 World Hap­pi­ness Re­port we ranked a re­spectable 20 out of 158 coun­tries sur­veyed. The UAE was given a spe­cial men­tion for ‘the ex­tent to which hap­pi­ness and well-be­ing have been cen­tral tenets of the de­sign and de­liv­ery of the Na­tional Agenda to be the hap­pi­est of all na­tions.’

And as to­day is World Smile Day we’ve packed the is­sue with fea­tures on how to keep your chil­dren’s teeth look­ing per­fect, the car­ing clowns who help lift sick kids’ spir­its in hos­pi­tals, happy cafés and the power of hap­pi­ness. That should give you some­thing to smile about! Un­til next week,

We are LUCKY that the UAE takes HAP­PI­NESS SE­RI­OUSLY. In the 2015 WORLD HAP­PI­NESS RE­PORT we RANKED a RE­SPECTABLE 20 out of 158 COUN­TRIES SUR­VEYED

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