“Our ultimate goal should be sustainable happiness”
Dan Tomasulo

What is happiness?

There are many definitions of happiness with philosophical, religious, spiritual and psychological interpretations spanning as far back as 2,500 years ago with Confucius, Buddha, Socrates and Aristotle all defining happiness. More recently, happiness has become the subject of scientific study resulting in The Science of Happiness and the discovery that there are interesting similarities between ancient thinking and modern day scientific findings. Positive Psychology is the branch of psychology responsible for most happiness studies and is making traction in further understanding what makes us happy.

Happiness can be a great motivator because many of the things, people, experiences and feelings we strive for in life, we pursue because we believe they will bring us happiness. Often times they do (although some may not be good for our wellness) but once we obtain these things, they can become familiar to us, boredom and discontentment can set in and we start seeking something different, new and exciting to quench our happiness thirst. This is what psychologists call the ‘hedonic treadmill’ which is the process of continually adapting to improving circumstances and eventually returning to an individual happiness set point.

What determines our happiness?

There is continuing research into what makes us happy and our individual happiness set point - that is a state we individually return too after we experience both positive and negative events in our lives. According to researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, about 50 % of our happiness is genetic - that is our ‘happiness set point’ , 10% is determined by your circumstances (much of hedonic happiness can be found here) which means that 40% of our happiness can be as a result of our intentional activities, choices and thoughts. This means we have the ability to increase happiness to create wellbeing in our lives by incorporating wellbeing practices that help to create sustainable and balanced happiness which will lead to a flourishing life.

Source: Sonja Lyubomirsky, ph.D


According to the above theory, we have the capacity to create long-term, sustainable happiness which we can do by learning and applying simple positive psychology and other wellbeing tools to boost our percentage of happiness. This means that we have the power to choose to increase happiness by incorporating wellbeing practices in our day to day thinking and lives. Awareness of this is the first step to taking action towards a flourishing life.

Throughout life our happiness levels can rise and fall depending on external and internal factors. So for example, if I asked you right now ‘how are you?’ or ‘how satisfied are you with life’ you may give me different answers. Right now you may be feeling great and happy but not necessarily satisfied with life. Positive psychology aims to increase life satisfaction and happiness with evidence based interventions to boost your happiness set-point. Combining this with mindfulness, self-compassion, thinking styles and healthy living will help you to answer the question ‘how satisfied are you with life?’ with ‘very satisfied and happy’.

Encompassing the totality of the above, my happiness workshops and programmes are designed to empower you with the knowledge and tools to live a meaningful, happier, kinder, mindful, compassionate and virtuous life. I aim to help you make positive changes in your life and to ultimately flourish!


If you are interested in learning how to increase happiness in your life through Coaching, Wellbeing Workshops or Reiki, I look forward to hearing from you and supporting you on your journey to a happier, healthier, thriving you.