The happiest people you will meet are the richest people in the world. Otherwise, only the 0.01% of the global population would be happy and the rest of us, frankly, miserable.

The happiest people have lots of material possessions. Otherwise all the world’s hoarders will be the happy ones. How’s that working out?

The happiest people in the world have the greatest numbers of qualifications. Otherwise, you will never find a miserable college professor.

The happiest people in the world are those who have meaningful relationships with a real life social network. They bring meaning into other people’s lives and they have meaning in their lives.

So what of the people who suffer from mental health issues?

Stress, anxiety, depression and suicide are a social disease. These are the people who are feeling disconnected, disenfranchised and dejected by society. We have thrown them to the bottom of society’s waste basket and have treated them like outcasts when, in fact, many are highly gifted and talented.

They just never comprehended or realised their true power. How do we help people from falling prey to many of the mental health issues?

Bring back kindness and compassion into our daily lives. When passing a homeless person, don’t ignore them or just throw them a few coins. Take 2 minutes to ask them how they are. Make conversation. No need to motivate them. Just be there for them.

Kindness and compassion starts at home. Start investing emotional capital into the lives of the people who matter most – your parents, spouse, children, siblings, extended family. But, does this have to stop there?

No.

Take kindness and compassion into the workplace. Your colleague (co-worker), suppliers, customers and, especially so, your boss. Being a boss is a lonely job.

A book I read a few years ago had a profound effect on who I evolved into and how I treat everyone now. It is called “Connected: The Amazing Power of Social Networks And How They Shape Our Lives” by Christakis and Fowler, university professors.

Read it. You’ll be glad you did.

#mentalhealthawareness