As you may have seen recently in the Independent on Sunday, Body & Soul’s very own founder and Director Emma Colyer was included in the Happy List, the paper’s annual list of “100 outstanding people whose volunteering, caring, fund-raising, mentoring, charity founding, or selflessness makes Britain a more contented, better-adjusted, supportive, and happier place”.
As well as being a great way to recognise Emma’s 16+ years’ service to children, young people and adults who are living with HIV in the UK, the list is also a refreshing antidote to the numerous lists of powerful, rich and influential people that pepper the headlines.
The list also demonstrates the importance of happiness in all of our lives –the idea of being happy is not one that we often consider as something to strive for – many of us instead make the assumption that wealth, power, influence and good health will lead to happiness, but could it in fact be the other way around?
Feeling happy has been linked by medical professionals with better general health, and British Heart Foundation research has suggested that happier people have greater protection against things like heart disease, stroke, and may even have a greater life expectancy. If you’re happy you’re also more likely to have successful relationships and a successful work life.
As children, we all read stories where people live happily ever after. The United States Declaration of Independence states that ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happyness’ are amongst the ‘unalienable’ rights of man.
At Body & Soul we also believe that everyone has the right to live healthily and happily, that happiness is a basic human right. We aim to support our members to achieve happiness through various means; whether it’s by equipping them the them to take control of their health, their education or their plans for the future; by working with families to overcome challenges; by increasing children’s self-esteem and awareness of their own abilities; by showing teenagers talents they didn’t know they had.