Many studies show that happiness lengthens life and improves health. As I see it, our wellbeing is decidedly the most important component of our healthy journey… involving the body, mind and soul! The question then arises, what defines happiness? Is it joy? Contentment? Peace? All the above?

From my personal experience as well as from what I have learnt by through coaching and healthcare, I believe the definition of happiness varies greatly from individual to individual. No doubt that we all need love, creativity, a busy working mind, proper sleep, food and physical activity to be happy.

Apart from the necessity of a good night’s sleep, gratefulness and mindfulness, the acknowledgement that perfection does not exist… and so on, here are four things that immediately pop into my mind when I think of what feeds my own frequent smile and sense/consciousness of wellbeing:

1- Give back by helping others or making others happy. Be it in the form of volunteering, coaching a team, cooking for an elderly neighbor, giving someone attention, love, and time, is highly enriching for both the giver and the receiver(s).

2 – Interact with others in the way you would like to be interacted with. I truly believe we can learn a lot by adhering to the five principles of spirit of the game, which include knowing and playing by the rules, being fair minded, communicating respectfully, having a positive attitude and avoiding hurting others. You can read more about these principles in an article I wrote recently to celebrate International Spirit of the Game day.

3 – Realize how ephemeral time is and enjoy the small things. Cooking, going for a walk, the sky at dusk, the moon…. A young person’s smile. Beauty is everywhere… and, in the large scheme of things, from an individual perspective, we are relatively irrelevant.

4 – Connect positively with those around you. Avoid being restless and in a rush and appreciate that everyone is sharing the same planet.  We can all learn by being open to what it means to be human in all its forms, ages, colors, races, genders. Therefore, empower the elderly and those with disabilities and appreciate that they are also celebrating life. If you are older and/or disabled, try to communicate your needs in a positive manner. Positive connection, smiling at people, appreciating and investing in the human state is a must for the global as well as individual good.


  • Sofia C. Pereira

    PhD Biology, Genetics I Evidence Based Health Coach, Writer

    I am a certified health coach (Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York) with a PhD in biology/genetics (Toronto, Canada) and use an integrated scientific approach towards maximizing health and wellness. I believe that everyone can live their best possible lives by eating well, sleeping well, moving their bodies, constantly testing their personal limits, being open to love, respecting their instincts, having a curious mind, and being authentic. In my book - The Food Anthropologist - I log a one year journey through twelve consecutive 30-day food challenges, including gluten and dairy free, ketogenic, vegan, macrobiotic, paleolithic, and intermittent fasting. Incredible how 365 days of food and drink limitations can translate into lessons for life. More information at