What is happiness? How do you keep yourself happy? Why is happiness important to us?
The pursuit of happiness is regarded as a universal goal in the lives of human beings. There are various understandings of happiness associated with different cultures, traditions, and academic disciplines. Aristotle used the term "happiness" to designate the highest human good. Within the Confucian tradition, the greatest source of happiness is an ethical pleasure.
In the contemporary world, organisations and individuals constantly put effort into demystifying the brain mechanisms of happiness and boosting happiness and well-being. Since 2013, the United Nations (UN) has proclaimed the 20 March the International Day of Happiness, opens a new window and celebrated the day to raise awareness of the importance of happiness in our lives.
New Zealand is regarded as one of the happiest countries, opens a new window in the world. The World Happiness Report 2020, opens a new window shows that three cities in New Zealand -Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch- are ranked high in terms of how positively their inhabitants currently evaluate their lives.
The World Happiness Report suggests that social and environmental factors affect the happiness of society. Despite the importance of external conditions for happiness, a positive environment cannot guarantee each of its inhabitants will automatically feel happy. As Aristotle said, "happiness depends on ourselves."
At the individual level, how can we boost happiness? Can money buy happiness? Joachim Weimann's book Measuring Happiness: The Economics of Well-being, opens a new window reveals that high incomes do not buy happiness, although they help individuals improve basic living conditions.
Happiness is regarded as a project, a set of skills, and even art for individuals to cultivate and work on. Dalai Lama's The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, opens a new window is an essential read within the positive psychological genre. Dalai Lama believes that the systematic training of our hearts and minds can lead to happiness, as one's happiness is more determined by the state of mind than external conditions. His book provides practical guidance for dealing with negative emotions, building positive relationships with others, and exploring the sources of happiness. Similarly, the following list of books would provide you guidance and inspiration to live a happy life.
This list contains practical guides for people who are keen to boost happiness in career success, leisure times, and childcare, etc. Enjoying reading and cultivating happiness!
Let's celebrate the International Day of Happiness, opens a new window and cultivate happiness with our own project!