Articles on On Happiness

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Giving, or contributing, beyond ourselves is one of the strongest predictors of happiness and health. Shutterstock/Nikki Zalewski

Happy? Consider how giving builds a life of meaning

A philosophy based on giving of ourselves to others may help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives, while helping to bridge the extremes of our emotions and beliefs.
However hard we pursue happiness, when the party’s over we must still confront the grimmer aspects of life. Shutterstock/YanLev

Is a cult of happiness leading us to lose sight of life?

We can pursue our own happiness to the exclusion of the real world, but how meaningful can that be? Far better to engage with life and both the happiness and sadness it brings along the way.
Feeling content means having a deep-seated, abiding acceptance of oneself and one’s worth, together with a sense of self-fulfilment, meaning and purpose. James Theophane/Flickr

Happiness is an illusion, here’s why you should seek contentment instead

Happiness might seem like a worthy goal but it will invariably be disrupted by unwelcome negative feelings. Far better to seek contentment, which can serve as a foundation for both joy and pleasure.
The smiling face of the person serving you is an important part of the retail experience that makes customers want to come back for more. Shutterstock/Ikonoklast Fotografie

Why business suddenly cares about staff being happy

A more likely reason for businesses' current interest in happiness and wellbeing has to do with cold hard economics and shifts in the labour force. Happiness, in short, is good for business.
Our individual happiness, the quality of our relationships and community well-being are closely interconnected. Shutterstock/Rawpixel

Pursuing happiness: it’s mostly a matter of surviving well together

We now know that we cannot spend our way to happiness nor pursue it as an individual goal. It turns out that happiness is built on the foundations of good relationships and broad well-being.
Life is naturally sunny for the ‘happy mother’ of social mythology, which makes it doubly difficult for mums when they are miserable. Shutterstock/FamVeld

How happiness becomes a burden of identity as a wife and mother

Women are supposed to be happy about motherhood – if they're not their parenting is open to question. We have seen a 'Parenting Hate' backlash against this, but what's needed most is better social support.
Happiness about a new car is relative - it depends on your expectations and on what other people have. Shutterstock/Minerva Studio

Measures of happiness tell us less than economics of unhappiness

While the economics of happiness has boomed, the economics of unhappiness has been neglected. Yet there are many objective sources of unhappiness that good economic research might tackle productively.
The most powerful strategy for achieving happiness is to give up trying to be happy. Mila Supinskaya/Shutterstock

Can we love happiness? Or do we then risk more sadness?

To pose the question of whether we can love happiness feels a bit like asking whether the Pope is a Catholic. Most of us believe we not only can love happiness, but that we should!
Bush tucker is part of the connectedness with the land and each other that nourishes body and soul in Indigenous communities. AAP/Paul Miller

Happiness born of connectedness lifts up Aboriginal Australians

In Indigenous communities beset by tragedy and social problems, the connection to each other and to the land remains a powerful source of shared contentment and happiness.
He is in a wheelchair, she has multiple sclerosis, but their neighbours know Grzegorz and Magda as a loving couple. Flickr/Dominik Golenia/In sickness and in health

Love and disability: ‘inter-ability relationships’ conquer stereotypes

Our notions of what makes a person a desirable 'love interest' are often superficial and involve an element of deception. For someone with a severe disability, finding love is even more complicated
Seeking constant distractions and identifying with brands and status symbols, we struggle to escape the superficial self. Shutterstock/Sean De Burca

The lies of happiness: living with affluenza but without fulfilment

In the first of our series, On Happiness, the question is whether unsustainable consumption and debt can ever bring us happiness. The global financial question was a chance to take stock, yet did we learn anything?

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