Giving, or contributing, beyond ourselves is one of the strongest predictors of happiness and health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 conservative attitude stems from a childlike fear of not being able to change things around them.
Without compassion for others and the courage to do something about it, our community is more likely to be mean-spirited and miserable than happy and generous.
The most powerful strategy for achieving happiness is to give up trying to be happy.
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.
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.
The gift of time makes patients happy.
Much of the fear of cancer arises from a lack of control, so I’m at my happiest when a patient with a new diagnosis comes in bewildered and shaken and leaves my office feeling a modicum of control.
The idea of the happy ending as appropriate literary fare for children is an illusion.
The very idea of the happy ending as appropriate literary fare for children is an illusion. Most fairy tales are full of darkness and violence, and as often as not do not end happily.
Inside Out’s five emotions are not a bad reflection of the emotional diversity within our own minds.
Pixar’s new film, Inside Out, shows that chasing happiness along won’t necessarily bring well-being, which is a view backed by the latest psychological research.
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
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
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?
As always, funny young people are busy self-curating extreme carnival.
In Australia, from its beginnings, humour and irony have been small weapons in the armoury of the oppressed, the outcast, or those simply fed up with cultural uniformity.