Measuring happiness

IS IT possible to measure our happiness? In a new study, Princeton University researchers have developed a method to measure people’s quality of life, beyond how much money they make. The Day Reconstruction Method creates an ‘enjoyment scale’ by requiring people to record the previous day’s activities in a short diary form and describe their feelings about the experiences. It will be used in an effort to calculate a ‘national well-being account’, a measure similar to economic gauges such as the gross national product. Some 909 women were asked to recall the previous workday as a sequence of episodes and rate the psychological and social aspects of those activities. Results were compared to experiments based on the more common ‘experience sampling’ methods (ESM) in which subjects record their actions and feelings several times throughout the day.

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Published: Sat 11 Dec 2004, 11:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:12 AM

Apparently, modern life has lost focus of the true state of happiness. In the mad rush for happiness, human beings often lose sight of the purpose of their existence. Ultimately, happiness is a state of mind based on one’s attitude to life, events and people around, and as such, it is highly subjective. Every person encounters a series of events, circumstances and people each day, and many of them may or may not agree with our own approach to life. Thus, they can influence our capacity to be happy or unhappy. It is said happiness is a heart bursting with love. Sharing and giving are expressions of love. Those who share and part with what they have are known to multiply and spread happiness. It cannot be inherited, purchased, rented, imported or bargained for; it must be homegrown. In this sense, happiness has a spiritual dimension. However, most people perceive it as a material state of well-being. In fact, the real state of happiness lies in between the two extremes. A certain amount of income is necessary to satisfy our basic needs. Given the economic satisfaction, faith and trust in our Maker, and a grateful heart tremendously boost love for others and peace within ourselves. Fear is the root cause of jealousy, hatred, and ultimately unhappiness. When we are most afraid, we most need trust and confidence in God. Happiness is a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction. By developing inner peace, the moments of happiness can be increased. Daily prayer and meditation can help our hearts and minds to be at peace with themselves. Faith and a positive approach to life can be the eternal source of happiness. After all, you are as happy as you feel.

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