Sunday 7 April 2024

The pursuit of happiness


Five suggestions for how to be happy, based on replies to questionnaires by people who had completed the Bristol University 'science of happiness' course:

Talk to strangers

Spend more of your money on others

Spend time in nature

Count your blessings

Be kind to others.

A separate report, the World Happiness Report found that in the UK people over 60 are the happiest; those aged 25 to 44 the least happy. Around the world people aged 15 to 24 reported higher life satisfaction than adults aged 25 and older. However, fewer young people in Western Europe and North America report themselves as happy than in previous years.

"Piecing together the available data on the well-being of children and adolescents around the world, we documented disconcerting drops especially in North America and Western Europe," Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of Oxford’s Well-being Research Centre and an editor of the World Happiness Report, said. "To think that, in some parts of the world, children are already experiencing the equivalent of a mid-life crisis demands immediate policy action".

I wonder why policy action is required and by whom. By the state and international organisations, one presumes, but why is it the state's business?


  1. Oh for those post sepia photographs [black and white] of us baby boomers. We only had nuclear annihilation to concern us. Unfortunately we will leave a world much worse than we found it to our children and grandchildren.

  2. At least we thought that nuclear annihilation was something that could be avoided - it was up to governments and we still believed governments had to respond to the public will. Now the education system terrifies children with the threat of climate catastrophe, and it's somehow up to them to make thousands of small sacrifices, which they never see having any effect. And so many other things going on, which give them no psychological resilience, or expectation that they can achieve the standard of living of their parents.

  3. Sounds somewhat infantilising. Of the five points I do approve of the suggestion to spend more time in nature though.