We are taught that happiness is an unalienable right and we strive for it for our entire lives. So why is the search for contentment leaving many of us worried and anxious?
The determinants of happiness are remarkably similar around the world, in countries as different as Afghanistan, the U.S, and Chile. Income matters to happiness but only so much; friends, freedom, and employment are good for happiness, while crime, poor health, and divorce are bad. Paradoxically, however, people in places like Afghanistan can be as happy as those in much wealthier and safer ones like Chile. One explanation is the remarkable human capacity to adapt to adversity and hardship. While adaptation may be a good thing for individual wellbeing, it can also result in collective tolerance for bad equilibrium which are difficult for societies to escape from.
Is positive thinking the route to happiness? Oliver Burkeman and Jules Evans make the case for looking on the dark side, while the narrator of Joanna Kavenna’s latest novel takes off in search of a new way of living
Being happy is a universal human yearning, but this simple goal often eludes us. If we’re truly able to attain happiness, then how do we find it? Three TED speakers offer some big ideas for achieving happiness.