Be happy

    What you can do to feel happier, and how to be sad too

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We spend our lives looking for happiness, but will we know it when we find it? Explore the science of happiness to build happier habits, and cope better with sad times too.

The pursuit of happiness is an elusive thing. Some people have compared it to catching a butterfly: chase it and it will always be out of reach, but stop to rest and it may land on your shoulder.

So how can we seek happiness? Money doesn’t seem to buy it, and many of the goals we set ourselves can leave us feeling unsatisfied. Daniel Kahneman has argued that we need to give up on the concept of happiness because we don’t know what it means.

Sonya Lyubormirsky and her colleagues argue that whilst big life events don’t necessarily change our happiness levels, our daily actions do. By building small daily actions into our routines, we can boost our general wellbeing and feel better. Happiness is a habit.

Happiness doesn’t mean ignoring the sad times though. It’s about being comfortable with yourself, unbiased in your perspective, and able to take action when you want to change how you feel.

In fact, the process of looking for happiness may make us unhappy. Rather than constantly seeking more, figure out what makes you happy, and when you find it, make sure you take time to enjoy it.

Download our free tip sheet on how to be happy (PDF, 65KB)