Think about the most meaningful experiences in your life. You will probably recall your wedding, a trip across Europe, or your first skydive.
Did you know that recent research suggests that the mundane regularities of life can very much contribute to your overall sense of meaning.
How to find happiness is a question that has plagued philosophers for centuries, and it’s still one of the great unsolved mysteries. But new research suggests that the answer may be simpler than we think: meaning.
A recent study found that people who have a sense of meaning in their lives are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who don’t. The key to finding meaning, it seems, is to focus on something larger than yourself.
Whether it’s your family, your community, or your country, putting your time and energy into something that you believe in can give your life purpose and make you happier. So if you’re looking for a reason to be cheerful, look no further than the power of meaning.
People that seem to be happy find more meaning in their lives. Studies show that remembering joy boosts well-being, but analyzing the memories has the opposite effect.
The search for happiness is a kind of shorthand for the notion of the freedom, knowledge, or opportunity to achieve things in life that we want, crave, desire, and need.
There is a name in Japanese for this idea of finding what fulfills you: Ikigai. Notoriously slippery to define, it comprises two words – iki, meaning life, and gai, meaning worth.
How to find happiness? Look for your ikigai. Heard of it? No? Well, ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates to “a reason for being.”
And according to the people of Okinawa — who have some of the world’s longest lifespans – having an ikigai is key to a happy and long life. So how do you find your ikigai? It starts with finding what you love to do.
Once you figure that out, the rest will follow. Your ikigai can be anything that brings satisfaction and a sense of purpose — it doesn’t have to be grand or world-changing.
It could be as simple as taking care of your family and caring for your garden.
One way to discover your ikigai is to recall moments, whether in the past or at present when you felt any kind of strong positive emotions.”
Can ikigai serve as a national measurement of happiness?
Values such as ikigai and yarigai are subjective measures, and cannot be compared side-by-side Yukari Mitsuhashi’s book, Ikigai: giving everyday meaning and joy.
According to, Yukari Mitsuhashi’s book, Ikigai: giving everyday meaning and joy.
How to find happiness has been a question that has baffled philosophers for centuries, but it seems that we might finally have an answer- at least partially.
According to recent research, the key to happiness may lie in culture. Much of the research in this field has compared Western countries like the U.S. with East Asia countries, finding that East Asians have lower levels of well-being.
It has also shown that culture influences how we seek happiness and regulate our emotions: European Americans typically want to feel peppy emotions like excitement and cheerfulness, while Hong Kong Chinese prefer calmer states like peace and serenity.
Even the factors that promote happiness may be different, as self-esteem is more important to our feelings of life satisfaction in the West than in East Asia.
One skepticism that people have is that everybody defines happiness in their own way.