Positive psychology gives us the power to have happiness in our hands. Psychologists have been working for more than 70 years to identify what makes people happier. The good news is, we can work to be happier!! There are no excuses, happiness starts within ourselves. 

For a long time, the study of psychology narrowly focussed on the negative. So much attention was paid to mental illness, trauma, suffering and pain. Positive psychology, on the other hand, is dedicated to happiness, well-being and strengths. It explores how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.

The importance of happiness is well known in Bhutan. Bhutan measures prosperity by gauging its citizens’ happiness levels, not the GDP. It may seem like this country is implementing a new trend here, but it is not new at all. Robert Kennedy said in 1968 that, the gross national product "measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile”.

Being a happy-go-lucky individual is largely a matter of genetics, explains Seligman. What we should strive for is eudaemonia—Aristotle’s concept of flourishing—rather than hedonia (pleasure). Studies suggest that pursuing a good and meaningful life results in greater life satisfaction overall.

An interesting fact: happiness is contagious. Those with happy friends or significant others are more likely to be happy in the future. People who perform acts of kindness towards others not only get a boost in well-being, but they are also more accepted by their peers. Oxytocin may provoke greater trust and empathy, meaning that giving hugs or other signs of physical affection may give us a boost to our overall well-being and the well-being of others.

Seligman in his book “Flourish” explains how they work to increase happiness in institutions like schools or the army. This inspired us to initiate the project: The Happiness Movement. 

This project aims to provide employees with the right tools to take actions to improve their well-being and mental health. We help our people to achieve their goals, be driven by their motivations and passions, discover their own purpose and pursue internal joy.

The Happiness Movement establishes a base for the application of positive principles such as coaching, teaching, relationships and other areas on the workplace. We are encouraging ourselves and those around us to live the best possible lives, or at least to live a happier career. 

Here are the qualities we hope to make habits in our culture during the Happiness Movement:

  • Gratitude: to say thank you and give positive feedback
  • Mindfulness: Live in the moment, focus on actions
  • Optimism: See challenges as opportunities, not risks
  • Flow: Challenges to stretch our capabilities
  • Altruism: Give and do not expect anything in return. 

The project includes initiatives like talks, workshops, a mindfulness programme, and many techniques and exercises to empower our people.

Even a relatively small change can improve quality of life and work to give us a more positive outlook on life. It's time to be happier!