Psychology & Psychiatry

Heading outdoors keeps lockdown blues at bay

A new study has found that spending time outdoors and switching off our devices is associated with higher levels of happiness during a period of COVID-19 restrictions.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bhutan in virus lockdown for the first time

Bhutan has been largely shielded from coronavirus but on Tuesday, the remote Himalayan kingdom famous for measuring gross national happiness went into lockdown for the first time.

Psychology & Psychiatry

When it comes to happiness, what's love got to do with it?

How accurate was William Shakespeare when he said, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"? Researchers from Michigan State University conducted one of the first studies of its kind to quantify ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Worries about catching COVID-19 stay low as lockdown eases

Despite the relaxation of lockdown measures enabling many people to return to more normal activities, worries about catching the virus show little sign of changing, finds UCL's COVID-19 social study.

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Happiness

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. In everyday speech today, however, terms such as well-being or quality of life are usually used to signify the classical meaning, and happiness usually refers[citation needed] to the felt experience or experiences that philosophers historically called pleasure.

While direct measurement of happiness presents challenges, tools such as The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire have been developed by researchers. Positive psychology researchers use theoretical models that include describing happiness as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities, or that describe three kinds of happiness: pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Research has identified a number of attributes that correlate with happiness:[citation needed] relationships and social interaction, parenthood, marital status, religious involvement, age, income (but mainly up to the point where survival needs are met), and proximity to other happy people.

Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.

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