Calculating how happy you are: What is happiness?

Happiness can’t be measured, only felt. It doesn’t lie in the materialistic things but you draw it from how satisfied you are in life, does not matter how small or simple it may be

I am proud and indeed happy to know that my nation is one of the happiest countries in South Asia. I regard happiness is not in money and facilities, but in honesty, unity and satisfaction. Because of unity, religious tolerance, secularism, peace, honesty and satisfaction in people along with beauty of nature, I regard Nepal as one of the happiest countries. People of many ethnic groups live here without fights and anxiety. The beauty of nature determines the happiness among people and the unity to achieve a common goal in society makes the country happy. So, I regard that happiness can be measured if the above factors are fulfilled by a country despite the fact that happiness is abstract.

— Tulip Gyawali, Kathmandu


Happiness is a psychological thing. A person can be happy if s/he satisfied with what s/he has. In my view, happiness can’t measured and no such invention has been developed. As human beings, the more one has, the more one wants. So happiness is something a person feels from inside.

— Sabin Dhungana


I think happiness is a moment when one feels satisfied, safe and comfortable — these are some factors to determine happiness but these factors aren’t consistent. Everyone has their own ways of seeking happiness. Some find it alone, some love party/crowd while some find it in shopping and other may find in savings. We can’t determine other’s happiness or sadness by only one factor. Everyone is struggling for happiness but one forgets that happiness lies within the self. I believe happiness within the self is more consistent than relying on materials or another person.

— Shradha Neupane


It is a matter of pride that Nepal has been ranked the third happiest country in South Asia. To determine the indicators of happiness is not an easy task. For me, happiness is something exclusive. It is what soothes my mind and soul. Happiness arises when your desires are fulfilled. Happiness lies in satisfaction, it attained when your goals are reached. Family matters, simple professional achievements and seeing others happy make me happy. I don’t wait for big issues to be resolved to be happy, instead I seek happiness in small, simple things.

— Bhawana Poudel Bhattarai, Mid-Baneshwor


Happiness is something that can be felt not measured. The World Happiness Report is listed on the basis of a country’s per capita income, life expectancy, freedom for choices, social support, et cetera. These things are external signs of happiness but real happiness comes from the heart. It doesn’t if a person is rich or poor, they can happy if they are satisfied. World Happiness Report shows Norway on the top, they have high income, good health, free to choose but no one knows what is inside the heart of the people. In spite of all the money, freedom, good health, people might be unhappy with their life due to dissatisfaction.

Love plays a great role in happiness. People may have good income, good social support, freedom but if they lack love, then those things do not matter. People lacking love will always be unhappy. If you want to measure happiness, measurement of love must be included which is impossible. I think World Happiness Report only measures the physical happiness not the internal.

— Shubham Joshi, Sanepa


The World Happiness Report is based on life expectancy, education per capita, freedom of choice, et cetera. But, I say happiness is something that can’t be measured. Happiness is something you feel. Many people seek happiness because they are not satisfied wiht what they have. There are those who are living luxurious life yet yearn for what they don’t have. Whereas, there are people who are poor but they know how to live life because they are happy in what they have. They don’t seek expensive things but a fruitful life. They are just a happy soul. People desire more in life and they want to be better than today. It is really important to make yourself better. But whatever you do, whatever step you take in life and how you want to improve your life, make sure you do it with a happy mind and soul. So, from the moment you are satisfied with what you have, you will start living happier. And I think that is what happiness is.

— Sonali Joshi, Sanepa


Scandinavian nations like Norway have enviable living standards, stable governments, rule of law, zero corruption and above all — individual freedom. No wonder the Norwegians are the world’s happiest people. Personally, I opine that happiness is when life has a sense of purpose or belonging to something greater than individualism. Norwegians are a proud people with a great sense of nationalism and pride. Perhaps, that’s why they are happy. Because they have something to hope for in the future. But we don’t. Not yet.

— Nerinav


Well, happiness is a positive feeling of satisfaction. It cannot be measured but can be evaluated by a medium of social, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. In my opinion, happiness can be achieved if a person is satisfied. It depends on mood of a person. In a family, due to caring and love among members, happiness can be gained. This may be the reason why Nepal is ranked as the third happiest nation in South Asia. I am also happy if my mood is good, my thoughts are given priority anywhere andif I top my class. However, I become sad in case of my failure. So happiness of any person can be determined by good mood and positive satisfaction in anything.

— Pnkujjwal


Suppose if I’d read this piece of news, packed my bags and gone off to Norway. What would happen? There I will definitely miss the tasty momo with buddies for lunch for which I would have to pay 20 times less here. Of course, I can create a similar setting out there, and the price is not a big deal either, but the question is — will I feel more happy?

When we think of measurement, it’s natural for us to confine the term within the dimension of quantitative boundaries. But I think happiness can be measured qualitatively, generally scaled by degree of satisfaction, between you and your external environment. For example, as an employee, satisfaction that you get from your work including your colleagues’ appreciation for your work is an essential factor for your happiness. As a citizen, you would be satisfied and happy with a respectable government with less corrupt leaders and so on.

If you were to be a footballer, it may be tempting to think that adding a new house on the beach or new Lamborghini et cetera would make you happy. But a happy footballer is the one who concentrates on his game making him better everyday than he was the day before, never satisfied with what he is now and always thinking of what he can be tomorrow. We can never be satisfied, but we can always stay happy by feeding this everlasting hunger to grow and pursue our individual dreams rather than seeing the world with materialistic glasses.

— Nabin Parajuli


Norway is word’s happiest nation and Nepal is third in South Asia but it doesn’t matter and makes a difference to individual’s life. Some people live a great life on less, but life of some people seem a waste although they have lots of things. Happiness lies in not in temporary things which you see outside. According to my 21-year-old life, happiness is how you respect the beauty of others and how you live in the present moment. If you live in the past or future, it will bring you anxiety and depression. You will forget the beauty of now — you become unaware about what you have today. True happiness comes when you are aware of now. Respect others and you will feel the love of nature, you will feel divine love and you can call it happiness.

—Nirajan Shrestha, Nayabazar Sorhakhutee


We become happy in a victory, and sad in a defeat. People who can show similar behaviour in both the joyous and sad phases of life can be called happy. But, happiness isn’t something that can be measured or compared. It is just satisfaction. For me, happiness is a state or a feeling that we get by proper fulfilment of our needs. Frankly for me materialistic happiness is the biggest happiness. Like most people, I become happy when I get something new. Having a delicious repast, winning a game, sleeping, going out and visiting new places and enjoying is what happiness for me.

— Adhish Aryal, Lazimpat


According to science happiness is not a physical quantity; it can’t be expressed in numerals. So obviously the happiness index doesn’t make sense and is not directly connected to the happiness of people. Most people don’t know what these values and index of happiness are and how they are connected to happiness. Indeed, these indexes are evaluated via GDP, HDI, corruption index, life expectancy and many other factors. I think happiness index doesn’t directly represent happiness of the people but reflects the living standard of people and the geopolitical situation of the country.

— Kamal Kanta Dhungel, Budhabare-2 , Jhapa


Happiness is a state of mental well-being characterised by positive emotions which cannot be measured directly; however, it can be quantified through questions or surveys. Some questions can be like are you satisfied with yourself, are you committed to your passion et cetera. One can answer those questions honestly — on the scale of 1 to 10 — to know whether they are happy or not. Aristotle said, “Happiness is a state of activity.” You can argue that people can be happy idling but they must not confuse happiness with contentment. Happiness is found in doing things you’re passionate about. I believe one’s happiness is determined by one’s state of mind and is absolutely independent of external forces ranging from family to work office. It depends on whether the person takes those forces positively or negatively and how he reacts to it. A tirade by the boss can be taken as an embarrassment or a constructive criticism to improve them. People who can handle their hard times with rationality and resilience are the ones that stay happy throughout their life.

— PrateekThapa, TejarathTole, Birgunj


It’s great that Nepal has been ranked the third happiest nation in South Asia. Happiness doesn’t mean people smiling all the time but has different factors — from national security to life expectancy. For me, happiness means gross development, food, health and other factors. There is no doubt of Nepal ranking as third happiest country in South Asia because we Nepalis don’t have the fear of civil war and our expenses on gross development is more rather than military. And if we look at the last census report, literacy rate is increasing and birth rate ratio is decreasing. Also, most of the people here are connected to pure drinking water. There is tourism and agricultural development even in rural areas and women are being empowered. So I believe people of the nation are happy when the nation is happy. I also believe these reports that measure people’s happiness each year.

— Asmika Guragain


Happiness is the most important feeling that people can feel. One essential standard for living is being able to be happy. And I do not think happiness can be measured or calculated. As I have seen people who are stressed from inside however, they pretend to be happy from outside — that is why measuring happiness is as difficult as catching elusive butterflies. I can determine whether someone is happy or not if I am close to that person, otherwise I can’t evaluate them. But while talking about Nepali people, we always have a smile on our face no matter what type of hardship we had or have to endure, we try to overcome those obstacles and be happy forgetting all the pain we have.

— Indira Gurmachhan Magar, Imadol


There is no hard and fast rule to measure degree of happiness. Happiness and suffering exist within our mind. It’s an output of understanding of own mind. It depends our attitude towards life. It cannot be attained by ever increasing control over our external world or materials. Although various progresses, the suffering in the world has not decreased yet.

Happiness for me is to enjoy my own life, overcome the obstacles I meet and being surrounded by the people I love. To be honest, I enjoy my life in many ways like preparing my favourite dish with my mother and eating together as a family, getting more than 12 hours of sleep the next day after exam, helping people in problem, lost in natural beauty and giggling at pranks played in college. Moreover, collecting strengths to face obstacles in various steps of my life really provides me pleasure to value my attempts. Though difficulties are tiring and weary and we may not achieve always, my efforts are counted for me — I have a chance to get the experiences and knowledge while conquering difficulties. Furthermore, hanging around with people I love also adds a good feeling from inside.

— Sabita Sapkota, Kapan


Its good to know that Nepal has been able to maintain its spot as the happiest country in South Asia.

But it is weird to think that happiness can be measured. It’s an abstract thing. In my opinion it can be expressed, observed, transferred and felt but cannot be measured. Someone can show extreme happiness through a big smile, a pleasing long laugh; it can be seen in a person’s eye how happy he is but to measure happiness is a difficult task. Some people have everything they want, they show that they are happy from the outside, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy. They might be sad and disappointed from inside — these inner feelings can’t be measured.

Nepal is a poor country. We don’t dream big, most of us live with our small or big family with all the love and compassion for each other. There is a beautiful bonding and sharing among each other and so whenever life brings us down, we have our family to support us. So the sadness is alleviated. The strong affection and love is the main reason behind us being happy.

— Chhanya Maharjan


I think happiness is measured by satisfaction. Happiness is not found outside, but it is found inside a person. Positive nature of a person makes her/him happy. A child is happy when s/he gets a toy or a chocolate, a youth is happy through his job and good income, while an elder person is happy by seeing their generation getting promoted et cetera — these are some examples how people become happy. Happiness is about transforming every trouble into opportunities, and failure into success. Happiness and sadness are just how one perceives things. But it depends upon where he/she looks (concentrates).

— Sunita KC, Ghattekulo  


Happiness is not something that can be measured. We cannot conclude that someone is happy or not just by looking at their faces. Someone might just be faking a smile on their face but may have many troubles within themselves. So, in my opinion, we can never determine whether someone is happy or not by looking at their faces; it’s about their activities. How they are presenting themselves in front of other people shows if they are happy or not. It’s not their smile that has to be noticed, but it’s all about their expressions and behaviours.

— Sachita Shrestha


Measuring happiness is something like catching a butterfly. If we are living every moment of life, then we are happy. If we see positive aspect in everything, then we are happy. Cherishing small moments of joy in our life is being happy. Being satisfied with what we have is happiness. There are many ways of describing happiness, but only those who are happy knows what it means to be happy. When we were five years of age, as a child we had a lot of moments of joy in every single hour. Somebody had to make us unhappy but now somebody has to make us happy. The whole equation has gotten reversed somehow. Everything that we do today is in pursuit of happiness. With the help of science and technology, we have changed the face of this planet and we are definitely the most comfortable generation ever on this planet, but are we any more joyful? There is a very good line I would like to quote here: ‘Everyone should be rich and famous because you should know, it’s not what it takes to be happy’.

— Ayush Shrivastav


Happiness to me is an emotion which comes not from the mind but from the heart because it’s a feeling of self-satisfaction which comes right from inside us, making us feel that we are have really not fallen short of anything useful. Being happy also means that people have done away with problems, troubles and difficulties which arise in life. Happiness and sadness comes one after another as a part of cycle in our life and we have to accept both of them. Anyway happiness has been given far more emphasis than sadness because it gives us a soothing sensation. A country which is really happy means people are satisfied with the system of government without any doubt, query and objection right there.

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor


Can we really say that our country is as happy as Norway and other developed countries, when it is also the third most-corrupt country in South Asia? National wealth might be measured on the basis of different statistical tools but happiness seldom can. Happiness for me is something that comes from within and not measured by doing research reports or conducting surveys. Although Nepal has sluggish economy, the people here are joyous and brave enough to cope with any sort of upheavals they are put into. Happiness for me is purely the good vibes that flow in my veins and not the time indulging in money making. Little things are what matter to me the most. Happiness comes when I don’t insist on the best. For instance, you can feel happy simply by seeing people around you smiling and having a fun time, or it also can be a deep worthwhile conversation with a friend. It can be anything small and not just always capitalistic.

— Tejaswini Khadka


I don’t think happiness can be measured. Happiness can be felt by the person who is close to us. It cannot be measured like height and weight. It can neither be counted nor can be measured. Happiness is the inner peace we feel after achieving something. Most of the people think that to be happy we need to have wealth and power, but that is not the truth. Satisfaction leads people to be and to make others happy.

I usually determine people are happy or not by their faces, gestures and behaviour. If people become happy then automatically a smile comes across their face and normally they talk continuously compared to other days. Some people share sweets with the nearest one if they become happy. Everyone has different ways of expressing happiness. Some share it with family and friends and some throw party for their friends. I believe people can become happy by becoming satisfied. My friends find out whether I am happy or not by seeing my behaviour, for instance, I usually talk and laugh more if I am happy.

— Sonika Lamichhane


According to books, happiness means fulfilment of basic needs, for instance proper economic condition but on a larger context, happiness includes the degree of satisfaction in terms of spiritual and emotional needs. Happiness is something that is felt and thus cannot be measured. Life is full of ups and downs and we have to keep a smile on our face even in hard times. We can’t hide our emotions and it can be easily known whether a person is happy or not. Though people pretend to be happy, still their sadness can be unmasked. It is a true friend one needs to believe in to know their true self, their true potential.

— Himanshu Jha


From punk and gypsy fashion to the present day ever evolving fashion, the world has gone through different fashion eras. Some people pick one era as their favourite over the other based on the styles that ruled that particular period. Which fashion era is the best for you? Why?

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