This is quite a question and one that, at first glance, might appear impossible to answer.
Everyone is different, after all.
One man’s pleasure is another man’s pain, or at least so the saying goes.
No two people are the same, that much is true.
But that doesn’t mean that the question above cannot be addressed and common denominators identified.
Love. Friendship. Family. Kindness. Kinship.
These are all things that, as human beings, we’re pre-programmed to find happiness in.
Shared experiences. Doing things together.
Not everybody, perhaps. But as a general rule, it might be as good as it gets.
Researchers from two UK institutions have, in recent times, found this to be the case having used an ingenious app called Mappiness in an attempt to answer the question posed above.
More than 20,000 Britons took part in the project, using the app to map out the things that, during a regular day, made them happy.
Being intimate with others took the top spot.
On the list, it fascinated us to note, activities dominated.
Going out. Doing things. Being active. Having experiences.
This is, in the main then, what makes people happy.
Taking exercise. Doing the garden. Singing and socialising. Enjoying nature. Going to a museum or to the theatre. It makes for interesting reading.
Like all studies, there are caveats. Like all rules, there are exceptions.
But as a broad picture, we think this carries significant weight.
It’d intrigue us to see similar research conducted with the emphasis on children and teenagers. What makes young people happy? We think we have an inkling.
Love. Friendship. Kindness. Kinship.
Family? This is even more important to children than to adults, we suspect . . .
Doing things together?
Experiences and activities (child-related ones in particular) are, in our opinion, leading the list when it comes to the things that make our children the happiest.
Not technology. Not the television. Being active, doing things – actual things – and spending time together, with families and loved ones.
What makes people happy?
What makes young people happy?
Big questions, perhaps, but here at CPUK, we can point towards some of the answers.