In 2008, Denmark ranked as the happiest nation on the planet, according to the World Map of Happiness and the World Values Survey. These happiness surveys polled people around the globe on — you guessed it — how happy and satisfied they are with life. Folks in Denmark showed an impressively high degree of social connections, career satisfaction and political and economic stability — all of which are known to promote happiness.

But what does it even mean that the Danish consider themselves happier than a lot of other people around the world? What were the surveys measuring, exactly? According to Webster, happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment.” That emotional state the dictionary refers to is arguably different for everyone. At the same time, we know the physical effects of happiness; humans smile and laugh as a natural sign of glee. Certain physiological reactions, such as increased activity in the brain’s left prefrontal lobe and decreased amounts of cortisol (a stress hormone) coursing through the bloodstream, happen when we’re happy.

How do you measure your own happiness, specifically?

What has been the happiest time of your life?

Did the pandemic affect your happiness at all? In what ways, specifically?

Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy or not at all happy?

路 In most ways, is your life close to your ideal? Explain.

路 Are the conditions of your life excellent? What specifically, if anything, could change?

路 Are you satisfied with your life?

路 So far, have you gotten the important things you want in life?

路 If you could live your life over again, would you change anything, or almost nothing? Explain.

Post your response here. If you have any questions let me know.