It's 7 in the morning. Ruhani (name changed) is a young woman standing and staring at the sky in a park that is otherwise abuzz with people out on their morning walks. There are beaming faces all around, but this lady seems to be lost a world of her own thoughts. An old man spots her, takes a pause from his walk, and asks her what she is doing. A conversation ensues and what comes to light is that despite the young educated woman having everything in life, the one element missing is happiness.

There is an entire population who struggles with the pursuit of happiness, an essential element that matters most when it comes to living.

What is happiness?

Everyone seeks this important, yet elusive treasure. Almost every action, activity, and goal in life is motivated by the desire to find happiness. So what is this happiness? Is it a state of mind or a more tangible thing? Perhaps it's a feeling that comes when you know that life is good and you can't help but smile. Maybe it's a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. It may be something less about pleasure and more about wisdom.

Finding happiness during a pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, people have faced challenges handling their emotions. Relegated to the four walls of their homes for months, gone was the familiar comfort of daily routines and social interactions. People experienced a strong sense of uncertainty with respect to their future and for some, it was as if the things that made life worth living had come to a grinding halt.

However, it has also been a period that allowed people more time for themselves. The quarantine offered a window to refocus energy, time for personal reflection, and a redefinition of this abstract notion of happiness. Consequently, happiness has now become a way of life for many.

Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness

The Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness is a platform to nurture the science and art of happiness through scientific perspectives across research, academic program, practice, and outreach. The 5 key aspects of the center are academic programs, research, training, community-centered activities, and technology dissemination.

Fulfillment = happiness?

It appears the idea of happiness is more about fulfillment. It is about making sure that you have the independence of thought and action. At a glance, one might draw the conclusion that freedom ultimately brings happiness.

Richa Sorot Dalal

Richa Sorot Dalal

Journalist, willing to work on issues often ignored and untouched in the society.

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