digitalwellbeing.orgHow to thrive in our hyper-connected world

Notes from Bhutan: How to Be Happy

During our SYZYGY field trip to Bhutan, we’ve been asking the architects and participants of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness project about the secrets to authentic happiness.

Building on the wonderful book on happiness in Bhutan by Linda Leaming, here’s what we’re learning.

  1. People want to be happy
  2. Happiness starts with intent
  3. Happiness doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of conscious action
  4. This action involves doing simple things well
  • Cultivating compassion (kindness and care)
  • Following an inspiring leader (such as the Bhutanese Dragon King – Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck)
  • Being mindful of the effects of our actions on people and the planet
  • Give before you take
  • Building a safe and secure environment for people you love, free from stress, anxiety and fear
  • Embrace simplicity
  • Respecting tradition
  • Building social and community connections
  • Checking your ego. Believe in something bigger than you
  • Enjoying nature; experiencing awe and wonder of natural environments
  • Spreading happiness, rather than pursuing it
  • Appreciating and being grateful for what and who you have, not what you don’t
  • Monitoring wellbeing – how positive we feel about life and life’s experiences
  • Promoting the conditions for happiness to flourish, rather than happiness itself
  • Experiment; there is no cookie-cutter formula for happiness

These are all values that a consultancy such as SYZYGY could embrace to promote client happiness, user happiness and employee happiness. Perhaps they could work for you too?

Written by
Dr Paul Marsden
Join the discussion


Digital wellbeing covers the latest scientific research on the impact of digital technology on human wellbeing. Curated by psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden (@marsattacks). Sponsored by WPP agency SYZYGY.