Happiness is something we all strive to have more of and avoid a lack thereof. It is pleasant emotion that has been attributed many meanings over time. Lyubomirsky (2008) defined happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s own life is good, meaningful and worthwhile”.   

Lyubomirsky also teamed up with Sheldon & Schkade in 2005 to develop the Sustainable Happiness Model. The model proposed 3 determinants of happiness which include a biological set point, life circumstances and intentional activities. The model balances happiness as mostly influenced by our biological determined level (explains why some people are happy than others) and our conscious behaviours and thoughts. Circumstances has the smallest influence.

In a paper by Gupta & Singh (2017), they propose what intentional activities could be used to promote that attainment of happiness. These include;

  •   Constructive thoughts
  •   Expressing Gratitude
  •   Visualising Best Possible Self
  •   Empathy
  •   Altruism
  •   Purchasing New Experiences
  •   Giving Respect
  •   Praising Others
  •   Keep on Smiling
  •   Physical Exercise

All these suggestions are based on studies that have found them to be beneficial in the acquisition of increased levels of happiness. Understanding your set point is important as following events this the level you will most likely return to. Also understanding that intentional activities, meaning, your conscious choices make a huge difference in the experience of happiness and this is something we all have control over.


Gupta, A., & Singh, D. (2017). Happiness: An overview and the ways of enhancing it. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(4), 583-586. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1986570040?accountid=166958

Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The how of happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. USA: Penguin Press.

Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 111-131.

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