Why the Leading Minds in Happiness Research Say Being Happy is a Teachable Skill

Insights from a global conference on happiness education.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Happiness researchers are coming together for an uplifting cause: teaching kids how to be happy, according to a recent piece on China Daily. As the article explains, more than forty researchers and happiness experts gathered at the International Conference on Happiness Education and Seminar on Positive Mental Health Education in Beijing in late May to share their latest research on how to help students and young adults grow their happiness.

During his keynote address, Tian Huisheng, president of the National Institute of Education Sciences, explained that the idea of “happiness education” came about because educators and researchers view happiness as a teachable skill. “We hope that young people can learn to find happiness and bring out happiness in others, and enjoy a happy life,” he said.

Nadia Lovett, a professor from the University of Adelaide in Australia, further explained why it’s so important to teach kids how to cultivate their own happiness from a young age. “On top of genetic influence, 40 percent of your happiness depends on your choices,” Lovett said during a seminar at the conference, according to China Daily. “This includes your daily habits, how you choose to think about life, and stuff you do in your free time.”

The conference also served as the announcement of the International Happiness Consortium, which will be led by the National Institute of Education Services in the Haidian District in China. Based on the idea that happiness requires education and thoughtful life choices, the Consortium will be comprised of educators around the world and will carry out “positive” mental health educational initiatives to train happiness as a skill set.

Read more on China Daily

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