The key to happiness… where does it lie?

Friday 20th March marks the 2015 UN International Day of Happiness. According to the United Nations’ website, this is a day in which individuals are asked and encouraged to “reach out and make new connections”.

The International Day of Happiness campaign works together with the organisation Action for Happiness as well as in partnership with over 66 similar groups.

The predominant theme for 2015’s day focuses on the establishment of connections and relationships with others in our communities and across the globe.

This year will be the third International Day of Happiness since its creation on the 28th June 2012, in order to promote the pursuit of human happiness which is necessary in helping our development as a society.

However, to what extent is the idea of social interaction being the root of happiness true?

At Tonbridge Grammar School, we held a survey to investigate into what makes a person happy.

One student, Anna age 12, said that “I am happy when I am with my family, and knowing that they are happy also”.

However, Hailey, 13, replied “My birds make me happy, as well as watching TV and food”.

Alex, 13, says “Reading, chocolate and getting in touch with nature” are what makes her happy.

“Sunny mornings and coming in from the rain, as well as reading… spending time with my family” Mrs Shaw continues. Mrs Fisher agrees, “Being with my children, as well as the satisfaction of solving a sudoku… I love painting and mushy peas.”

Mrs Saunders states, “Let me think… singing, walking the dog outside in the sun, reading and going to the theatre… having a nice time with the children.”

“My family and close friends are what make me happiest” claims Ms Opoteia.

Finally, Leo, age 13, says “I’m happy when I am with people who are also happy”.

Though the answers varied from person to person, the majority of people’s sources of happiness were related to family and friends, or interaction of some form. This suggests that the basis of happiness does rotate around human relationships.