We think it may actually be possible that happiness is quantifiable and that it can be measured. In the country of Bhutan, Gross National Happiness index is used to gauge the progress of the nation and its people. It is often referred to as the happiest place on earth.
Globally, we utilize GDP, Gross Domestic Product, to measure the prosperity of a country; it’s a measurement that assumes the well-being of the people is contingent solely on the dollar value of the goods and services they produced. We’ve all heard the saying “money can’t buy happiness,” so then why do we assume it’s an appropriate measure for the prosperity of a country? GNH is attempting to bridge the gap.
Economist Richard Layard, who studied the positive affect and GDP data between 1964 and 1996, debunked the notion that economic growth is the key to happiness. He and editors of the World Happiness Reports for 2012, 2013 and 2015, found that happiness could be measured, is being measured, and has a place in policy, academia, business, and communities, according to an article in Positive Psychology.
Bhutan’s approach is slowly spreading. In Germany, Angela Merkel has brought attention to the importance of starting a conversation with people about happiness and well-being. Research and projects are underway to identify what contributes to GNH and how much of each contributing factor is necessary for one to be happy.
To read more the work being done by psychologists, economists, community activists, and policy makers visit here.