*Summer Issue* OPINION – Science Says: Happiness is Universal & Personal

Isabel Vigale, Reporter

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[This is the final story from Senior News Reporter Isabel Vigale.  She will be attending Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH this fall.]

NEWSROOM/OPINION — Happiness can have different meanings and can be expressed in different ways by different people.  For many people, happiness is one of the main aspects of a fulfilling life.

The Harris Poll on happiness indicates that 33% of Americans considered themselves happy in 2017.  This percentage seems low and can convey the common aspect of narrowing in on the small hardships and misfortunes without considering the small joys and bigger picture.

Since there are periods of time that make happiness appear like an unattainable phenomena, it is easy to focus on the bad aspects of life.  Focusing on the good aspects of life might help someone overcome these negative feelings.

Many people searching for ways to increase their happiness levels through life coaches, support groups, and speakers.  The University of California Berkley even created an online course called “The Science of Happiness” that teaches positive psychology and “explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life.”

People around the world read articles and polls about the happiest countries—Norway, Denmark, and Iceland (Gallup)—activities that promote happiness—exercise, gardening, and singing (The Telegraph)—and foods that trigger happiness—fruits, dark chocolate, and green tea (Health.com).


All of these studies are measured by public opinion polls and scientific research, but happiness is tailored to an individual.  Facts, statistics, and information can be
used as guidelines, but everyone finds their personal ways of generating happiness.

While most news coverage is about negative events and failures are remembered by many more than successes, happiness can easily be lost sight of. It can easily be
turned into a uniform scientific formula, but the real science of happiness is unique to every individual.

A quote by philosopher Immanuel Kant can be used for the three things needed for happiness—“Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”

Story by Isabel Vigale, Reporter

Edited by Ted Frascella, Interim Editor-in-Chief

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