laughing children Chien-min Chung | getty images

Le Bonheur à dessein

LONDRES – Depuis quelques années, la manière dont on conçoit le bonheur s’est profondément transformée. Jusqu’à peu, il semblait raisonnable de penser que notre bonheur était déterminé par des facteurs tels que la chance, le destin ou des gênes, échappant à notre contrôle. Il était facile de se dire, comme Samuel Beckett, que « les larmes du monde sont immuables ».

Mais de nouvelles découvertes ouvrent des perspectives inédites sur la façon de penser le bonheur, comme étant un sentiment que nous pouvons contrôler et enseigner.

Le bonheur dépend de nombreux facteurs, allant de ceux qui sont évidents, comme être en bonne santé et entretenir des relations étroites avec autrui, à d’autres qui ne sont pas immédiatement évidents, comme adopter un comportement généreux. Certaines de ces attitudes peuvent être apprises ou développées, et les cours qui enseignent des habitudes mentales positives – comme apprécier ce qui compte réellement ou éviter de s’attarder sur des échecs – se traduisent par des améliorations notables du bien-être. Le Dalai Lama a récemment contribué au lancement de cours de ce genre, développés par Action for Hapiness, une organisation dont je suis l’un des fondateurs.

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