Jenny Tay

The Secret to Bhutan’s Happiness

Bhutans-5th-King-and-Queen-are-meeting-all-strata
Photo taken from Dalattrip.com . Click on the picture for the original article

“Actually, by suggesting I think about death once a day, Ura was going easy on me. In Bhutanese culture, one is expected to think about death five times a day.”

Does contemplating death frequently bring about happiness? This article from BBC certainly suggests so. My friends who have been to Bhutan all come back telling me how pleasant the whole place is. Before I joined the trade, I was in advertising. My job was to see happy things and make things happier. Strangely, I found myself then more easily irritable. As compared to my current work, I am much busier than when I was in advertising, yet I feel happier and spiritually more satisfied. Seeing families mourn have taught me how impermanent my loves ones are. As I reflect on my relationship with my loved ones, I realize that I do not quarrel as much with them any more and have learnt to let things that upset me go more easily than before. Its amazing how this happened so quietly and I only took notice after reading this article. Death does have transformative effects.

Click on this link if you are interested to read more on the  study by Nathan DeWall, a psychologist from the University of Kentucky and Roy Baumeister of Florida State University. Their research results suggests that people who think about death will subconsciously think pleasant thoughts.

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