Discussions Questions about Happiness

Published on July 23, 2023 | Updated on June 20, 2024

In the ESL classroom, discussing the concept of happiness can prove to be a fascinating and valuable exercise. After all, happiness is a universal aspiration that transcends cultural boundaries, making it an excellent topic to engage and inspire language learners of all backgrounds.

In this post, we will explore a series of thought-provoking questions that delve into the essence of happiness, encouraging students to articulate their views, experiences, and cultural perspectives. As they reflect on what happiness means to them, they will not only enrich their language skills but also gain profound insights into the human experience and the various factors that contribute to genuine contentment.

So, let’s embark on this exciting adventure together, as we discover the many facets of happiness and unravel the keys to leading a fulfilling life. Get ready to ask, answer, and ponder the questions that matter most—questions about happiness!

Questions about Happiness

These are some great questions to discuss what happiness is in the classroom

  • What does happiness mean to you?
  • Can you describe a moment when you felt truly happy?
  • Is happiness a fleeting emotion or a sustained state of being?
  • How does culture influence our understanding and pursuit of happiness?
  • Do you believe that money can buy happiness? Why or why not?
  • What are some activities or hobbies that bring you joy and happiness?
  • How do you think social relationships impact overall happiness?
  • Can you think of a time when helping others brought you happiness?
  • Is there a connection between physical health and happiness? How so?
  • What role does gratitude play in cultivating happiness?
  • How does the concept of success relate to happiness in your culture?
  • Can you distinguish between short-term pleasure and long-term happiness?
  • Are there any specific cultural rituals or practices in your country that promote happiness?
  • What are the main factors that contribute to happiness in a community or society?
  • Do you believe that a positive mindset can lead to increased happiness? Why or why not?
  • How do you handle challenges or setbacks to maintain your happiness?
  • Are there any aspects of modern life that you think negatively impact happiness levels?
  • Does technology enhance or hinder happiness in your opinion?
  • What are some common misconceptions about happiness that you’ve come across?
  • Can happiness be influenced by external circumstances, or is it primarily an internal state of mind?
  • How do you think social media affects people’s perception of happiness?
  • What role does self-compassion play in overall happiness and well-being?
  • Are there any cultural differences in expressing happiness or emotions in general?
  • Does achieving a work-life balance contribute to greater happiness?
  • How do personal values and beliefs influence individual happiness?
  • Are there any philosophical perspectives on happiness that resonate with you?
  • Is there a relationship between the pursuit of happiness and personal growth?
  • Can you think of any role models or inspirational figures who embody happiness?
  • How do you think the environment and nature influence happiness levels?
  • What advice would you give to someone seeking to lead a happier and more fulfilling life?

Quotes about Happiness

These are some quotes about happiness that you can analyze with your students or friends

  • “Happiness is not a destination; it’s a way of life.”
  • “The pursuit of happiness begins with the pursuit of self-acceptance”
  • “Happiness is a choice, not a result”
  • “The key to happiness is not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have”

Idioms Related to Happiness

Since you are learning about happiness, you probably want to check these idioms

  1. On cloud nine: Feeling extremely happy and joyful, as if floating on a cloud of happiness.
  2. Over the moon: Ecstatically happy, beyond one’s usual level of contentment.
  3. Like a kid in a candy store: Delighted and thrilled, akin to a child’s excitement in a candy shop.
  4. Grinning from ear to ear: Sporting a broad, joyful smile that stretches from one ear to the other.
  5. Walking on sunshine: Experiencing immense happiness and positivity, like basking in the rays of the sun.
  6. Jump for joy: To express happiness by leaping or jumping in excitement.
  7. Happy as a clam: Feeling blissfully content and carefree, often used in the expression “as happy as a clam at high water.”
  8. In seventh heaven: Overwhelmed with happiness, as if dwelling in the highest realm of bliss.
  9. Bursting with joy: Overflowing with happiness and exuberance, unable to contain one’s delight.
  10. On top of the world: Feeling extremely happy, accomplished, and successful, as if at the pinnacle of life’s achievements.

Lesson Ideas to Discuss Happiness

Here are some lesson activities you can use to explore the topic of “discussion questions about happiness” with your students:

  • Happiness Scale: Provide students with a happiness scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely unhappy and 10 being extremely happy. Ask each student to anonymously mark their current level of happiness. Then, have a discussion about what factors influence their happiness and why they rated themselves as they did.
  • Case Studies: Present students with real-life case studies of individuals who have pursued different paths to happiness. Discuss the choices made by these individuals and the outcomes. Encourage students to analyze which factors contributed to or detracted from their happiness.
  • Happiness Journal: Assign students to keep a happiness journal for a week. Instruct them to record daily reflections on what made them happy or unhappy that day. At the end of the week, have students share their journal entries and identify common themes or patterns.
  • Happiness Quotations: Provide a list of famous quotations about happiness from philosophers, writers, and public figures. Ask students to choose a quotation that resonates with them and explain why. Encourage a group discussion on the different perspectives on happiness represented in the quotations.
  • Debate: Pursuit vs. Contentment: Divide the class into two groups. One group argues that happiness comes from pursuing new goals and experiences, while the other group argues that happiness comes from contentment and appreciating what one already has. Hold a structured debate with each group presenting their arguments.
  • Cultural Perspectives: Explore how different cultures define and pursue happiness. Assign different cultures to small groups of students and have them research and present on cultural norms and practices related to happiness. Discuss the similarities and differences among these cultural perspectives.
  • Personal Definitions of Happiness: Ask each student to write down their personal definition of happiness. Afterward, have them share their definitions in pairs or small groups. Encourage a discussion on the diversity of definitions and what factors influence individual perspectives on happiness.
  • Guest Speaker or Expert Interview: Invite a psychologist or expert in the field of positive psychology to speak to the class about the science of happiness. Allow students to ask questions and engage in a discussion about the research findings and practical strategies for increasing happiness.

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English