Last month, researchers from over 60 countries gathered at the International Positive Psychology Association’s 6th World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, to share cutting-edge insights on the science of well-being.
Their findings added depth and complexity to our understanding of the major keys to a flourishing life. In Melbourne, we heard about when kindness makes us happier—but also when it doesn’t. We learned how the elderly can be meaningfully engaged in helping others. We discovered many concrete ways to boost our sense of meaning in life, and how cultural differences influence the pursuit of happiness. Researchers also addressed modern obstacles to happiness—from the way we’re hooked on technology to a widespread sense of disconnection and loneliness.
However, there were several insights presented at the World Congress that stood out to me as new or surprising. Here are some of the emerging pathways to well-being that positive psychology is just beginning to explore, and the exciting potential they might hold.