How do you Measure your Happiness? What is “GNH”?

How do you Measure your Happiness? What is “GNH”?

Do you know the word “GNH”? GNH is an indicator to measure if people are happy or not.

Unlike the old days, now Japanese people have more than enough things, and from an economic point of view, Japan can be considered as a rich country. However, the economy is not the only thing to measure happiness.

At this time, we should think about “What is happiness?” I will explain about GNH, which is closely related to happiness levels in detail, and roughly explain about the relationship between happiness levels and Community Currencies.



What is GNH?

GNH is an abbreviation for “Gross National Happiness”, in other words, GNH is a measure to show “the happiness level of the people nationwide”.



What is the Origin of GNH?

GNH is a development philosophy launched by the Himalayan Kingdom, Bhutan, as a slogan of its own nation building. It is based on a thought that they want to measure the richness of heart properly, not from an economic point of view like GDP.



GDP (Gross Domestic Product) represents the total added value (≒ consumption amount) produced in the country. It is only economic richness that can be measured by GDP, and in a capitalistic way, they equate it with happiness level. But I question the idea that economic richness is happiness. Because happiness also depends on the spiritual richness of the person.


In order to depart from this capitalistic idea, GNH was invented focusing on mental well-being. This idea was generated in Bhutan, as they have country background.


Characteristics of Bhutan

Bhutan is a country where originally Buddhism is believed and aims to construct a welfare state that conforms to the idea. Therefore, Bhutanese people respect and protect natural environment and inherit their unique traditional culture. It means they tend to care about old good ideas, and it can be said that Bhutan is an opposing country to capitalism, which is also called mammonism.


In Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, international conferences for studying GNH are often held, which shows how important the Bhutanese people value the indicator called GNH. In 2005, the Bhutan government conducted the national census, and there was a question “Are you happy?” Those who selected “I am happy” and “I’m rather happy” exceeded 95% of the respondents.


What are the Criteria for GNH?

In Bhutan, they measure GNH based on the criteria below:

・Living Standard

・Cultural Diversity

・Emotional Well Being



・Time Use


・Community Vitality

・Good Governance


In these 9 living areas, they measure how many people have reached the satisfaction level to what extent. They visualize the invisible elements such as Emotional Well-being and Community Vitality.



Economic Happiness and Spiritual Happiness

You may be happy if you have much money. One of the reasons for you to work must be “to earn money”. If it’s not, maybe you are affluent and have more than enough money.


According to a paper, when the income level of a person is extremely low, happiness level of the person will rise as income increases. This can be imagined easily, like “you are happy because you can buy more things and you can do more things, when your annual income increases”.


On the other hand, there is also a phenomenon that once your income exceeds a certain level, happiness level does not rise proportionally even if income increases any further. They say it’s because people “get used to” the condition. This also indicates that in current Japan, earning more money doesn’t related to happiness. I guess many Japanese people feel this point.



Utilize PEACE COIN as a Measure of Happiness

PEACE COIN is a currency that is created for the purpose of “Visualizing invisible values”, and it is Cryptocurrency based on Blockchain technology. It can be an indicator to measure happiness level, as it is a project that links emotion/mental activity to Token economy.


PEACE COIN has a two-sided mechanism that it increases as you use it (like point system), and it decreases if you don’t use it. In other words, it has a mechanism for the owners to use more.


By using PEACE COIN, people will have different feeling than paying with fiat currency. For example, if PEACE COIN is paid for Shadow Work such as volunteer work and domestic labor, the receivers can feel their contribution, and the payers can also feel happiness as they notice their thanks and support by evaluation.




GNH is not yet penetrated the entire society, compared to the economic indicators such as GDP. However, it is difficult to measure happiness level from economic point of view nowadays, and it is getting harder to measure true happiness.