Mya Care Blogger 04 Jan 2024

Have you ever wondered what makes some people happier and more resilient than others? What are the secrets to living a fulfilling and meaningful life? How can we improve our relationships and well-being in a fast-paced and competitive world?

The answer may lie in an ancient Korean concept that has been around for over 2000 years[1]. It is called Jeong, and it describes a deep and emotional connection with others. Jeong is a mindset that values relationships, empathy, and compassion over individualism and competition. Jeong can help you live a happier life by fostering a sense of belonging, trust, and support among your family, friends, and community.

In this blog, we will explore the science behind the Jeong mindset and how it ties into the modern science of happiness. We will also provide examples and tips for how to integrate this mindset into your daily life and how it can benefit your health and well-being.

What Is Jeong?

Before we dive into the science behind the Jeong mindset, let us first understand what Jeong is and how it is used in Korean culture.

Pronounced ‘chung,’ Jeong (정) is a Korean word that has no exact equivalent in English. It is a broad concept that encompasses a range of positive emotions, such as affection, attachment, compassion, empathy, loyalty, and trust. Deeper than a single feeling, Jeong can be seen as a lack of separation or a very strong bond that connects people, places, and things. English-speaking Koreans often try to describe Jeong as an invisible thread that connects people. Jeong is a patient form of connection that develops naturally over time and with intentionality through acts of connection, kindness, and generosity.[2] 

Jeong is one of the most important and cherished values in Korean society. It reflects the collectivistic and relational nature of Korean culture, where people value harmony, interdependence, and mutual support over individualism, competition, and self-interest. Jeong is also a source of happiness and well-being for Koreans, as it creates a sense of belonging, meaning, and fulfillment in their lives. 

At its core, Jeong is not only a word but a way of life that can enrich well-being and happiness. This way of life has become ever more important, particularly in a post-Covid world where social isolation and quarantine have become a new norm.[3]

5 Ways Jeong Can Be Used to Improve Emotional Well-Being

The Jeong mindset parallels many concepts that have been scientifically proven to work for improving one’s emotional well-being in the field of positive psychology.

One model often quoted in the science of happiness would be Seligman’s PERMA model, which underscores the characteristics of a flourishing individual[4]:

  • P - Positive Emotion
  • E - Engagement
  • R - Relationships
  • M - Meaning
  • A - Accomplishments

Jeong can be applied to each of these five principles to improve them and enrich our overall understanding and attitude toward the cultivation of happiness. Tips for how to more easily implement these key happiness principles are also provided.

1. Jeong for Positive Emotions

Positive psychology research shows that positive emotions, such as joy, gratitude, and love, naturally improve our health, resilience, and creativity. They can also buffer us from stress, depression, and anxiety.[5]

Jeong places an emphasis on positivity by encouraging us to reach out and connect with others in a meaningful way. This paves the way for more satisfying social interactions that enhance our positivity and grow with time and input. When we share our joys and sorrows with others, we feel more connected and understood. When we express our appreciation and affection to others, we feel more valued and loved. When we laugh and have fun with others, we feel more relaxed and joyful.

Tip: Practice daily gratitude by writing down three people and things you are thankful for or writing a thank-you note to someone who helped you. This can boost your happiness and well-being and strengthen your relationships. Similar exercises can be carried out for any other positive emotion, which can help us to bring them more into our lives. In the spirit of Jeong, one can bring the fruits of these exercises forward into social interactions to enhance one’s ability to connect at a deeper level.

2. Jeong for Engagement

Being totally involved and engrossed in an enjoyable activity is known as engagement. It is often talked about in psychology as a key element for achieving a state of ‘flow.’ The science of happiness has proven that engagement is linked with a higher degree of happiness, productivity, and learning.[6] This is likely related to the way in which it can help us discover our passions, achieve our goals, and reach a higher level of fulfillment in life.

With a Jeong mindset, our approach towards engagement can improve the way in which we go about it. Jeong can make us more aware of the task at hand as well as our appreciation for it, our connection with it, and who might benefit. This can diminish stress, enhance concentration, and is more conducive to applying oneself more to the task at hand. When applied to a group setting, it also helps to improve a team’s ability to coordinate better and more positively. When we do something that we can fully connect with and immerse ourselves in, we feel more motivated and inspired. When we pursue a hobby or a passion project while emphasizing appreciation, openness, and willingness to learn, we feel more fulfilled and satisfied.

Tip: Find your flow by doing something new that challenges you and that you feel inspired to learn. This can enhance your happiness and well-being and expand your horizons.

3. Jeong for Relationships

Positive psychology research shows that relationships are the most important factor for our happiness, health, and well-being[7]. They can also protect us from loneliness, isolation, and social rejection and may even be a key factor in enhancing our physical longevity[8].

Jeong can strengthen relationships by placing a great emphasis on others and how we connect with them. It promotes the active building of trust, loyalty, and mutual understanding with others. In the Jeong mindset, all our actions and efforts with people, places, and objects come back to us through this deep sense of connection and are reflected in how we feel. When we listen attentively and empathetically to others who are going through a hard time, we feel more compassionate and supportive. When we offer our help and support to others who need it, we feel more generous and helpful. When we share our thoughts and feelings with others who respect and accept us, we feel more authentic and intimate.

It should be noted that while the above examples illustrate the point, thinking about how Jeong affects you individually is not in keeping with the spirit of the mindset at all.

Tip: Cultivate your social network by reaching out to old friends, making new ones, or joining a club or a community that shares your interests. This can boost your happiness and well-being and enrich your social life.

4. Jeong for Meaning

Meaning is the sense of purpose and direction that we have in life and the connection to something larger than ourselves, such as a culture, tradition, or cause. Positive psychology research shows that meaning can enhance our happiness[9], motivation, and resilience. It can also help us cope with adversity and find hope and optimism.

Jeong can foster meaning by not only connecting you to something larger than yourself but also by placing a warm emphasis on this connection and by elevating even the smallest of one’s personal connections. This highlights the foundations of most forms of psychology in that our psychological orientation is a reflection of our position in life, how it is perceived, and from that point, our connectedness to life itself. When we actively engage in cultural events or activities that many people are participating in, we feel more connected to everyone participating, as well as to something larger than ourselves. When we find a way to contribute to the common good, we feel a higher sense of value in ourselves and our lives (that reason is worth living for), which gives us a better sense of direction and fulfillment.

Tip: Discover your purpose by reflecting on your values and goals and by finding a way to contribute to the common good. This can boost your happiness and well-being and give you a sense of direction and fulfillment.

5. Jeong for Accomplishment

Accomplishment is the achievement of our personal and professional goals, and the satisfaction we feel from reflecting on our successes in life. The field of positive psychology shows that accomplishment can boost our happiness, confidence, and self-esteem. It can also help us learn discipline and to grow and improve upon ourselves.

Jeong can boost accomplishment by motivating you to achieve your personal and professional goals, and celebrating successes with others. The mindset encourages one to be a lot more mindful about what we set out to achieve and can provide an extra dimension of positivity towards what we end up achieving at the end of every day. With Jeong, we can feel more connected to our objectives, more devoted to seeing them through from start to finish, and more motivated to achieve them from the perspective of benefiting everyone around us. When we accomplish something with a Jeong mindset, we are made all the more aware of how our achievements contribute to the world and all in it with whom we are connected.

Tip: Try to set goals that benefit others in one way or another, or when setting goals make sure to take a moment to appreciate them and to allow that appreciation to spill over into your social interactions (which does benefit others). Nurture your goals in the same way you might foster a child, with patience, warmth, enthusiasm, and mindfulness. Create time for special occasions that allow you to celebrate achievements with your loved ones.


Jeong is a 2000-year-old Korean concept, emotion, mindset, and philosophy that can help you live a happier life by enhancing all aspects of your mental and emotional wellbeing. Practising Jeong on a daily basis can deepen your social connections and your appreciation for all the little things that many people take for granted. When applied to principles of positive psychology, Jeong offers a refreshing and warming perspective that enriches one’s attitude towards living life to the fullest.

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Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. The views expressed are personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mya Care. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials in this blog without prior written permission from