What Is Happiness?

by | Nov 4, 2021

What Is Happiness?

Happiness is something that everyone seeks, but not many people actually know what it means to be happy. Happiness can mean different things to different people and it’s important to recognize this so you can find out for yourself what makes you truly happy. For example, some may think happiness is about money or fame while others believe it has nothing to do with those materialistic items. It’s important to figure out your own definition of happiness so you know what direction in life to take and who or what will make you feel fulfilled in the long run.

Once you have a better understanding of what makes you happy, try implementing more activities into your daily routine that are related to making yourself happier!

What is happiness?

“Happiness” is a tough concept to pin down and define. You can’t define happiness without using a synonym for it, and you can’t satisfy everyone’s needs in interpreting it. Oxford dictionaries’ Captain Obvious definition for happiness is “the feeling of being happy”.

Emotional well-being, sometimes called emotional health or subjective happiness, is the state of being happy. It is an emotional condition in which individuals feel joy, contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment. While happiness has a variety of definitions, it frequently implies positive emotions and life fulfillment.

Most people, when they discuss happiness, are referring to how they feel in the present moment or a more general sense of how they feel about life in general.

Because the word “happiness” is so amorphous, psychologists and other social scientists frequently use the phrase ‘subjective well-being’ to refer to this emotional condition. Subjective well-being, as you may guess, entails looking at an individual’s overall personal feelings about their current lifestyle.

Happiness Is Not: Feeling Good All The Time

Skeptics have frequently asked whether a cocaine user is “happy.” If feeling delighted all of the time were our only concern, the answer would be “yes.” According to recent research, though, maintaining an even temperament is more psychologically healthy than experiencing euphoric highs regularly since what rises must eventually fall.

Furthermore, when individuals are asked what makes their lives worth living, the most common answer isn’t “my mood.” They’re more likely to mention things that they find significant, such as their job or relationships. According to recent studies, if you constantly strive to feel good, you’ll handicap your capacity to feel good in the long run—that is, no amount of feeling excellent will be enough because what you anticipate (all the time) isn’t physically feasible for most people.

Happiness Is Not: A Final Destination

The phrase “Are we there yet?” is frequently used when it comes to discussing happiness as if a person works toward it and one day reaches. Contrary to popular belief, unless you are one of the lucky individuals who won the genetic lottery and are naturally happy, maintaining happiness takes constant work.

Keeping a gratitude journal, for example, is an established approach to become happier—it’s not a one-time occurrence. The majority of old methods for increasing happiness are habits rather than one-time events, and most short-term joys, like getting married or being promoted, dissipate over time as we adapt to them.

Where does happiness come from?

What Is Happiness?

Although we usually assume that what makes us happy is external stimuli, science suggests that the majority of our happiness comes from our brains. That’s why changing our perspective can make us happier even if we don’t alter anything else in our lives.

When you repeat positive words with focus, certain portions of your brain associated with these terms are activated. So if I recall the word “adventure,” it is likely to stimulate my memories of adventure and the pleasurable feelings connected with it.

When anyone of us has a negative thought or emotion, the mind begins to work. This is because when any section of the brain is activated, it grows stronger. So repeating or focusing on uplifting words might help you recall better ideas, memories, and feelings.

You may be uncertain which words are good. Scientists have quantified hundreds of terms to determine how favorable they are. You could make your own optimistic list of words or use our positive word flashcard book if you Google it. This might be a great method to begin stimulating those “positive” bits in your mind if you’re having trouble shifting your thinking.

Types of Happiness

There are several distinct views on what makes someone happy. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, for example, made a distinction between two forms of happiness.: hedonia and eudaimonia.

Hedonia: hedonically, pleasure is the key ingredient. It’s most frequently linked with doing things that make you happy, self-care, gratifying needs, and feelings of contentment.

Eudaimonia: The pleasure of this sort comes from looking for goodness and purpose. The feeling that your life has significance, value, and purpose is an essential element of eudaimonic well-being. It’s linked to more long-term goals being achieved, caring for others’ welfare, and living up to personal ideals.

Today, hedonia and eudemonia are more frequently used in psychology to designate pleasure and meaning. The addition of a third component relating to involvement has recently been suggested by psychologists. Feelings of dedication and engagement in different aspects of life are examples of this.

The impact of these variables on the overall happiness experience may be crucial, but their value is highly subjective. Some activities might be both pleasurable and significant, while others could tip in either direction.

Some types of happiness that may fall under these three main categories include:

  • Joy: A often relatively brief feeling that is felt in the present moment
  • Excitement: A happy feeling that involves looking forward to something with positive anticipation
  • Gratitude: A positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative
  • Pride: A feeling of satisfaction in something that you have accomplished
  • Optimism: This is a way of looking at life with a positive, upbeat outlook
  • Contentment: This type of happiness involves a sense of satisfaction

How to create happiness

What Is Happiness?

Now that we know what happiness is, how can we get it? There are a variety of happiness abilities to develop. Which of these happiness-enhancing skills you should develop depends on you, as well as which happiness-boosting skills you have difficulty with (take this quiz to learn more about your happiness strengths and weaknesses). When we concentrate on developing our most challenging skills, we are more likely to be happier.

Use happy exercises to build these talents. You might practice optimistic reappraisal, discover how to capitalize on your strengths, or create experiences in your life that add more significance to your existence.

Why is Happiness So Important?

You could be wondering why happiness is considered such an essential element of life when there are numerous components to a fulfilling existence.

Science might agree with you in certain respects. It appears that life satisfaction, meaning, and well-being are related to happiness, but happiness is not always the primary goal in life. It is still significant because it contains some indisputably beneficial characteristics as well as co-occurring variables.

June Silny at Happify outlines 14 answers to the question, “What’s so great about happiness, anyway?

  1. Happy people are more successful in multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health.
  2. Happy people get sick less often and experience fewer symptoms when they do get sick.
  3. Happy people have more friends and a better support system.
  4. Happy people donate more to charity (and giving money to charity makes you happy, too).
  5. Happy people are more helpful and more likely to volunteer—which also makes you happier!
  6. Happy people have an easier time navigating through life since optimism eases pain, sadness, and grief.
  7. Happy people have a positive influence on others and encourage them to seek happiness as well, which can act as reinforcement.
  8. Happy people engage in deeper and more meaningful conversations.
  9. Happy people smile more, which is beneficial to your health.
  10. Happy people exercise more often and eat more healthily.
  11. Happy people are happy with what they have rather than being jealous of others.
  12. Happy people are healthier all around and more likely to be healthy in the future.
  13. Happy people live longer than those who are not as happy.
  14. Happy people are more productive and more creative, and this effect extends to all those experiencing positive emotions.



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