Most people spend time seeking happiness in one way or the other. However, it is an extraordinary fact that we often look for it in the wrong places. One person may think that happiness can be found in making lots of money. Yet we all know that; although we would not turn down the chance of making a lot of money; it is not necessary the case that money will make us happy. The old proverb says “money cannot buy you love.” And yes, it cannot buy you happiness either.
Others seek happiness through their career: single-mindedly they pursue every opportunity of furthering their career until they find that they are in oblivion and fantasy…those who are obsessed with work cut themselves off from the world that most of their fellow humans occupy so that they lose the capacity to communicate in a normal manner. This always creates a reality of being socially maladjusted. Thus making them to create a reality of being sick and depressed through exhaustion and overworking. Furthermore, their relationship with their dearest and nearest ones suffer; sometimes terminally.
Psychologists and health experts indicate that a good balance between enjoyable leisure and satisfying work is essential prerequisite for happiness. As the famous proverb said “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
However, while balance is necessary, it is not sufficient. Neither work nor play can satisfy without fulfilling relationships. It follows, therefore that those who are most likely to succeed in finding happiness are those who also manage to build up a wide range of satisfying relationships of all kinds: family, friends and even those they meet causally. Paradoxically, such relationships are most likely to bring happiness if one’s motivation is to give happiness rather than to acquire it.
You can be living in a modest apartment and yet very happy. On the other hand you can be living in a mansion but you are not happy. One day I was walking down the street and an acquaintance called me and I had to walk down to go and greet him. But I noticed something; there was a man who was living in a teeny-tiny room with his wife and four children. The man and his family were eating eba with soup and they were eating together happily.
Eba is carbohydrate food made from cassava; it is a staple food in Nigeria. It is usually like flour. It can be soaked as garri; garri is the flour of it that has been dried and powdery. Eba is made by boiling hot water and pouring the garri into the hot water to become solidified. After which you use your spatula to turn it for concentration. Once it has been concentrated you can now swallow it with any soup of your choice (egusi, okro soup, vegetable soup, draw soup, banga soup etc)
When I greeted them I could see happiness and fulfillment in them; because from the aura they exuded it shows that they are living peacefully and cooperatively. They were content with what they have. Not everyone has this kind of mindset. When you compare yourself to others you set yourself up for self-destruction and suffering because everyone is on their own unique journey.
The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness
What Is Happiness?
Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction.
When most people talk about happiness, they might be talking about how they feel in the present moment, or they might be referring to a more general sense of how they feel about life overall.
Because happiness tends to be such a broadly defined term, psychologists and other social scientists typically use the term ‘subjective well-being’ when they talk about this emotional state. Just as it sounds, subjective well-being tends to focus on an individual’s overall personal feelings about their life in the present. Two key components of happiness (or subjective well-being) are:
- The balance of emotions: Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. Happiness is generally linked to experiencing more positive feelings than negative.
- Life satisfaction: This relates to how satisfied you feel with different areas of your life including your relationships, work, achievements, and other things that you consider important.
How to Know If You’re Happy
While perceptions of happiness may be different from one person to the next, there are some key signs that psychologists look for when measuring and assessing happiness.
Some key signs of happiness include:
- Feeling like you are living the life you wanted
- Feeling that the conditions of your life are good
- Feeing that you have accomplished (or will accomplish) what you want in life
- Feeling satisfied with your life
- Feeling positive more than negative
One important thing to remember is that happiness isn’t a state of constant euphoria. Instead, happiness is an overall sense of experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones.
Happy people still feel the whole range of human emotions—anger, frustration, boredom, loneliness, and even sadness—from time to time. But even when faced with discomfort, they have an underlying sense of optimism that things will get better, that they can deal with what is happening, and that they will be able to feel happy again
Types of Happiness
There are many different ways of thinking about happiness. For example, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle made a distinction between two different kinds of happiness: hedonia and eudaimonia.
- Hedonia: Hedonic happiness is derived from pleasure. It is most often associated with doing what feels good, self-care, fulfilling desires, experiencing enjoyment, and feeling a sense of satisfaction.
- Eudaimonia: This type of happinessis derived from seeking virtue and meaning. Important components of eudaimonic well-being including feeling that your life has meaning, value, and purpose. It is associated more with fulfilling responsibilities, investing in long-term goals, concern for the welfare of other people, and living up to personal ideals.
Hedonia and eudemonia are more commonly known today in psychology as pleasure and meaning, respectively. More recently, psychologists have suggested the addition of the third component that relates to engagement. These are feelings of commitment and participation in different areas of life.
Research suggests that happy people tend to rank pretty high on eudaimonic life satisfaction and better than average on their hedonic life satisfaction.1
All of these can play an important role in the overall experience of happiness, although the relative value of each can be highly subjective. Some activities may be both pleasurable and meaningful, while others might skew more one way or the other.
For example, volunteering for a cause you believe in might be more meaningful than pleasurable. Watching your favorite tv show, on the other hand, might rank lower in meaning and higher on pleasure.2
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
(Photos: Google images)
One thought on “What is Happiness?”
“Happiness is not actually as a result of the material things you have. Happiness is an inside-thing. When you are healthy and have peace you will be happy.” Kingsley Osajie