11.07.2019 in Psychology

A Detailed Look at Happiness

Every person has feelings and emotions, which are very normal and serve various purposes for different individuals. Human beings possess emotional development and self-healing that increases their individual confidence and happiness, overcoming self-sabotage. Therefore, having feelings and emotions deepens an individual’s relationship with oneself and others. It is not possible for anybody to stop having feelings because they are a part of each and every individual. According to Martin (2002), “People feel different things every day as various events occur. Sometimes, a person may feel sad, for example, if someone they love goes away.” Sometimes people feel happy, for example, when they get a good job. Sometimes people feel scared, angry, guilty, lonely or any of a huge range of human emotions. Strong emotions are felt when chemicals are released into the human brain, making them feel sad, angry, happy, and scared. Human feelings always fluctuate; these are emotions that continue revolving in individuals, which may be good or bad, but feelings are a universal experience.

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Happiness is something everyone wants to have, and it is a decision. According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, happiness is defined as a state of well-being, a pleasurable, or satisfying experience. This definition can be objected to, to an extent that provides good evidence to suggest that pleasure is merely an evolutionary development. Hence, “Pleasure is felt when a person does something that is good for him or her, such as eating a delicious meal or engaging in sex,” says Richard (2005).

In psychology, the definition of happiness covers three main elements: feeling good, meaning having a pleasure of peace or contentment; it also entails thoughts by looking over one’s life and being generally satisfied with what has passed and what has yet to pass, and not feeling bad, which always detracts from happiness. These three elements are part of happiness

“Happiness is the emotional aspect of a person’s well-being,” says Stefan (2006). Mostly, young people associate happiness with excitement, and older people associate happiness with feeling peaceful, which is a change driven by increasing feelings of connectedness to other people and to the present as one ages.

According to McMahon (2005), “Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good. The extent of happiness does vary; therefore, different words have been used to describe happiness. For instance, bliss is unalloyed happiness or supreme delight: the bliss of perfect companionship and contentment is a peaceful kind of happiness in which one rests without desires, even though every wish may not have been gratified; contentment in one’s surroundings.” Felicity is a formal word for happiness of an especially fortunate or intense kind; for example, to wish a young couple felicity in life.

I define happiness as the state of an individual’s well-being, having contentment within oneself, and hoping to cherish a desire with anticipation.

As mentioned above, happiness may be described with other words such as blissful, calm, carefree, cheerful, comfortable, complacent, contented, delighted, ecstatic, elated, enthusiastic, exalted, excited, exultant, fantastic, festive, glad, grateful, inspired, joyful, joyous, jubilant, lighthearted, optimistic, peaceful, playful, pleased, pleasant, relaxed, relieved, satisfied, serene, tranquil, and thrilled.


Scientific hypotheses that explain happiness

: As defined above, happiness is a state of the mind or basically a feeling that is characterized by contentment, love, self-satisfaction, and joy.

There are varieties of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches that have been used to identify the term happiness and its sources. Thus, studies in positive psychology have adopted the use of theoretical models to describe happiness as constituting positive emotions and activities.

Robert (2004) stated that “the scientific views of happiness entail the biological approach to understanding what happiness is, or the meaning of the quality of life or what it is all about.” In the biological perspective, the current events of discoveries that occur to individuals, together with the use of technologies that are able to see an individual’s chemical natures and brain functions. This also involves the study of neurotransmitters, increasing with the advances in technology that are able to measure how neurotransmitters are affecting an individual’s emotions, as in the case of depression where patients have low levels of serotonin.

Happiness hypothesis is an assessment of factors contributing to happiness. Haidt (2006) discusses the importance of ten great ideas. The most basic of these ideas are about the divided self, changing the mind of an individual, the pursuit of happiness, love and attachments, and happiness as a result of the interaction between internal needs and external opportunities. He stresses that in the divided self, it is the distinction between an individual’s rational ego and their emotions and motives, each with specific dynamics. Thus, it is observed that individuals lacking emotions are not able to make any decisions.

Happiness depends on the way people think. Biologically, individual genes have a strong impact on how people think, but there are possibilities to make changes, for instance, by medication, cognitive therapy, and Prozac. This implies that individual happiness (H) does not completely depend on the genetic set-point (S).

The mind is divided in many ways, but the division that really matters is between conscious/reasoned processes and automatic/implicit processes.

Happiness has many levels. It begins with feeling good about yourself, feeling positive expectation as you explore the possibilities that life has to offer for your personal growth and expansion. It is about experiencing new and meaningful realities that make you feel good with love to some degree.

So, your happiness is primarily your experience of love for who you believe yourself to be. The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and ever richer experiences. Happiness is an individual’s positive self-identity at any given moment in relation to any specific event. Happiness is the most expansive emotion on the love scale, for it encapsulates every other positive emotion from good to ultimate ecstasy. You cannot have love without happiness nor happiness without love to some degree.

There are many things that trigger happiness in life, and each person has a different set of things that trigger or that make them feel happy.

These may be a special relationship, creating wealth, work achievement, success, power, popularity, status, physical beauty, career positions, social status, a neat home environment, possessions, and the like.

Given its very nature, reported happiness is subjective. It is difficult to compare one person’s happiness with another’s. It can be especially difficult to compare happiness across cultures. However, happiness economists believe they have solved this comparison problem. Cross-sections of large data samples across nations and time demonstrate consistent patterns in the determinants of happiness.

To turn to economic theory, a basic problem with the revealed preference approach is that the judgment on a person’s happiness is made not by the individual concerned, but by an outsider who is observing the person’s consumption choices. If one takes the view that the only one who can make authoritative judgments on a person’s feelings of well-being is the person concerned, then one is led to look at self-reports on well-being.

Research has identified a number of attributes that correlate with happiness: relationships and social interaction, extraversion, marital status, employment, health, democratic freedom, optimism, endorphins released through physical exercise and eating chocolate, religious involvement, income, and proximity to other happy people.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion.

Executive summary

Happiness is contagious. Like a cold, happiness can be caught from the people around you. People who were surrounded by many happy people were more likely to become happy in the future. In fact, happiness extended as much as 3 degrees of separation. If one wants to improve their own mood, then they should look at the network of people that surround them. It may be in a person’s best interest to seek out those friends and acquaintances who are happy.

There are a variety of things that cause happiness, says Richard (2005). These are derived from three levels: a person can be happy due to the happenings or experiences in their life. There are many things that can trigger happiness in life, and each person has a different set of happenings that can cause happiness. Examples of these happenings include: having the ability to create wealth, having success in life, having a good career position, high-profile social class, wealth and riches, having a nice meal, fame, power, and many more. However, these happenings are good, and missing them can make one unhappy.

The happenings that can cause happiness are transient, meaning that they come and disappear, making the flow of happiness. They also change with time and are absolutely vital in the expansion of happiness. Thus, happiness derived from these triggers or happenings is short-lived and can soon turn into disappointments or unhappiness. Happiness can only be sustained if there is a constant flow of new happenings. To avoid unhappiness when a happening ceases or when a trigger is no longer triggering happiness, one needs to establish stability in contentment and peace. These happenings, therefore, are what unblock the inner happiness, making it flow faster. They can enhance the joyful waves that expand happiness within a person while still remaining grounded in the underlying contentment and peace, also known as authentic happiness.

When the happening ends, the person’s emotions do not fall to the level of disappointment or unhappiness; instead, a new trigger is attracted and causes happiness again.

Scientifically, happiness is generated by brain chemicals called serotonin and dopamine. According to an ancient knowledge of lifespan or life, a subtle biochemical substance known as OJAS is responsible for the experience of joy, happiness, and exhilaration in the human mind-body system. OJAS is created when a person has eaten well and digestion is good and the food has become completely digested, it activates the experience of inner joy and exhilaration or bliss, calm, carefree, cheer, comfort, complacent, content, delight, ecstasy, excitement, fantasy and many other forms of happiness. OJAS is the cause of joy and it is used by the body’s inner intelligence to create happy molecules in a persons mind body system, hence it causes happiness at a subtle level. It improves a person appetite, strengthens digestion and immunity, balances weight, increases physical strength and stamina, energy, wellbeing and joy.

Finally, there is the non-physical level at the source of life that causes happiness. Life is the basic source and cause of happiness referred to as bliss or pure love in its most sublime form, According to a philosopher, Aristotle; he stated that “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Life is designed to expand happiness at all levels which is transferred by OJAS to the level of experience.

The way to find more happiness is to remove the obstacles that are hindering its flow from its source within a person. This means removing stresses from the system and changing those habits that continue to add more stress and physical impurities to the mind-body system everyday.

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