Normally, if anybody asks you,” how are you?”

Your answer may be "I am fine."

Let us change the question to, "Are you happy?". The possibility is that before answering you start thinking "am I really happy?"

If your answer is, "Yes, I am happy." I will say remain in that state without any analysis.

But I happened to read an article about the psychology of happiness, and I started weighing if I was happy. Then I made a little further inquiry about happiness and the ways to gain happiness. The following is the result of my curious inquiry.

Happiness has many different definitions. I like this, "Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment." 

There are different types of Happiness. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle suggested two different kinds of happiness: hedonic 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.

Eudaemonia: This type of happiness is derived from seeking virtue and meaning. An important component of this type of happiness is feeling that your life has meaning, value, and purpose. It is associated more with fulfilling responsibilities and living up to personal ideals.

Hedonia and eudaemonia 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.

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 Cultivate Happiness

While some people just tend to be naturally happier, there are things that you can do to cultivate your sense of happiness. 

Pursue Intrinsic Goals 

Achieving goals, particularly ones that are focused on personal growth and community, can help boost happiness.

Enjoy the Moment

Most of us attach our happiness to our goal/destination. We program our minds in such a way that we become oblivious to the enjoyment of the journey.

Refrain from Negative Thoughts

When you find yourselves full of negativity, start thinking something positive. Even imaginary visualization of some happy moment can help make you happy.

People have a natural tendency to pay more attention to bad things than good things. This can have an impact on everything from how you make decisions to how you form impressions of other people. 

Refraining from these negative perceptions isn't about ignoring the bad. Instead, it means trying to take a more balanced, realistic look at events.

Positive effects of Happiness.

Happiness gives positive outcomes in many different areas of life.

Positive emotions increase satisfaction with life.

Happy people cope with life's challenges in a better manner.

Positive emotions are linked to better health and longevity.

Being happy may make help you get sick less often. Happier mental states increase immunity.?

How to be Happy?

All of us know what can make us happy.

Certain things are common to all like good health, success, security, and freedom from anxiety.

You might not be able to control everything in life, but there are things that you can do to make your life happier and more fulfilling. Even the happiest of individuals can feel down from time to time and happiness is something that all people need to consciously pursue.

The simplest things, which we can do easily, and we must do to be happy are as follows:

1 Keep yourself fit by exercising regularly

Exercise is good for both your body and mind. Physical activity is linked to a range of physical and psychological benefits. It may also help make people happier, too.

2 Show Gratitude

In one study, participants were asked to engage in a writing exercise for 10 to 20 minutes each night before bed. 11? Some were instructed to write about daily hassles, some about neutral events, and some about things they were grateful for. The results found that people who had written about gratitude had increased positive emotions, increased subjective happiness, and improved life satisfaction.

Find a Sense of Purpose

People who feel like they have a purpose have better well-being and feel happier

Some things you can do to help find a sense of purpose include:

  • Explore your interests and passions.
  • Do some social service.
  • Look for new things you might want to learn more about

This sense of purpose is influenced by a variety of factors, but it is also something that you can cultivate.

In the end, I would like to suggest that we should not attach our happiness or peace to a point in time (like when we reach our goal or achieve a particular objective). In that case, our happiness will be either thing of the past, transitory, or of the future. The gap will be filled with nostalgia, anticipation, or anxiety.

Let us always try to be happy and peaceful.

Reference: What is happiness by Kendra Cherry,

About the Author

Ravi Ranjan Goswami is a native of Jhansi (UP). He is a retired IRS officer, a poet and writer.  His published titles include Palayan, Asht Yogis and The Seven Shades.

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