Happiness in its broad sense is the label for a family of pleasant emotional states, such as joy , amusement , satisfaction , gratification , euphoria , and triumph. Happiness can be examined in experiential and evaluative contexts. Experiential well-being, or "objective happiness", is happiness measured in the moment via questions such as "How good or bad is your experience now? In contrast, evaluative well-being asks questions such as "How good was your vacation? Experiential well-being is less prone to errors in reconstructive memory , but the majority of literature on happiness refers to evaluative well-being.
The two measures of happiness can be related by heuristics such as the peak-end rule. Some commentators focus on the difference between the hedonistic tradition of seeking pleasant and avoiding unpleasant experiences, and the eudaimonic tradition of living life in a full and deeply satisfying way.
Theories on how to achieve happiness include "encountering unexpected positive events",  "seeing a significant other",  and "basking in the acceptance and praise of others". Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological, and physical.
When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid, he reaches self-actualization. Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Maslow envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as peak experiences , profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient, and yet a part of the world. Self-determination theory relates intrinsic motivation to three needs: competence , autonomy , and relatedness. Ronald Inglehart has traced cross-national differences in the level of happiness based on data from the World Values Survey.
He finds that the extent to which a society allows free choice has a major impact on happiness. When basic needs are satisfied, the degree of happiness depends on economic and cultural factors that enable free choice in how people live their lives. Happiness also depends on religion in countries where free choice is constrained.
Happiness Explained: Why Being Happy is More than Just Sunny Days at the Beach
Since the field of positive psychology has expanded drastically in terms of scientific publications, and has produced many different views on causes of happiness, and on factors that correlate with happiness. People have been trying to measure happiness for centuries. In , the English utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed that as happiness was the primary goal of humans it should be measured as a way of determining how well the government was performing. Since , a World Happiness Report has been published. Using these measures, the report identifies the countries with the highest levels of happiness.
In subjective well-being measures, the primary distinction is between cognitive life evaluations and emotional reports. The UK began to measure national well being in ,  following Bhutan , which had already been measuring gross national happiness. Happiness has been found to be quite stable over time. As of , no evidence of happiness causing improved physical health has been found; the topic is being researched at the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard T.
Chan School of Public Health. As of June Gruber a psychologist at University of Colorado has suggested that seeking happiness can also have negative effects, such as failure to meet over-high expectations,  and has advocated a more open stance to all emotions. In politics, happiness as a guiding ideal is expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence of , written by Thomas Jefferson , as the universal right to "the pursuit of happiness.
What Are Your Essential Needs to be Happy?
It has to be kept in mind that the word happiness meant "prosperity, thriving, wellbeing" in the 18th century and not the same thing as it does today. In fact, happiness. On average richer nations tend to be happier than poorer nations, but this effect seems to diminish with wealth. Work by Paul Anand and colleagues helps to highlight the fact that there many different contributors to adult wellbeing, that happiness judgement reflect, in part, the presence of salient constraints, and that fairness, autonomy, community and engagement are key aspects of happiness and wellbeing throughout the life course.
Libertarian think tank Cato Institute claims that economic freedom correlates strongly with happiness  preferably within the context of a western mixed economy, with free press and a democracy. According to certain standards, East European countries when ruled by Communist parties were less happy than Western ones, even less happy than other equally poor countries.
Since , empirical research in the field of happiness economics , such as that by Benjamin Radcliff , professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, supported the contention that in democratic countries life satisfaction is strongly and positively related to the social democratic model of a generous social safety net, pro-worker labor market regulations, and strong labor unions. It has been argued that happiness measures could be used not as a replacement for more traditional measures, but as a supplement.
Therefore, government should not decrease the alternatives available for the citizen by patronizing them but let the citizen keep a maximal freedom of choice. Good mental health and good relationships contribute more than income to happiness and governments should take these into account. Research on positive psychology, well-being, eudaimonia and happiness, and the theories of Diener, Ryff, Keyes, and Seligmann covers a broad range of levels and topics, including "the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Several terms redirect here. For other uses, see Happiness disambiguation , Happy disambiguation , Gladness disambiguation and Jolly disambiguation. For the album, see Rejoicing album. For the concept in pragmatics, see Felicity conditions. Main article: Philosophy of happiness. See also: Religious studies. Main article: Happiness in Judaism. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.
October Main article: Happiness economics. Main article: Well-being contributing factors.
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Wolfram Alpha. Archived from the original on Retrieved Happiness Explained. Oxford University Press. What is This Thing Called Happiness? Journal of Philosophy of Education. Call it emotional well-being. Happiness as emotional well-being concerns your emotions and moods, more broadly your emotional condition as a whole. To be happy is to inhabit a favorable emotional state On this view, we can think of happiness, loosely, as the opposite of anxiety and depression.
Being in good spirits, quick to laugh and slow to anger, at peace and untroubled, confident and comfortable in your own skin, engaged, energetic and full of life. Facts of Life: ten issues of contentment. Outskirts Press. Philosophically, its scope is more often wider, encompassing a whole life. The point is that some good things in their life made it a happy one, even though they lacked contentment. But this usage is uncommon, and may cause confusion. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Yet the correlation of household income with the affect measures is far weaker: globally,.
If the results hold up, the upshot appears to be that income is pretty strongly related to life satisfaction, but weakly related to emotional well-being, at least above a certain threshold. For better or worse, it enters in three ways. The good news is that the answers differ in ways that suggest that people understand what they are being asked, and answer appropriately. The main linguistic argument for using happiness in a broader generic role is that happiness plays two important roles within the science of well-being, appearing once as a prototypical positive emotion and again as part of a cognitive life evaluation question.
This double use has sometimes been used to argue that there is no coherent structure to happiness responses. The converse argument made in the World Happiness Reports is that this double usage helps to justify using happiness in a generic role, as long as the alternative meanings are clearly understood and credibly related. Answers to questions about the emotion of happiness relate well to what is happening at the moment. Evaluative answers, in response to questions about life as a whole, are supported by positive emotions, as noted above, but also driven much more, than are answers to questions about emotions, by a variety of life circumstances, including income, health and social trust.
John F. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Psychological Science Submitted manuscript. Journal of Happiness Studies. What Are They? Lawrence Erlbaum. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. The Jewish Journal. March 9, What is happiness". Summa Theologiae. Archived from the original on October 11, The science of well-being. Retrieved 1 April Handbook of emotions 2 ed. New York [u. Handbook of Emotions Fourth ed. Guilford Publications. Western neuroscience has now confirmed what Eastern wisdom has known for a long time: happiness is a skill we can learn.
Research shows that happiness, compassion and kindness are the products of skills that can be learned and enhanced through training, thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brains. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference. But recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience show that this formula is backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
When we're positive, our brains are more motivated, engaged, creative, energetic, resilient, and productive. By choosing to live a life based on trust we can increase happiness both personally and as a society. Life is happier when we're together. So how can we widen and deepen our connections with each other? Supporting the movement. We just need a little bit of information about you before we can add this to ouractions for happiness. First name First name. Surname Surname.
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Exploring happiness and well-being
All things considered how happy are you on a scale of 0 to 10? Let's take action for a happier world Join the movement. The movement is growing from countries Join us. X Your browser doesn't support frames. Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and more caring world Our patron is The Dalai Lama and our members take action to increase wellbeing in their homes, workplaces, schools and local communities.
Ways you can take action Action 19 Give yourself a happiness check up more about this action. Action 41 Take care of the world around you more about this action. Action 21 Know your thoughts , choose your actions more about this action. Action 24 Understand each others' needs more about this action. Action 3 Create a local Action for Happiness group more about this action. Action 20 Learn how to meditate more about this action.
Action 30 Figure out what's important to you more about this action. Action 16 Set your goals and make them happen more about this action.
Action 38 Boost your positivty ratio more about this action. Action 43 Wake up your MP and your Council to wellbeing more about this action. Action 4 Find three good things each day more about this action. Action 2 Do kind things for others more about this action. Action 22 Find your true purpose more about this action. Action 8 Find your strengths and focus on using them more about this action. Action 26 Ask others about the things that have gone well more about this action.
Action 28 Detox your negative thinking patterns more about this action. Action 32 Write down your dreams for your future more about this action. Action 5 Thank the people you're grateful to more about this action. Action 14 Help out a friend in need more about this action. Action 1 Take the Action for Happiness pledge more about this action. Action 12 Volunteer your time, energy and skills more about this action. Action 48 Organise a party in your street more about this action. Action 27 Get in touch with your spiritual side more about this action.
Action 31 Be positive but stay realistic more about this action. Action 25 Get to know your neighbours better more about this action. Action 6 Look for the good in those around you more about this action. Action 44 Have tactics for the tough times more about this action.
Action 7 Bring mindfulness into your day more about this action. Action 36 Get happiness on the agenda at your place of work more about this action. Action 23 Really listen to what people are saying more about this action. Action 40 Unplug - take a break from technology more about this action. Action 35 Get happiness on the agenda at your college or university more about this action. Action 18 Be curious and get inspired more about this action. Action 45 Enhance your relationship with your partner more about this action.
Action 37 Get happiness on the agenda of your existing group more about this action. Action 29 Get completely absorbed in something more about this action. Action 42 Get physical and active but make it fun more about this action. Action 17 Make sure you get enough sleep more about this action. Action 49 Find happiness at work more about this action.