What Is Happiness?

Happiness is something many of us strive for using all the wrong approaches. We distract ourselves looking for the next big excitement, numb ourselves so we won’t feel emotional pain, seek pleasure in purchases, chase status in position or gaining influence or power and treat ourselves with food that we are not hungry for. Anyone who has achieved fame, fortune, status eventually recognizes that more things and more fame do not create any sense of lasting happiness.

So what is happiness and does it make any sense to chase it down?

I have certainly had many moments of happiness in life but I notice that “happy” is an elusive state that comes and goes sometimes in unexpected ways. I can never pin down the state of happy but I do notice that I often find calm, content or neutral states frequently present when I let go of expectation or insistence in certain outcomes of achievement. What about you?

What do you think happiness is? Can you pin it down? When are you most at peace, content, calm? Is this a more realistic state?

Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky elaborates, describing happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/happiness/definition


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