If you ask people, what is happiness and what does it means to them, you will probably receive many different answers to your question. Some would say that happiness means being wealthy. Others would say that to for them, happiness means to be healthy. You will find people saying that for them happiness means having love in their life, having many friends, a good job, or achieving a certain goal.
There are people, who believe that the fulfillment of a certain wish would create happiness in their life, but this is not always true. Often, when we get our wish fulfilled, we just move the next wish, without even enjoying and celebrating our achievement.
You may enjoy a good meal, a movie, a show or a vacation, and you may have fun at a party, but this is pleasure and fun, not necessarily happiness.
What Is Happiness? Various Meanings and Definitions
People throughout the ages have asked this question. They wondered what is this feeling of happiness, what makes it arise, and how to hold it longer.
Is happiness a physical reaction, the effect of certain hormones in the body? Is it dependent on certain external circumstances, or is it some kind of inner, mental, emotional or state? All these could be triggers that lead to experiencing it.
Happiness often comes and goes. It comes, stays for a little while, and then some negative feeling replaces it and it is gone. Does this mean that we have no control of happiness and we cannot lengthen its duration?
Wikipedia defines happiness as, “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”
Wikipedia also says, “Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion.”
In an article on forbes.com, George Bradt writes that a survey of Harvard’s class of 1980, concluded that, “Happiness comes from choosing to be happy with whatever you do, strengthening your closest relationships and taking care of yourself physically, financially and emotionally.”
The same article says that 2015 Survey by Grant and Glueck studies shows:
1) 67% of those extremely happy said the happiest period of their lives is now.
2) 77% of those extremely happy said the state of their relationship was either the “greatest” of “very good”.
3) 93% of those extremely happy said they are in excellent or very good health.
Merriam Webster defines happiness as, “A state of well-being and contentment.”
www.vocabulary.com says, “Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It’s the opposite of sadness.”
I would like to suggest another definition to happiness, which I found from experience. This is a different definition and meaning, which I have written about in several articles and in my books.
“Happiness is a state of inner joy, which comes about when the mind becomes quiet, free from restless thinking and worries.”
People, who have been practicing meditation regularly, and who have learned to calm down their mind, would know exactly what I mean.
This might seem strange to you, but if you pay attention to your state of mind when you are happy, you would find out that this is true.
- How do you feel after a completion of a difficult task or of a goal?
- How do you feel when you solve a problem that has been bothering you for a long time?
- What do you feel when you are in love?
- How would you feel, if you get the job you wanted, a big sum of money, or a promotion at work?
In all these situations, you experience a feeling of relief, freedom and joy. For a while, your mind is free from planning, thinking, anticipating and worrying. When this happens, for a while, you feel happy. For a while, there are no thoughts in your mind that attract your attention and you enjoy happiness.
What does all this mean? It means that happiness and inner peace are interconnected. When the mind is quiet, there is happiness, and when there is happiness, the mind becomes quiet.
When a problem disappears, when you achieve a goal and when there is love in your life, the mind becomes quiet for a while, and relieved of its restless and constant thinking. At this moment, the happiness that is within you rises up, since there is nothing to stop it.
Then, after a while, when the mind returns to its habitual thinking and worrying, you feel, as if happiness disappeared.
If you experience happiness when there is inner peace, it means that if you train your mind to be peaceful you would have more happiness in your life. I do not want to go deeply into this topic, since I have written about it in my articles about happiness and about inner peace.
- It is the experience of joy, contentment, and a good feeling about yourself and your life.
- It is a positive emotion that makes you feel good and satisfied.
- It is joy, satisfaction, well-being, and a sense of bliss.
- Happiness comes from within you, rising into your awareness, when the mind is calm and quiet.
- Happiness leads to good relationships, love and harmony.
- It leads to peace, joy, and a feeling of freedom.
- Happiness strengthens the immune system and reduces stress.
- Happiness expands your mind and your vision, and improves your ability to solve problems.
- Happiness counteracts negative emotions.
- Happy people are positive, optimistic, tolerant and more patient people. They are helpful and it is easier to get along with them.
To be happy, stop focusing on lack and on the things that you don’t have. It is better to thank the Universe for what you have, and focus optimistically on what you want to achieve.
To become happy, you also need to calm your mind and your thinking.
To be happy, start living in the present moment, not in the past and not in the future.
Strive to be positive and stay away from negativity.
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