Happiness refers to the state of excitement and contentment by a person and is usually accompanied by positive feelings such as laughter. Many people confuse pleasure for happiness although pleasure is a short-term feeling and mostly revolves physical fulfillment while happiness is a long term feeling. Happiness is more of an inner feeling and involves psychological well-being. We are living in a highly stressed out society where most people lack happiness. Many people consider having money as the ultimate source of happiness. On the contrary, most wealthy people are unhappy. Money cannot buy happiness. There is a significant relation between happiness and psychological well-being. According to (Salem, 2010) happiness is a central purpose for human life and occurs when life fulfills one's needs.
The state of well-being of an individual is perhaps the greatest component to happiness. The wellbeing of a person consists of the state of the person regarding their physical, emotional, medical, and economical state. A positive well-being would mean the person is in good condition and this could lead to happiness. A negative well-being means the person is lacking, unsatisfied in one way or the other, and could cause lack of happiness. Laughter is another component of happiness. The saying ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ is not farfetched. Laughter relieves stress, which is a key hindrance to happiness. Happiness also consists of easy adaptability. How one can overcome disappointments and negative events in life greatly affects their happiness. When one can pick themselves up after a downfall, they stay happy. Others sulk and keep complaining about the setbacks they face mostly making them unhappy. Virtue is another key aspect of happiness. For example, when one upholds high moral standards and integrity in their life they are more likely to be happy. When one does not uphold integrity and are lack decency, they are more likely to be unhappy. In incidences of lack of morals, relationships are broken, trust is lost, and jobs are lost leading to unhappiness. Success also influences the level of happiness of people. Success is relative. Some people have higher goals in life than others do. When one has achieved their goal, there is happiness. On the other hand, when one fails to achieve their targets they are unhappy. Happiness consists of positive influences from relationships and the environment. Happiness brings about peace and laughter to a person.
Happiness is intangible and cannot be quantified. We cannot say that happiness is black or white in color. It is more of an inner feeling and can only be observed. One can tell a happy person from an unhappy person through observation. For example, people that are happy are healthier than those that are not. The people who are unhappy often suffer from sicknesses such as high blood pressure and frequent headaches. People that are happy tend to relate better to other people such as colleagues or strangers. A common way of identifying people that are happy is through their smile. A smiling person is radiant and brings positivity to others. An unhappy person would appear to be sad and gloomy and does not relate to other people too well.
I can achieve happiness through several ways. The first way I would build a strong support system around me. The people that surround a person are of great influence to that person’s view of life. If you have friends that are a pessimist, then you can only expect the worst outcome from situations making you unhappy. On the other hand, if I surround myself with friends and family that are optimistic and supportive, I would be able to come even from the most stressful situations happy. Secondly, to achieve happiness, I should ignore the opinion of others. People will always talk about me, whether I do good or bad. Therefore, I should concentrate on what I do and do my best and ignore what others say. Thirdly, I can achieve happiness by doing kind deeds to others. When you do a kind deed and help someone in need, it would make me feel good about myself and make me happy. Fourthly, I can achieve happiness by smiling more. Smiles are contagious and easy expressions that will not cost me. Once I smile more to people, they smile back at me, which will give me happiness. I should also read more books and articles with humor to make me smile and laugh more. Lastly, I can achieve happiness by appreciating what I have and being patient. Being grateful and taking systematically as life uncovers what is in store for me will bring me happiness.
I do not have total happiness yet. There are times when I have thought to myself that I have happiness, but in real sense, I do not. Sometimes I find myself bitter when confronted with disappointments. I also harbor fears that limit me from happiness.
I could achieve happiness if I changed some aspects in my life. By upholding virtue, I can achieve happiness since I will no longer hold fears of failure or not meeting expectations. Forgiveness can also help me achieve happiness. Forgiving and forgetting the past will enable me to be a happy person. When we carry grudges, it gives us a burden, therefore, limiting our happiness. For example, if I have a grudge with say an uncle from the past and we happen to meet, I would rise to anger which hinders happiness. I should also learn to breathe when faced with difficult situations. Sometimes when can make rush decisions in a moment of temper that they regret later. Meditation would also help me to be happy. By meditating, I build internal energy and get to appreciate everything that I have.
Happiness is not based on things; rather it is based on attitude. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is not achieved through material things as many people think. No amount of wealth can equate to happiness. On the contrary, poor people seem to have higher levels of happiness than the rich do. People that are satisfied n life seem to be happier than those that are unsatisfied. It is also influenced by the genetic composition and how we were raised. Some people seem to have the notion that the world is unfair and as such, they are not happy. When they feel like the world owes them, they carry a lot of resentment, therefore, lacking happiness. For example, when one has been raised in poverty, the parents lack school fees to take them to school as they grow they might lack happiness. On the other hand, another person might lack school fees to go to school and yet appear to have happiness, as they are contented with what they have. When people go through a lot of suffering whether mental, physical, emotional or economical, they lack happiness. However since happiness is an attitude in mind, however, much suffering one goes through they can still be happy. When people that choose to be happy experience unhappy situations, they take responsibility and take action to make things better, rather than sulk and keep complaining and blaming forces such as the world being unfair or horrible bosses.
People that have a closely-knit family seem to be happier. Members of such families confide in each other, travel on holidays together, and spend a lot of time together. These families seem to be happier as compared to broken families. They have built a support system to help each other, and there is respect and love for such families. Children also seem to have happiness. They have no worries in the world, and they are innocent, as they do not carry any burdens in the world. For example, when a child wrongs and is disciplined by the guardian or parent, they forget fast. They do not carry any grudges when spanked by their parents. Children eat whatever they are fed; wear clothes that they are bought not questioning the prices. Children are also generous, carry with them a lot of joy, and glow. Most elderly people seem to have happiness. They have lived long enough and seen a lot. They know that wealth is temporary, and old age is precious. They appreciate the little things such as sunlight and small gifts; they seem a lot happier than the younger generation. Couples that are in love seem happy as well. Love gives them joy and the feeling of contentment, which radiates to happiness. People that practice religious and cultural faith seem happier. People that are religious have faith that gives them the courage and optimism to face the challenges that come their way.
I have learned great lessons from the people that seem happier. Children teach me that I should take one day at a time without stressing on tomorrow. They also forgive and easily forget the wrongs done to them. In this way, they do not harbor feelings of resentment but rather are always happy. The lesson I learn from the elderly is to count my blessings and appreciate what I have in life. After all, we do not live forever, so instead of sulking, I should be happy and not let things that I cannot change make me unhappy. I should also make friends and travel the world to explore when I am still young. In so doing achieve happiness. I have learned to schedule time for my loved ones where we can talk and spend the time to build the bonds. When I am in a stressful situation, I should confide in my close friends and family because a problem shared is half solved. Reconnecting with the higher power and re kindling my faith will also help me achieve happiness. When I am faced with a stressful situation, I can pray about it and overcome it.
In conclusion, happiness is the state of having positive emotions that are as a result of the wellbeing of an individual mentally, physically and economically. It consists of love, satisfaction, hope, patience and other aspects that are positive. When a person is happy, they smile a lot and laugh. It can lead to a decrease in the lifestyle diseases that are on the rise. Stress related illnesses such as ulcers and high blood pressure can be reduced by happiness since it is a choice (Schiffrin, Rezendes, Nelson, 2008). When one chooses to be happy, they can cope with stressful situations through the support of friends and family and maintain a healthy life. There are people that choose to indulge in drugs and alcohol when faced with stressful situations. They mistake the feeling acquired to be happiness that is short-lived. Rather, they should pursue happiness through the right ways and maintain their principles to achieve the peace they yearn. As stated above, happiness is an attitude that is acquired. Therefore, it is our choice whether we would like to be happy or not. Studies reveal that happiness can affect the productivity of an individual. Happier people are more productive and make more money than less happy people make. Happier people are also more generous than the less happy people as they are more willing to help. There are rising cases of suicide cases around the world. The people that attempt to commit suicide are the less happy people. To curb the suicide cases, there is the need to create awareness of what happiness entails. As stated earlier many people confuse other feelings such as sexual pleasure for happiness whereas it is not the same thing.
Happiness (N.D.) Happiness: Understandings, Narratives and Discourses. doi:10.1057/9781137321534.0005
Schiffrin, H. H., Rezendes, D., & Nelson, S. K. (2008). Stressed and Happy? Investigating the Relationship Between Happiness and Perceived Stress. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10(4), 503-503. doi:10.1007/s10902-008-9118-1
Salem, E. (2010). In pursuit of the good: Intellect and action in Aristotle's Ethics. Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books.
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