What is happiness?
We explain what happiness is, the goals to achieve it and some of its characteristics. In addition, its factors and different meanings.
What is happiness?
Happiness is recognized as a moment of joy and fulfillment . The word happiness comes from the Latin word “felicitas”, which derives from the word “felix” and means “fertile” or “fruitful.”
Happiness is an emotional state that is generated in a person usually when he reaches a desired goal .
In general, happiness is understood as a positive state of mind, linked to the subjective aspects of the individual and, therefore, manifested in very different ways, according to personality and character . Being subjective, it can be triggered by endless causes, but in general it is linked to motivation and well-being.
The goals for happiness
There are different kinds of goals to achieve happiness. Some of these can be easy, difficult, short or long term . An example of a difficult goal is when we aim to buy a house, which will be almost impossible for many; On the other hand, an example of an easy goal could be to want a certain current fashion item. This would be possible for the vast majority.
This is why many people believe that it is better to set easy and short goals: thus, happiness will be easier to achieve and can be obtained repeatedly, instead of feeling unhappy, the opposite of happiness, for being anxious or frustrated to set goals difficult or impossible.
Characteristics of happiness
Happiness is a positive mood. It is subjective, therefore it is not a self-perceived fact . The same action can be understood in different ways by people with different personality.
What one person may find a happy situation, for another it may be the opposite. That is why happiness is thought of as a subjective and proper situation of the person.
In general, happiness is considered positive, because it allows people to take advantage of objective conditions and benefits the attitude of starting different tasks, leading to the intended term.
In addition, in a stage of happiness, people can perform a certain persistent neutral activity, in an environment with variables already experienced and recognized.
The different elements of mental activity circulate in perfect harmony, while internal and external factors interact with the limbic system.
There are in the chemistry of the human brain a series of neurotransmitters linked to the feeling of well-being and fullness , when not of joy and euphoria. Some call them “happiness hormones” and are known as endorphins .
Segregated by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, they have an analgesic and well-being effect in the body, whose effect is not too long lasting . Endorphins occur before certain and very specific stimuli: orgasm, falling in love , consumption of chocolate or spicy, sexual arousal or even pain (as a natural attenuator).
Happiness and love
According to many philosophies, love is a key ingredient for happiness . Different traditions have stories about it: the triumph in all areas of life except in that of affection and the couple is able to make the most successful man miserable, and even the opposite: he is able to make poverty and poverty much more bearable defeat, because human beings are gregarious beings and we tend to value the company of others.
In that sense, love is usually valued as a positive force, which drives man towards happiness and serves as support in difficult occasions. It goes without saying that in real life, love does not always behave in this way, since there are very different forms of love and not all of them are positive, happy, or desirable .
Love can either lead to happiness, or snatch it.
Factors of happiness
Today it is known that the levels of happiness in people vary mainly because of three groups of factors, ordered from highest to lowest importance:
- Genetic factors
- Factors associated with the achievement of objectives and wishes
- Socioenvironmental factors
Happiness in psychology
For psychology, it is the ability of a person to solve issues related to everyday life.
The subconscious feeds the mood; Therefore, we must be well disposed, not be pessimistic , admit our limitations and know that not everything depends on the good will we have. So we can discern what to focus on, for being an attainable happiness and what not, for being an unattainable happiness.
Several psychologists tried to determine the level of happiness through different tests and have defined it as a quantity of partial comfort (self-perceived) that acts on people’s attitudes and behavior .
People who are very happy present themselves to others with high optimism , which motivates them to go in search of new goals.
Happiness for philosophy
The question about what happiness was was essential when ethics arose in Greece. The vast majority of philosophers found quite different answers , which gave Aristotle the reason: he said that we all agreed that we wanted to be happy, but that we did not know how we could be happy and that as soon as we tried to clarify it, the differences began And the problems .
The philosophy was considering happiness in different ways, such as:
- He believed that happiness had to do with balance and harmony, which was obtained through acts aimed at the self-realization of the person.
- He also believed that happiness was achieved after satisfying desires.
- He founded that we obtained it through tranquility and serenity.
- He assumed that this was achieved through nonviolence.
- It is also acquired following the example of the nature .
- He even considered that happiness was obtained through harmony between people.
While there are many philosophers who address the issue of happiness, Ortega y Gasset finds an unbeatable definition. He believes that this occurs when “our projected life” coincide, in reference to everything we want and seek to be, with “our effective life”, which is what we really are. Others emphasize that happiness is finding something that makes us feel completely pleased.
Happiness according to religion
Some religions agree that happiness is a state of peace that is achieved through communication and union with God . For their part, Buddhists believe that happiness is only obtained after releasing suffering and overcoming desires, this achieved thanks to mental training.
Phrases about happiness
Some famous phrases about happiness are the following:
- “There is only happiness where there is virtue and serious effort, because life is not a game” – Aristotle.
- “Happiness is not to do what one wants but to want what one does” – Jean Paul Sartre
- “A man can be happy with any woman as long as he doesn’t love her” – Oscar Wilde.
- “Human happiness is generally not achieved with great strokes of luck, which rarely occur, but with small things that occur daily” – Benjamin Franklin
- “Someday anywhere, anywhere you will inevitably find yourself, and that, only that, can be the happiest or the most bitter of your hours” – Pablo Neruda
- “There is no medicine that cures what does not cure happiness” – Gabriel García Márquez
- “The happiness that is derived from the love that is given” – Isabel Allende
- “We seek happiness, but without knowing where, as drunks look for their home, knowing they have one” – Voltaire.