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What is the Meaning of Happiness?

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Happiness is an emotion that is characterized by a feeling of absolute contentment. It is the feeling of being where you should be, getting what you want and needing little else.

Happiness vs. Pleasure

It is easy to confuse happiness with pleasure. But the two are not one. Pleasure is intense and as is the nature of all intense emotions, it is transient. Happiness is more enduring though mellow. Pleasure can result from any number of happy experiences. For instance, you get pleasure from eating your favorite chocolate or reading a fantastic book. Take away the experience and pleasure ends. On the other hand, happiness is the aggregate of a number of experiences. Therefore, it cannot be dashed in an instant.

What makes a person happy?

If you believe it is money, health, travel or a good figure, then you’re wrong. You can have all the wealth in the world and still be unhappy. In fact, research suggests that a surplus of wealth could be detrimental to feelings of lasting happiness unless that wealth is used in a meaningful manner. Different people get happiness in different ways. For some, it comes from having a fulfilling job or a satisfying relationship. For others, it could be the ability to deal with life’s challenges with equanimity. Whatever the source, one thing is certain: happiness is an attitude. It is the mindset that enables you to interpret things in a positive way. It is that particular feeling which puts a spring in your step and a smile on your face, for no apparent reason.

What is the importance of being happy?

If good food replenishes your body, happiness rejuvenates the mind. It restores your internal balance and equips you with the grit and energy to face another day. Happiness impacts every facet of a person’s life. Happier people are generally more successful, more productive and more balanced. They are healthier and stronger – physically as well as emotionally. A happy person lives longer, collects more friends and has greater chances of forging successful relationships with those around them.

Can happiness be controlled?

As mentioned before, happiness is the net result of a number of factors. Several factors like genetics and circumstances contribute to approximately 60% of your happiness. These factors cannot be controlled. However, the remaining 40% is within your control. Your thoughts, actions and goals, for instance, are your own. You can choose to interpret an experience as enriching, if you wish to do so. This in turn increases your happiness. The same incident becomes a continual source of pain when you choose to view it negatively. Many areas of your life are highly subjective like how you choose to interpret your past, how you choose to live your present and whether you feel you are doing enough to ensure a happy future. These factors contribute to your happiness, and they can be controlled.

As you can see, even though a degree of your happiness is beyond your control, a good part of it can be controlled. Fortunately, you can turn around your life by focusing on this part. By taking active control of this, you can lead a more enriched, successful and satisfying life.

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