How often have you said, “I just want to be happy”? what is happiness?

How often have you said to someone else, “I just want you to be happy”? Have you ever stopped to consider exactly what happiness is?

Apparently everyone talks about happiness and how to become happy, and I consider myself one of those people.

In 2015, after loosing my job and not knowing what I wanted to do in my life, I decided that I wanted to take a step back in my life,  and go on a quest to find the true meaning of the word “happiness”.

Before we go out and try to be happier and find “happiness”, we must understand what we are looking for, don’t you think?

Great philosophers, religious leaders, writers and famous thinkers have asked this question throughout human history. So, what do they say about what happiness is?

what is happiness

According to Gandhi, “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in harmony“.

I don’t know about you, but I need more than that, to really understand what happiness is. How can I think, say and do something that is in harmony? My thoughts, words and acts are in harmony, but does that mean that I’m really happy? I don’t think so… I feel this definition is incomplete because it doesn’t give me the strategies to find happiness.

According to Aristotle, “happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”.

happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”. Click To Tweet

Some people agree with Aristotle, if we know our purpose is in life, we will be happy. But I think happiness is more than that. It’s one thing to know why we’re here, what we do on earth, and another to experience happiness every day, right?

The above definitions (Gandhi and Aristotle) did not give me what I needed to feel that I understood what it means to be happy and how I could get there.

The quest continued… I kept on searching, and the next step was to find out what the psychologists were saying and to dig into the positive psychology studies on the subject.

Positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky describes what is happiness as: “the experience of joy, satisfaction, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”

¡Ah!!! Now we are talking! This definition sounds better. What struck me most about her definition was experiencing joy, feeling that one’s life is good.

What is happiness? Happiness is the combination of several things

It’s about how satisfied you are with your life. For example, finding meaning in your work and how well you feel in your day-to-day life.

Things are on the right track, we know that happiness is, now, how do we get there? So in my hunt, I wanted to know more and found that psychologists also wanted to know more about what defines happiness. They found something incredible, so much so that they have a scientific term for it called “Subjective Well-being” (SWB).

what is happiness

The SWB is the mathematical formula that determines the parts that make up our happiness:

50% of our happiness is determined by our genes.

10% of our happiness is determined by our circumstances

And the remaining 40% is determined by our daily activities.

So with the SWB we have the formula for happiness.

what is happiness

We can’t control the genes we were born with, (because if so I would control a small hormonal imbalance I have) so we can’t change that 50%.

Nor can we control the circumstances that life has given us as the economic or political situation of our country. There’s another 10% that we can’t control.

But, hope is not lost, because, if mathematics doesn’t fail me, we have the remaining 40% that we can control.

The remaining 40% is determined by our daily activities. We can control how we choose to spend our day and how we feel and react to situations during the day. Wisely using that 40% is what will make the difference in your life and will help you to achieve happiness.

So, with all this research, I leave you with the definition we developed here at HappinessYpunto.

what is happiness

HappinessYpunto defines happiness as: Happiness is like finding what makes your heart sing AND giving it day by day some music so it can sing.

So how do you know what activities can we do during the day to achieve happiness?

In psychology, there is a study called P.E.R.M.A, where it suggests that happiness not only derives from momentary and external pleasures but that we must find a combination of five ingredients and thus we’ll be happier.

So tell me in the comments what is happiness to you?

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