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Essay on Happiness

List of essays on happiness, essay on happiness – short essay (essay 1 – 150 words), essay on happiness – for kids and children (essay 2 – 200 words), essay on happiness – 10 lines on happiness written in english (essay 3 – 250 words), essay on happiness (essay 4 – 300 words), essay on happiness – ways to be happy (essay 5 – 400 words), essay on happiness – for school students (class 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 standard) (essay 6 – 500 words), essay on happiness – ways of developing happiness (essay 7 – 600 words), essay on happiness – sources of suffering, happiness and conclusion (essay 8 – 750 words), essay on happiness – long essay on happiness (essay 9 – 1000 words).

Happiness is defined by different people in different ways. When we feel positive emotions we tend to feel happy. That is what happiness is all about. Happiness is also regarded as the mental state of a person in an optimistic manner.

Every person defines happiness in his/her own manner. In whatever manner you may define happiness; the truth is that it is vital for a healthy and prosperous life.

In order to make students understand what true happiness is all about, we have prepared short essays for students which shall enlighten them further on this topic.

Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for school students (Class 3, 4 ,5, 6 and 7 Standard).


Happiness is a state of mind and the feeling expressed when things are going great. It is what we feel when we get our first car, buy a new house or graduate with the best grades. Happiness should be distinguished from joy. When joy is a constant state of mind, happiness depends on events in our lives.

Importance of Happiness:

The opposite of happiness is sadness which is a state of negativity in the mindset. When we remain sad for an extended period of time it can lead to depression. To avoid this state of mind we must always remind ourselves of happenings in our lives that made us happy.


Though life throws countless challenges at us on a daily basis, if we drown in those challenges we would definitely become depressed. It is important that we find positive things in our daily lives to get excited about and feel the happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind which makes you feel accomplished in life and having everything in this world without a single reason to repent. Well, although there can be no perfect definition of happiness; happiness is when you feel you’re at the top of the world where a sense of complete satisfaction prevails.

The meaning of happiness is relative and varies from people to people. For some, happiness is when you experience professional success, reunions with family and friends, eating out, reading books or watching good movies. While for others, happiness can be accomplished by some weekend activities which might help you de-stress and get the satisfaction of mind.

If you involve yourself in social activities where you help the needy and provide support to the weaker section of the society, you can experience happiness if not anything else. When a young boy flies a kite, plays with mud, and watches the nature, for him, that is the greatest happiness in the world.

The happiness of mind is often considered quite contrary to jealousy and anger which you experience once you have failed or unaccomplished any desired goal. You should always try to rehearse the ways of keeping yourself satisfied and keeping away from negativity to experience peace and happiness in life. True happiness begins where desire ends!

What is happiness? It is a state of being happy. But it does not mean to be happy all the time. Happiness is a feeling of something good that is happening in our life. We feel happy when we achieve something. But happiness is spread when our dear one is happy as well. Some people find true happiness in playing with their pets, while some may find happiness in staying engaged in creative work.

Happiness is often derived from channelizing thoughts to positive thinking. However, it is not as simple as it may sound.

To achieve the state of complete happiness one has to practice on improving the state of life by:

1. Staying contended in life with what you have. Cribbing and grumbling never lead to happiness.

2. Staying focused on the current life instead of daydreaming of the good days or old days.

3. Stop blaming for something that went terribly wrong in life. The life is all about moving on. Stop worrying and set new goals in life.

4. Being thankful to God for all the good things that you have in your life.

5. Having good people around you who can boost up positivity in your life.

Everyone desires to be happy in life. Happiness cannot be achieved without establishing complete control of one’s thoughts as it is very easy to be carried away by the waves of thoughts and emotions surrounding us. Remind yourself of the good things of your life and be thankful about it.

What is happiness? Some would state that happiness implies being well off. Others would state that for them, happiness intends to be sound. You will discover individuals saying that for them happiness implies having love in their life, having numerous companions, a great job, or accomplishing a specific objective. There are individuals, who trust that the want of a specific wish would make happiness in their life; however, it may not be so. Having true happiness is something which is desired by all.

The Path to Happiness:

There are small things which when incorporated into our daily lives, can lead us to the path of happiness. For instance, instead of thinking about problems, we should actually be thinking about the solutions. Not only will we be happier but we shall also be able to solve our problems faster. Similarly, once in a while, you start the day with the longing to achieve a few targets. Toward the day’s end, you may feel disappointed and miserable, in light of the fact that you haven’t possessed the capacity to do those things. Take a look at what you have done, not at what you have not possessed the capacity to do. Regularly, regardless of whether you have achieved a ton amid the day, you let yourself feel disappointed, due to some minor assignments you didn’t achieve. This takes away happiness from you.

Again, now and then, you go throughout the day effectively completing numerous plans, yet as opposed to feeling cheerful and fulfilled, you see what was not cultivated and feel troubled. It is out of line towards you.

Each day accomplishes something good which you enjoy doing. It may tend to be something little, such as purchasing a book, eating something you cherish, viewing your most loved program on TV, heading out to a motion picture, or simply having a walk around the shoreline. Even small things can bring great levels of happiness in our lives and motivate us for new goals.

Happiness is not what you feel from outside, rather it is something which comes from your inner soul. We should find happiness in us rather than searching for it in worldly desires.

Happiness is defined by different people in different ways. Some find happiness in having a luxurious life while some find it in having loving people around them rather than money. True happiness lies within us and our expectation of happiness. It is something that should be felt and cannot be explained in words.

Even though this simple word has a lot of meaning hidden in it, many fail to understand the real one or feel the real happiness. Finding happiness in the outer world is the main reason for this failure. Nothing can buy you happiness, whether be the favorite thing you desire for or the person you love the most or the career you build, unless and until you feel it within yourself.

Ways to be Happy:

Bring happiness and soulful life to yourself rather than expecting it from the outside world like things, money, etc. Being happy is not as easy as advised to be one happier person. To be content and happy with whatever you have and yourself it takes time and patience. You should practice to be a happier person in all moments and eventually you will notice that no sorrow can sink you down.

Whatever good or bad happened in your past shouldn’t bother your present. Learn to live today with more happiness than yesterday and forget about your past sadness for a harmonious life. Thankfulness to the life you got is another important character you should acquire to be happy. If you compare yourself with someone with better luxurious life, then you will never be happy or content and do it the other way.

Don’t depress your mind with bad and negative thoughts about yourself and around. Try to find every goodness in a situation you face and accept the things that already happened, whether good or bad. Never forget to choose merrier and positive people to be closer to you so that their vibes will also help you in being one merrier person.

Whenever you feel low and depressed never hesitate to go to those around you to find happiness. But be aware of those negative ones that may pull you even deeper into the bad thoughts. Always surround yourself with positive thinking and motivating people so that you can rise higher even from the deepest fall.

Happiness is nothing but a feeling that will be seeded into your soul only if you wish to and nothing other than yourself can indulge this feeling in you. Don’t spoil your life finding happiness somewhere else.

Happiness is a very complicated thing. Happiness can be used both in emotional or mental state context and can vary largely from a feeling from contentment to very intense feeling of joy. It can also mean a life of satisfaction, good well-being and so many more. Happiness is a very difficult phenomenon to use words to describe as it is something that can be felt only. Happiness is very important if we want to lead a very good life. Sadly, happiness is absent from the lives of a lot of people nowadays. We all have our own very different concept of happiness. Some of us are of the opinion that we can get happiness through money, others believe they can only get true happiness in relationships, some even feel that happiness can only be gotten when they are excelling in their profession.

As we might probably know, happiness is nothing more than the state of one being content and happy. A lot of people in the past, present and some (even in the future will) have tried to define and explain what they think happiness really is. So far, the most reasonable one is the one that sees happiness as something that can only come from within a person and should not be sought for outside in the world.

Some very important points about happiness are discussed below:

1. Happiness can’t be bought with Money:

A lot of us try to find happiness where it is not. We associate and equate money with happiness. If at all there is happiness in money then all of the rich people we have around us would never feel sad. What we have come to see is that even the rich amongst us are the ones that suffer depression, relationship problems, stress, fear and even anxiousness. A lot of celebrities and successful people have committed suicide, this goes a long way to show that money or fame does not guarantee happiness. This does not mean that it is a bad thing to be rich and go after money. When you have money, you can afford many things that can make you and those around you very happy.

2. Happiness can only come from within:

There is a saying that explains that one can only get true happiness when one comes to the realisation that only one can make himself/herself happy. We can only find true happiness within ourselves and we can’t find it in other people. This saying and its meaning is always hammered on in different places but we still refuse to fully understand it and put it into good use. It is very important that we understand that happiness is nothing more than the state of a person’s mind. Happiness cannot come from all the physical things we see around us. Only we through our positive emotions that we can get through good thoughts have the ability to create true happiness.

Our emotions are created by our thoughts. Therefore, it is very important that we work on having only positive thoughts and this can be achieved when we see life in a positive light.

Happiness is desired by every person. However, there are very few persons that attain happiness easily in life.

It is quite tough to get happiness in life as people usually link it with the things and the people around them. The simple fact is that happiness usually starts as well as finishes with your own life. All those people who understand this fact easily get the true happiness in their life.

Happiness in Relationships:

There are lots of people who link happiness with the money and there are few others also who link it with the personal relations. It is very important to know that if you are not happy with yourself then, it is not possible to remain happy in your relationship as well.

The problems in the relationship have been increasing speedily and the main cause behind it is the huge amount of expectation that we have from the other individual. We always want them to make us feel happy. For example, some people feel happy if their partner plans a surprise for them or if he/she buy them a new dress. But all these things are not a true source of happiness in life.

Ways of Developing Happiness:

The lack of happiness in the relationship not only exists in couples but also in the relationship of friends, sister – brother or parent-child.

The following are the few ways that help in creating happiness in the relationships:

1. Pay Attention to Yourself:

You should always pay attention to yourself to get happiness. You should not give importance to any other person in your life in comparison to yourself and also expect the same from that person. Giving too much importance to the other and not receiving anything back from them makes a person disappointed and happiness gets lost.

2. Have some Initiative:

You can make the plan of traveling outside yourself. Don’t wait for your parent, partner or kid to take you outside. You can ask them to come along with you if they want. But, if they decline your offer then, don’t get discouraged and carry on your trip plan along with full happiness.

3. Provide some Space:

It is necessary to provide some amount of space to every individual and spend some time with oneself. It helps in creating happiness.

Happiness is Necessary for Good Life:

It does not matter that whether you are a working expert, a schoolchild, a retired person or a housewife, happiness is necessary for everybody to live a good and happy life. Happiness is essential for an individual’s emotional comfort. A person who is not fit emotionally will feel an impact on his complete health that will drain very soon.

Unluckily, despite the fact that happiness is tremendously necessary, people do not give so much importance to all those habits which can keep them happy. They are so excessively captivated inside their professional lives as well as other nuts and bolts of life that they overlook to relish the happy memories of their life. It is also the main reason that problems like anxiety, stress, and depression are increasing gradually in people’s lives today.

Happiness is an internal feeling. It is a healthy emotion. Happiness helps us to stay fit both mentally and physically. Happiness helps in lowering stress and keeping away from any health issues. The reason of happiness may be different for different person. You just need to find out what actually makes you happy. So, if you want real happiness in life then, you need to understand that only you can make yourself happy.

“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way” this sentence has been attributed to Buddha. Well, at least that’s what it says on one sticker in my dorm room. The fact is that man has occupied himself with the path to happiness for millennia. Something happened during our evolution that made us deeply question the purpose of our existence. People like Buddha are part of the answer, or at least they try to give us the answer.

Since these questions have troubled us there have been many who sought to answer them and by doing so, they formed philosophies and religions. The search for earthly happiness will make many do incredible deeds but if this energy is used in the wrong way it can cause great suffering. How can we know which recipe for happiness is the best one and what we should devote our time and attention to? The trick is, there is no right answer and as the first sentence of this essay states, there is no way to be happy because being happy is the way. That’s how I got my head around this problem, let me explain some more.

Source of Suffering:

At the expense of sounding Buddhist, when you think about most of the things that make us unhappy are material in nature. They are the things that we really do not need but they make us feel happy. This notion is not just something the wise man from the 6 th century BC India expressed but many more have said this before and after him. Socrates and Jesus to name just a few.

What I find interesting in the struggle for happiness is the paradox present in the instructions to reach it. One has a  thought all through life to be good and hard working so he can get the things he wants and needs later on in life but then as you start to struggle for the money you realize that your life is turning into a money grabbing game. So, the source of happiness and stability becomes the source of all your anxiety and aggression. Naturally, we can see how some people thought that all material things stand on the path to our happiness.

But what about the immaterial, what if you are in love with someone you are not supposed to love? The above instruction would tell you to surrender your heart’s desire and you will be free from constraints. Is this happiness? Or is it the struggle to do and achieve the impossible the real source of happiness?

Source of Happiness:

People often forget that they are animals and like all of them they have a logic to their nature and their own specific needs. Like all the other animal’s people are caught in the struggle for existence and sometimes surviving the day can be a real ordeal if you get caught in the wrong circumstances. Men has made himself safe from most of the things that could have harmed him in nature but in doing so he forgot what he has made.

Think about the present from a historical perspective. Even a hundred years ago most people lost up to 80% of all their children to diseases, clean water was a rarity for most of our existence, and people actually had to labor to make food and to have enough to feed their family all through the year. The fact is we have a lot to be grateful for in the present age and the fact that some of us are unhappy because we do not have all our heart’s desires is just a symptom of collective infancy. Having all of your loved ones around you, with a roof to shelter under and with lots of delicious food is the only source of happiness man needs everything else should just be a bonus.

Happiness cannot be found by rejecting everything that is material or by earning more money then you can spend. The trick is to find balance by looking at yourself and the lives of people around you and by understanding that there is a lot to be grateful for, the trick is to stop searching for a path and to understand that we are already walking on one. As long as we are making any type of list of the prerequisite for our life of happiness, we will end up unsatisfied because life does not grant wishes we are the ones that make them come true. Often the biggest change in our lives comes from a simple change of perspective rather than from anything we can own.

Happiness is the state of emotional wellbeing and being contented. Happiness is expressed through joyful moments and smiles. It is a desirable feeling that everybody want to have at all times. Being happy is influenced by situations, achievements and other circumstances. Happiness is an inner quality that reflects on the state of mind. A peaceful state of mind is considered to be happiness. The emotional state of happiness is mixture of feelings of joy, satisfaction, gratitude, euphoria and victory.

How happiness is achieved:

Happiness is achieved psychologically through having a peaceful state of mind. By a free state of mind, I mean that there should be no stressful factors to think about. Happiness is also achieved through accomplishment of goals that are set by individuals. There is always happiness that accompanies success and they present feelings of triumph and contentment.

To enable personal happiness in life, it is important that a person puts himself first and have good self-perception. Putting what makes you happy first, instead of putting other people or other things first is a true quest towards happiness. In life, people tend to disappoint and putting them as a priority always reduces happiness for individuals. There is also the concept of practicing self-love and self-acceptance. Loving oneself is the key to happiness because it will mean that it will not be hard to put yourself first when making decisions.

It is important for an individual to control the thoughts that goes on in their heads. A peaceful state of mind is achieved when thoughts are at peace. It is recommended that things that cause a stressful state of mind should be avoided.

Happiness is a personal decision that is influenced by choices made. There is a common phrase on happiness; “happiness is a choice” which is very true because people choose if they want to be happy or not. Happiness is caused by circumstances and people have the liberty to choose those circumstance and get away from those that make them unhappy.

Happiness is also achieved through the kind of support system that an individual has. Having a family or friends that are supportive will enable the achievement of happiness. Communicating and interacting with the outside world is important.

Factors Affecting Happiness:

Sleep patterns influence the state of mind thus influence happiness. Having enough sleep always leads to happy mornings and a good state of mind for rest of the day. Sleep that is adequate also affects the appearance of a person. There is satisfaction that comes with having enough sleep. Enough rest increases performance and productivity of an individual and thus more successes and achievements are realized and happiness is experienced.

Another factor affecting happiness is the support network of an individual. A strong support network of family and friends results in more happiness. Establishing good relationships with neighbors, friends and family through regular interactions brings more happiness to an individual. With support network, the incidences of stressful moments will be reduced because your family and friends will always be of help.

Sexual satisfaction has been established to affect happiness. It is not just about getting the right partner anymore. It is about having a partner that will satisfy you sexually. There is a relationship between sex and happiness because of the hormones secreted during sexual intercourse. The hormone is called oxytocin and responsible for the happiness due to sexual satisfaction. Satisfaction also strengthens the relationships between the partners and that creates happiness.

Wealth also plays a significant role in happiness. There is a common phrase that is against money and happiness: “money cannot buy happiness” is this true? Personally, I believe that being financially stable contributes to happiness because you will always have peace of mind and many achievements. Peace of mind is possible for wealthy people because they do not have stressors here and then compared to poor people. Also, when a person is wealthy, they can afford to engage in luxurious activities that relaxes the mind and create happiness. For a person to be wealthy, they will have had many achievements in life. These achievement make them happy.

A good state of health is an important factor that influences the happiness of individuals. A healthy person will be happy because there are no worries of diseases or pain that they are experiencing. When a person is healthy, their state of mind is at peace because they are not afraid of death or any other health concerns. Not only the health of individuals is important, but also the health of the support system of the person. Friends and family’s state of health will always have an impact on what we feel as individuals because we care about them and we get worried whenever they are having bad health.

Communication and interactions are important in relation to an individual’s happiness. Having a support system is not enough because people need to communicate and interact freely. Whenever there are interactions like a social gathering where people talk and eat together, more happiness is experienced. This concept is witnessed in parties because people are always laughing and smiling in parties whenever they are with friends.

Communication is key to happiness because it helps in problem solving and relieving stressors in life. Sharing experiences with a support system creates a state of wellbeing after the solution is sought. Sometime when I am sad, I take my phone and call a friend or a family member and by the time the phone call is over, I always feel better and relieved of my worries.

Happiness is an important emotion that influences how we live and feel on a daily basis. Happiness is achieved in simple ways. People have the liberty to choose happiness because we are not bound by any circumstances for life. Factors that influence happiness are those that contribute to emotional wellbeing. Physical wellbeing also affects happiness. Every individual finds happiness in their own because they know what makes them happy and what doesn’t.

Emotions , Happiness , Psychology

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Essay Service Examples Life Happiness

The Aspects Of True Happiness

It is probably okay to say that everyone in the world wants to be truly happy and that they want to enjoy their time on earth, but mainly everybody struggles with being truly happy. It is just something that doesn’t come naturally for many. Happiness really depends on your own way to feel joy, to have certain people around you or doing something you love like a hobby, or something that brings meaning and purpose to your life. Happiness does not come out of thin air you have to decide when to be happy, and what makes you truly happy. You must decide that you are going to be happy no matter what life throws your way. Many people have their own definition of happiness but what is the actual meaning of happiness.

Happiness, according to dictionary.com, means the state of being happy. This definition doesn’t really mean much. Wikipedia gives a more in-depth definition of happiness. It says happiness is the feeling of an emotion such as pleasure or joy, the appraisal of life satisfaction or the quality of life, subjective well-being and eudaimonia (Wikipedia para.1). It is very difficult to find a good definition of what happiness means, because many do not really have an explanation of what happiness is, they just know it when they feel it. Happiness changes in everybody just because you are super happy today does not mean you will have the same amount of happiness the next day or in the next second or minute. This is because of short term happiness. “Short-term happiness is based on the release of the chemical Dopamine in our brain. This organic chemical is released whenever we are stimulated by things that please us (Hugo, 22)” When the event is over so is the happiness that you felt. It just disappears quickly. Short term happiness is stimulated by things like laughing with friends, watching funny videos, basically anything that you love doing. Long term happiness is something very different from short term happiness. It is created by feeling happy about your purpose in life, and things that you have accomplished in life. Long term happiness is not based on an event like short term happiness. As Hugo stated, “Long-term happiness is created by feeling happy about your purpose in life, the successes that you’ve had and/or the satisfaction of who you are and what you’ve accomplished” (Hugo,26). Basically, what you should realize is that your definition of happiness is unique things that make you happy may not make others happy.

Instead of thinking about our problems we should think about solutions to help solve our problems faster. Each day many people find something good that they enjoy doing. Maybe it is something super small, such as buying a book, eating, watching your favorite tv show, going watch a movie with friends or boyfriend or even just a family member, or something as simple as walking around and enjoying nature but whatever it is if it makes you feel happy and at peace then do those things more often. Small things can bring the most happiness to our lives. Happiness is not what you feel from the outside, but it’s something that comes from inside you.

essay about true happiness is

Many people spend a lot of time searching for the meaning of happiness. They want to find out what makes them truly happy in life. Many people think that money is key to happiness but that is where they are very wrong money can only contribute to their happiness. Even though money matters and can help you get things that are needed, it’s by all account not the only thing that adds to our joy. On the chance that cash implies covering the entirety of our essential needs, it can emphatically add to joy. In any case, after essential needs are met, expanding your extra cash adheres to the theory of consistent losses (Booth 8). Happiness is not about where you are or what you have, but these things contribute to the happiness that you have. Happiness is about loving yourself and where you’re at in life. According to Stephanie Booth, ‘The stuff we think gives us “happiness” right now—such as scrolling through social media—activates the brain’s ancient motivation-and-reward system, and only gives us momentary pleasure.” (11) Many things can make you happy for a while, but the true emotion of happiness is living the best life possible.

Happiness is not being happy all the time. Researchers have found that all most all happy people still experience happiness from time to time. Level of happiness can change in response to some live events. Many people need to see happiness as a journey and not a destination. We tend view our joy as something that occurred before, or something that will occur later in life. Individuals invest the greater part of their energy commending the past or attempting to accomplish something later. They see joy as a goal. Something to accomplish. According to Steve, “happiness is a combination of how satisfied you are with your life, how good you feel on a daily basis, and how engaged you are with your network of family and friends.” (springs, 52). They forget they are living in the present and not in the past. As Steve Spring stated “No achievement in the future is going to make them extremely happy. No amount of money is going to buy their happiness. No relationship is going to guarantee their happiness. They need to learn to fully enjoy living in the present.” (spring, 34-38). There are some people that focus on being happy, but they end up being less happy.

Happiness can come in two different ways. The first way is on a standard level, there are numerous ways we can prepare our mind in happiness. For instance, we can pick adoring musings, words, and activities. The more we develop love, sympathy, euphoria and unbiasedness, the more we will end up being an energetic wellspring of satisfaction for other people. Also, for ourselves as well. The second way is on a significant level, when we are in contact with our actual nature happiness normally emerges. We don’t need to successfully make it. It just streams up when we reside in our characteristic psyche. Different feelings may emerge like misery, outrage, stress, or dread; however, they won’t really stick if we become acclimated with essentially resting free and open space of our unique mind. These two ways to deal with developing bliss are interconnected. Effectively captivating in positive contemplations, words, and deeds carries us closer to our actual nature. At the point when we are in contact with our actual nature, these positive characteristics immediately show. On alwayswellwithin.com there are steps for a more lasting happiness the first step is to eliminate negative thoughts, actions, and words. The second step is to adopt positive attitudes, actions, and words. The last step is to reconnect with your true nature through meditation. These steps may help some people, but may not help others, but it is a good start to helping people find happiness throughout their life.

Many people have their own definition of true happiness. Happiness is in what you do in your daily life and what makes you truly happy. Happiness can come from anywhere at any time. Many people feel happiness when they are doing something, and others feel happy when they are not doing anything at all they could be playing a game or watching tv and feel happy. Happiness is different for everybody on Earth. No one can tell you what happiness really is, only you can say what happiness really is. According to Stephanie, “people’s striving for some ideal “happiness” is one of the great causes of unhappiness in the world” (27). Joy is having fulfillment and importance throughout everyday life. It’s the capacity to feel positive feelings. The capacity to beat negative feelings. The capacity to interface with others. One thing everyone should understand is to not go around chasing happiness, just let it come to you and you will not be disappointed. Happiness is very hard to define, but happiness is doing what you love to do and having true happiness can take you a long way.

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Introduction From an Islamic point of view, happiness is expressed by the word sa’adah. Shaqawah, which normally conveys the sense of profound suffering and distress, is the word opposite to sa’adah. Two aspects of life are linked to the word sa’adah: the hereafter (ukhrawiyah) and the universe now (dunyawiyah). The word sa’adah has a strong association with both the realm of the afterlife and the present. In the case of Hereafter, sa’adah means the sense of the supreme type of...

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Happiness — True Happiness And How To Build It

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True Happiness and How to Build It

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essay about true happiness is


True Happiness Essay

Happiness Essay

Happiness: a Human Disease -- An Examination of the Allegorical Theme of Existentialism in the Happy Man

What makes a person happy? Happiness is an endless path in life. Everyone has a different opinion about what makes them happy. People have always been attentive to the issue of what makes humans happy. However, getting a large amount of money is a pursuit for many people, especially the young generation around the world. In the article, “Get Happy” by Walter Mosley, he states how, “Happiness is considered by most to be a subset of wealth” (87). Quote above explains how money is the first thing that comes in person’s mind that make them happy because with the money one can buy anything he wants. Money is one of the most important things in over lives because we need it to have a home to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, and to get

John Stuart Mill And Aristotle

Aristotle believes that happiness is an activity “in accord with virtue.” Happiness is in accord with the most excellent virtue. All men agreed that happiness is to “live well”, but Aristotle expands this further into a whole

The Ethics Of The Nicomachean Ethics

Although, as Aristotle believes, everything we do in our life leads to some good, he makes it clear that some goods are subordinate to others, and that the greatest good is happiness. He believes that the knowledge of this good carries weight for our way of life, and makes us better able, like archers who have a target to aim at, to hit the right mark (Aristotle 2). To possess the ability to achieve this ultimate end; however, we must first have some sort of understanding as to what happiness is. The definition of happiness typically varies from person to person, some think it’s pleasure or something found in someone you love, others believe it lies in wealth and success, but Aristotle defines it as

What Is Happiness, And The Pursuit Of Happiness?

In the text, Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle, but translated and edited by Roger Crisp, a few questions stand out for consideration. “What is happiness?” “What makes me happy and why?” In this text, Aristotle examines the main factors of happiness which consists of gratification, the life of money-making, the life of action, and the philosophical life. He explains what is needed for happiness and what it means to be a truly happy human being. In his definition of

Is Happiness the Best Good?

Happiness? Is happiness the best good? In book 1 chapter 7 Aristotle brings up the topic happiness and is it the best good for humans. He says “But presumably the remark that the best good is happiness is apparently something [generally] agreed, and we still need a clearer statement of what the best good is. Perhaps, then, we shall find this if we first grasp the function of a human being” (1097b22-25 Aristotle). That statement is saying the main function of Humans is to look for happiness. Aristotle thinks happiness is to broad of an assumption and that there are several types of happiness that branch off of happiness its self.

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discussed his theory of happiness and attempted to answer the many questions related to what makes people happy. Questions asked were “What is the purpose of human existence?” “What is the end goal we are trying to achieve so that we know how we should conduct ourselves?” With so many people seeking pleasure through a variety of means such a wealth, reputation, personal belongings and friends, they may be missing the mark when it comes to happiness. While these each have a value attached to them, none of them contains what is truly needed to be described as the “good” we should be aiming toward. According to Aristotle, to be an ultimate end, an act must be self-sufficient and final, “that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else” (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097a30-34)

Essay on Aristotle's Notion on Eudaimonia and Virtue

The central notion of Aristotle is eudaimonia or “happiness” which is best translated as a flourishing human life . Happiness is a complete and sufficient

The Well Being Aristotle And Human Happiness

Aristotle is an ancient Greek philosopher who has played a part in subjects such as mathematics and ethics. As a known student of Plato, Aristotle’s knowledge on various topics immensely affected people’s philosophical views. For Aristotle, his definitions of human happiness and a good life consist of being virtuous all throughout life. Happiness comes from being an overall good person; this is “the best way to lead a life and give it meaning” (Psychology Today). According to Aristotle, happiness is a continuing achievement. “Happiness is more a question of behavior and of habit—of ‘virtue’—than of luck; a person who cultivates such behaviors and habits is able to bear his

Essay on Happiness in Aristotle’s work: The Nicomachean Ethics

The definition of happiness has long been disputed. According to Aristotle, happiness is the highest good and the ultimate end goal—for it is self-reliant. This idea contradicted other common beliefs and philosophical theories. Aristotle opens his work by describing the various theories, neutrally examines each idea, and discloses how he thinks the theory is wrong and why his idea of happiness is more accurate.

Difference Between Aristotle And Epicurus

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle define happiness as the ‘highest good’. Aristotle states that everyone agrees that this highest good is happiness, but often disagree about what happiness really is. Many would believe that happiness is gained from material possessions, wealth or high social status, but Aristotle states that this is not the highest good. Aristotle believed that to obtain happiness, we must have virtue. Virtue is defined as a state of being and acting in the correct manner with high moral standards, neither acting in

Aristotle 's Views On Happiness

Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers of all time created an idea that happiness is the ultimate end goal. This world renowned philosopher argues that exercising a fulfilling life will lead to happiness. Likewise, happiness is said to be the ultimate end goal of all activities in life. Basically, Aristotle portrays every activity as a subordinate to becoming happy. He argues that being self sufficient, and leading a fulfilling life will create happiness through virtue. A virtuous person is noble and possess the ability to rationalize. In order to be noble one must posses the ability to create equilibrium of the soul. That is, staying within the mean. Similar to the mean, Aristotle depicts

Morality and Happiness

According to the philosophy of happiness (14, 15, 16 & 17), Aristotle stated the factors that make happiness as good health, money, relationships and good moral behavior. Aristotle pointed out that happiness was the ultimate desire for human being leaving nothing more to be desired. The happiness is sought for its own sake unlike other things which are sought in order to achieve happiness. Aristotle understood that for an individual to be happy one must be of good morals and can suffer to achieve the greater happiness later in the long run. Many individuals believe that

Aristotle And Socrates And Aristotle's Definition Of Happiness

Happiness is an absolute state of mind, where a person can realize the ultimate contentment in their life regardless of circumstances. Happiness is the end of every desire, after which nothing is desirable. Socrates believes that happiness is a concept of morality and the stable state of ones’ mind, which is non-dependable on the material goods, resources and circumstances. Whereas Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, states that “happiness depends on our self”, where both the material satisfaction and internal satisfaction is required to relish the human life in a happy way. Both philosophers are stressed upon the ultimate satisfaction of life and ‘supreme goods’. The only major difference between the Socrates and Aristotle’s definitions

Reflection of Aristotle Essay

Aristotle believed that the goal of all human life is to achieve ultimate happiness. Happiness is the final Utopia or the end of “a life worth living.” Human instinct is characterized by achieving personal fulfillment, thus leading to happiness. Aristotle warns against going astray and “preferring a life suitable to beasts” by assuming happiness and pleasure are equal. Living a life preferred by beasts incapacitates a person from achieving the end Utopia. Even though Aristotle does not equate the two, he does stress that minimal pleasure is required to achieve happiness. Someone lacking in vital necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter are not capable of achieving happiness due to their lack of pleasure.

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What is Real Happiness essay

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling” the words of Margaret Lee Runbeck. Happiness, a subjective concept itself, is the goal of every human being. It is a feeling. It is an emotion. It is a state of mind that revolves around contentment. Mentioned by the Oxford learners dictionary happiness is defined as “the state of feeling or showing pleasure”. The idea of happiness is different for many people, but the only path that leads to true happiness lies within a person rather than what they hold in their hands or boast in their lives. Happiness is much more.

To be yourself is to be happy; however, the love of your family and friends can bring happiness and the best out of you. The great relationships that you have with whomever is something that you must embrace. If you surround yourself with people who love you, the love will come back to you. Happiness does not come from grand glorious moments, it comes from the day you decide that you will be happy no matter what the day brings you. You are going to make the most of it. Happiness is doing things the you naturally enjoy. Instead of constantly tracking how you feel, it is important to take what life brings you. Happiness is being thankful for what you have and reminding yourself that someone else is happy with less than what you have.

According to research “people who keep “gratitude journals” feel more optimism and greater satisfaction with their lives” (Lyubomirsky). Keeping track of your blessings is an excellent way to obtain a healthy well-being. Lastly, understanding that true happiness cannot be bought. Although possessing an innumerable amount of wealth may seem desirable to satisfy one’s emotions, it is not the sole determinant to happiness. Materialistic things are very much like drugs, once you buy that expensive thing it will give you happiness but, it’s a fleeting happiness. It’s a happiness that goes away after a while then you would have to seek for something else to bring you back to that level of happiness.

In the book “the art of happiness” the authors give an example how a friend has retired at an early age due to the company being bought for a large sum of money. The woman states that “after [she] got over all the excitement of making all that money, things kinda returned to normal” (Bstan-‘dzinrgyamtsho and Howard C. Cutler.). This comes to show how money, a man-made creation, has a way of distracting what’s important in life and cannot change your overall mental state of mind. Individual happiness and well-being should not be influenced by money or things, but by a positive mindset and a healthy lifestyle. Happiness is almost entirely mindfulness, not something you get from external things but, simply living your life.

Furthermore, happiness is different for everyone because people come from different backgrounds and cultures. Happiness is not just a state of mind. Happiness is not determined by what occurs around you, but rather what happens inside of you. Aristotle claims “happiness as a central purpose of human life and a goal in itself” (Park). Happiness is the goal for mankind. People often associate happiness with health. Happiness can instantaneously shift our mood, shift our perspective and allow us to find the joy that were looking for. In general happiness can bring positive life events. Because happiness is related to “better social relationships, intelligence, optimism, physical health, and creativity” (Seligman) they lead to greater successes down the line. The benefits of happiness are endless. Happiness is when you feel right with the world, not when you are discontent with your life. When you are happy you are easily motivated to accomplish things. When suffering from depression or anxiety it can be difficult to accomplish your goals. Being happy is not easy; however, getting through difficult times is what makes happiness difficult to obtain. Being content and grateful for everything you have in your life will create happiness in your life. Remind yourself that a benefit of happiness is happiness itself.

Sustaining happiness can be a difficult task because life is a rollercoaster. Unfortunate events may occur that will kick you down; however, keeping positive will allow you to maintain happiness of the situation. Artist Pharrell Williams sings in his song called “Happy” about how happy he is, and how nothing is going to defeat that. The singer sings “Here come bad news, talking this and that (Yeah!) by demonstrating how life is not easy and things will happen that might bring you down. Williams continues with “Well, give me all you got, don’t hold it back (Yeah!) No offense to you, don’t waste your time, here’s why because I’m happy…”. In tough times, it can feel impossible to be positive or optimistic; however, maintaining a positive outlook on life will remind you that there is light and happiness at the end of the tunnel. In the article “How to teach happiness”, professor Laurie Santos course on happiness has a major effect on the students. One of the students stated that “it was acknowledged at the beginning that you can’t drastically change your life… it’s essentially going to be a lifelong journey” (McBain) to happiness since that is the course being taken. Therefore, professor Santos was able to effectively educate her students to understanding that there is always going to be something that would make one unhappy in life.

Experiencing hardships will implement strength through every rough situation and it will allow one to acknowledge that life is characterized by contrast. Happiness comes with being unhappy and being able to get back up and strive towards a positive outlook on life. As we know now, emotions are not what we truly are, we are not looking to feel happy were looking to be happy. Choosing the bright side of every situation makes you stress less about the small stuff, leads you to greater opportunities, and helps you reach moments of true happiness.

Additionally, happiness comes with giving yourself a choice to be happy. When seeking for a goal in life you would do your best to attain it right? Well according to Dan Gilbert’s happiness TED talk he states, “It turns out that freedom- the ability to make up your mind and change your mind- is the friend of natural happiness, because it allows you to choose among all those delicious futures and find the one that you would most enjoy”. Happiness is all about yourself. It is about giving yourself options and going with what makes you happy. Happiness is not doing something that does not suit yourself, it is putting yourself first to remain feeling good. From the time of early English settlement in America, the government was expected to provide protection to Americans from “invaders” such as Indians. During the time, “Happiness was construed as personal freedom, especially freedom from outside intrusion” (Kaminski).

The government negotiated with the natives to suit the needs of the people and settle happiness. Happiness is being comfortable and at peace with your surroundings and yourself. Everybody wants to feel free, empowered and good. Freedom and empowerment are the key to happiness. Happiness depends on you. Freedom is happiness because one is allotted choices that allow you to be happy. Happiness is personal experiences and life lessons. Happiness is not chance it’s a choice. Freedom brings happiness because it allows for self-expression. Freedom is peace of mind and no constraints on our self-expression and happiness.

Choosing and making the right decisions will bring contentment and freedom from worrying. Having freedom allows for a person to be able to live life the way they wish, to be able to make their own decisions and to be different in pursuance of happiness. Being captivated to somethings does not truly represent happiness. Happiness is letting go of distress and being content with what you have. Happiness is being free physically and psychologically. True happiness comes from freedom, doing what you want and being able to have comfort.

Additionally, happiness is something we can all have. Real happiness is never found outside of us, it is not found in possessions or wealth either. It lurks within us. Therefore, it is important to remember that things happen for a reason. The greatest measure of success that you receive will be the level of happiness you feel consistently. Not money, not cars, not materialistic things.

As you go live, changes may occur in life that will lead to anxiety, depression, sadness and frustration; however, training your mind to look on the bright side will allow you to stay happy. Happiness is being content with all the emotions life brings. Staying content and mindful as you endure certain circumstances that cause dismay to your heart will allow you to achieve happiness as the result. Happiness varies between different people. It is key to deem on the fact that happiness depends on yourself and your outlook on life. Happiness comes easy to those who are willing to work hard for it.

Given these points, we come to think what is happiness? Essentially, the meaning of happiness is determined by your own mindset. We each have this feeling, state, or mind of what happiness is individually. We experience happiness throughout life no matter the circumstances. Overall, our life’s purpose is to search for what fulfills our contentment. Happiness does not depend on anything or anyone. Happiness could be anything, sometimes it is a laugh or a person. Happiness is an essential thing in life that one experiences internally. As a human being, you should be able to embrace who you truly are and give out positivity because ultimately the happiness will come back to you. 

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179 Happiness Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

😊 key points to use to write an outstanding happiness essay, 🏆 best happiness topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 most interesting happiness topics to write about, ⭐ simple & easy happiness essay titles, 👍 good research topics about happiness, 💡 interesting topics to write about happiness, ❓ research questions about happiness, 💯 free happiness essay topic generator.

Writing a happiness essay may seem easy at first, but many students fail to achieve a high grade because their responses are too general. To avoid falling in this trap, read this post and take note of the key points to write about.

The Meaning of Happiness

The word “happiness” means various things to various people, and it would be a good idea to explore this topic in your paper. To get some perspectives, you could ask your friends or family members what happiness is to them. Alternatively, browse sample essays on happiness online. Once you’ve done your research, consider the following:

The Importance of Happiness

This is probably among the most important happiness essay titles because there is a lot to talk about here. You would likely be surprised to find out that not all people view happiness as a crucial goal in life. In fact, most people live their days without considering whether or not they are happy. These are a few questions that you could think about:

Sources of Happiness

The third point you could cover in your paper is the relationship between happiness and achievements. People often believe that they will be happy when they achieve certain things and their life. Some examples are starting a profitable business, marrying their loved one, having kids, and traveling the world. If you want to examine the correlation between happiness and other factors, these questions should give you some ideas:

Happiness and Money

The link between happiness and money is possibly one of the most popular happiness essay ideas and titles. Many people think that wealth has a direct influence on happiness, but others disagree. You could explore this theme in your paper using the following questions to guide your thoughts:

Regardless of what you choose to write about, be sure to maintain a good essay structure throughout your paper. To assist you with this, create a detailed outline and stick to it while writing. Start your paper with a happiness essay hook, a sentence to draw the reader’s attention to your work. Support your thoughts with relevant examples or research where applicable. Finally, make sure to close off your paper with a happiness essay conclusion. If you want to learn more about essay structure, browse our website – we also have a good selection of essay topics and other useful materials!

IvyPanda. (2023, January 25). 179 Happiness Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/happiness-essay-examples/

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What Is Happiness? - My Essay On Defining Your Happiness

Updated on January 29, 2023

Happiness is probably the most pursued factor in life, above wealth, health, and good relationships. We all want to be happy, above everything else, right? Who cares about money when you're not happy? Who cares about friends when you're not happy with who you are? Who cares about good health if you're lonely and depressed?

Happiness is the thing that most people want, yet it is one of the most difficult aspects of life to quantify. How do we measure happiness? How do we define happiness? What is happiness!? This is an essay that explores the many different faces of happiness. As you'll learn, happiness doesn't have a single universal definition. Its definition is unique for every single human being out there. Including you.

After reading this essay, you'll know exactly what happiness is, how to define it for yourself, and even how to find it based on actionable advice.

Definition of happiness

Happiness synonyms, different kinds of happiness, a happy balance, why eternal happiness doesn't exist, why eternal happiness can still be pursued, defining your own happiness, closing words, what is happiness.

Before starting this essay about happiness, we must at least have a broad idea of what happiness is. Let's first have a look at how happiness is defined across the web.

Definitions of happiness vary quite a bit across multiple sources. Google thinks happiness is defined as follows:

The state of being happy

happiness definition google

You can see how Google is pretty vague about the definition of happiness. Furthermore, it quickly follows with a long list of synonyms.

Wikipedia has a much more interesting definition of what happiness is.

The feeling of an emotion such as pleasure or joy, the appraisal of life satisfaction or the quality of life, subjective well-being and eudaimonia.

happiness definition wikipedia

Lesson learned? It is really difficult to find a universally correct and agreed-upon definition of what happiness really is.

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Think of all the synonyms that we use to describe feelings that are similar to happiness.

What I like about Google is that it shows synonyms of happiness to people that are looking for its definition.

It's like they're saying: "Hey, we don't know exactly how to define happiness, but here are a couple of concepts that we believe are very much similar!"

The list of synonyms is quite big:

I think there is a lot we can learn just from the fact that happiness has so many synonyms.

Why? Because these synonyms are all specific variants of what happiness means to me. And I bet you feel the same.

All these different emotions are part of what happiness truly is. And that's what makes happiness so incredibly difficult to define and measure. It's a weighted average of all these different synonyms, and the equation of happiness truly changes per person . I'll even go as far as to say that the happiness equation changes per person per day.

If pleasure makes me happy today, it doesn't mean that that same amount of pleasure makes me happy tomorrow.

If short-term satisfaction made me happy yesterday, then it won't necessarily make me happy next week.

happiness definitions and synonyms

What I want you to realize is that your personal definition of happiness is unique. What makes you happy doesn't necessarily make another person happy. In fact, your definition of happiness is likely a combination of satisfaction, cheeriness, merriment, and jollity.

But the way you personally define happiness will likely change from day to day as well.

And that's one of the most critical aspects of happiness. That's also why it's supposedly so hard to measure and quantify. Here's an entire article I wrote recently about how difficult it is to define happiness, but you can still try for yourself !

Still with me? Good, because I'm going to add yet another reason why happiness is such a difficult thing to measure!

There are different kinds of happiness. Not just in the way we define happiness, but also in the way we experience it.

As part of this essay, I want to introduce the concepts of short-term and long-term happiness.

Short-term happiness

Short-term happiness is relatively easy to explain. It's based on small and easy to obtain, yet rather unsustainable happiness. When looking at the list of happiness synonyms, I think the following concepts are clearly centered around short-term happiness:

You see, short-term happiness is based on the release of the chemical dopamine in our brain . This organic chemical is released whenever we are stimulated by things that please us. Some examples are sex, having a laugh with friends, finishing a race, watching a funny video online, or watching an exciting game of football. A more extreme example is drugs.

These things result in short-term happiness because dopamine is released based on a single event. When this event is over, the pleasure is gone. That's why I consider this to be short-term happiness.

And then there is long-term happiness.

Long-term happiness

Long-term happiness is a little bit harder to explain because it revolves around other concepts of happiness. Instead of joy, pleasure, and ecstasy, the concepts that make up long-term happiness are:

I hope you can spot the difference here. Long-term happiness is created by feeling happy about your purpose in life, the successes that you've had and/or the satisfaction of who you are and what you've accomplished. Long-term happiness is based on concepts that are not created by a single event. For example, I'm happy at the moment because I'm grateful for the life that I have right now. This happiness is not caused by something I'm doing at this very moment. No, I'm happy because I work hard and have achieved things that I am proud of. I have created a situation in which I am happy by default, without having to rely on single events.

happiness long-term vs short-term balance

Now that you are aware of these two different kinds of happiness, I want you to picture some scenarios.

You might have guessed it, but this scenario is focused exclusively on short-term happiness. And the simple fact is that pursuing nothing but short-term happiness does not lead to a sustainable happy life.

Now picture the following scenario:

This is another extreme example of happiness. You can probably see how this person is very likely unhappy. He is spending the best years of his life making sacrifices in anticipation of what he eventually wants to become. For a lot of people, this sounds like a logical decision. But to me, this sounds like a huge mistake. You might feel satisfied with the progress you're making, but are you truly happy? If you get in a fatal car crash tomorrow, would you have any regrets?

I want you to think about this for a moment since a lot of people in industrialized countries have the urge to constantly be planning for the future. And while this is not a bad thing in principle, we often take it too far. As a result, we are constantly sprinting from one deadline to the other. Sure, you want to plan for a happy future, but what's the point of all of this when you're not happy in the process itself?

The thing is, these extreme examples are not something that you should want. You can only lead a truly happy life when you actively pursue both short-term and long-term happiness.

It's important to find out what your perfect balance is.

I'm not here to tell you that you should focus 50% of your attention on short-term happiness and the other 50% on long-term happiness. No. I'm here to tell you that you should be aware of your own happiness. Every single person on this planet has a different definition of happiness. You need to find out what happiness means to you, and how you want to pursue it.

They say happiness is a journey and not a destination. I think happiness can - and should - be both.

For me personally, I often notice how much short-term happiness I'm sacrificing in anticipation of long-term happiness. Some examples:

These are some real examples of how I've been sacrificing my short-term happiness for long-term happiness. I want you to think of a couple of examples for yourself. Have you ever made a bad decision that resulted in a decreased level of happiness?

Think about some real scenarios that you've experienced and whether you should have acted differently.

I'm not saying that sacrificing short-term happiness for long-term happiness is bad. I just want you to know that you need to find a balance. For example, I do actually want to finish my next marathon within a decent time, but I'm not going to make myself miserable by pushing myself to the limit in preparation. That's not the balance that I'm after.

The thing is, realizing the difference between short-term and long-term happiness makes it easier for us to pursue happiness in our lives.

Pursue happiness, you ask?

Yes! I believe that happiness can actively be pursued and that you can steer your life in the best direction possible by doing this. However, there are a number of people that believe that pursuing happiness is a loser's game. These people argue that by pursuing happiness , you'll be more tempted to choose short-term happiness over long-term happiness. This is where the hedonic treadmill will quickly evaporate whatever happiness you've created for yourself.

The hedonic treadmill

Imagine something that you would really like to do right now.

What did you think of? Taking a long warm bath? Drinking wine with your friends? Going to an amusement park?

Wouldn't it be great if you could do that right now? That would definitely have a positive influence on your happiness, right?

Now think about doing that exact thing every day, for the rest of your life, until the day you die.

Do you think you'd still be happy from doing that same thing after the 10th time? Or the 100th time? Or the 1000th time?

The answer is probably no. Even though this example is extreme, the theory of diminishing returns applies here. When repeated, the effect of the same event on your happiness will diminish to zero. That's because the norms of what defines your happiness are constantly adapting. Your happiness equation transforms with your changing life, whether it's for better or worse.

One of the best examples of this hedonic treadmill is the following:

Think of a big salary bump. You receive a raise of 50%! Congratulations, you now have money to spend on all kinds of things that make you and your family happy ! Will that happiness sustain into the future? Unfortunately not. Instead of appreciating the luxury of your raise, you will grow accustomed to this extra money and will slowly take it for granted. This adaptation is known as the hedonic treadmill , and it is generally conceived as the arch-enemy of happiness.

what is happiness essay hedonic treadmill

Now that you know what this hedonic treadmill is, it might seem like a waste of time to continue reading this essay, right?

NO! While the hedonic treadmill is very much real - I'll never deny that - I don't want you to think that greater happiness can't be achieved. You just need to be willing to actively look for it in the right places.

See, nobody on the internet will be able to define happiness for you. What makes you happy is a constantly changing equation that is unique in every way. Why would you believe some scientist when he or she claims that happiness is impossible to pursue? What does that scientist know about you? Nothing!

It's up to you to define what makes you happy.

How to find your own happiness

By now, you should know 3 things:

Let's combine this knowledge. I want you to realize that you can learn more about your own happiness equation. You can find out what it is that makes you happy.

Got it? Good, because the next step is to define what the difference is between short-term and long-term happiness. You have to find out how much you value your happiness on the journey itself and how much of that happiness you want to sacrifice by investing in a potentially happier future.

Now, what if I told you that a perfect balance between long-term and short-term happiness can limit the effect that the hedonic treadmill has on you?

Yes, by consciously varying the pursuit of short-term and long-term happiness, you can vary the factors in your life in a way that leads to greater happiness. If you are aware of your own happiness equation, you're able to pursue happiness in the areas where it matters the most.

What I want you to do is consider your personal happiness again for a moment.

Think back at the last week, and remember what things or events had a positive influence on your happiness. Think of the things that really made you smile or feel satisfied with where you were or how you acted.

What came to your mind? Was it work? Was it your relationship? Was it that silly movie you watched? Was it a nice sunny day spent outside? It could be literally anything! What I want most of all now is that you realize how you just measured a part of your happiness.

You see, even though happiness is claimed to be the factor of life that's the most difficult to measure, you can still measure what is currently part of your happiness equation. It's simple. For me personally, when I think back to yesterday, I remember that I really enjoyed spending time with my girlfriend, walking through the woods on a sunny day, and just relaxing (a.k.a. doing nothing!)

These are happiness factors that were a vital part of my happiness equation yesterday. It was a weekend day after a long and busy week at work, so I was really trying to find some short-term happiness. The things that I did yesterday were perfect, as it was a very happy day for me.

You should not be surprised if I told you that I was consciously trying to be happy by spending my day doing things that satisfied my short-term happiness.

You can do exactly the same. All you need to do is to define your own happiness.

And with that said, I want to conclude this essay about happiness. Happiness is different for every single human being on this planet. If you arrived at this essay without having a clear idea of what happiness is, I hope you now know that your personal happiness can be defined, measured, and quantified. But only YOU can do this, no one else will be able to tell you what happiness really is. If you are willing to actively pursue greater happiness, I believe you can steer your life in the best direction.

Now it's time to hear from you! How do you define your own happiness right now? What has been your biggest happiness factor last week? Do you think you can learn from your own happiness?

I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!


Hi! I'm from the Netherlands, love skateboarding, ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). I consider myself to be a data junkie and have tracked my happiness for over 10 years.

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What Is Happiness?

Defining Happiness, and How to Become Happier

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

essay about true happiness is

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

essay about true happiness is

Verywell/ Jiaqi Zhou

How to Cultivate Happiness

How to be a happier person.

Happiness is something that people seek to find, yet what defines happiness can vary from one person to the next. Typically, happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction. 

When most people talk about the true meaning of happiness, they might be talking about how they feel in the present moment or referring to a more general sense of how they feel about life overall.

Because happiness tends to be such a broadly defined term, psychologists and other social scientists typically use the term ' subjective well-being ' when they talk about this emotional state. Just as it sounds, subjective well-being tends to focus on an individual's overall personal feelings about their life in the present.  

Two key components of happiness (or subjective well-being) are:

Another definition of happiness comes from the ancient philosopher Aristotle, who suggested that happiness is the one human desire, and all other human desires exist as a way to obtain happiness. He believed that there were four levels of happiness: happiness from immediate gratification, from comparison and achievement, from making positive contributions, and from achieving fulfillment. 

Happiness, Aristotle suggested, could be achieved through the golden mean, which involves finding a balance between deficiency and excess.

Signs of Happiness

While perceptions of happiness may be different from one person to the next, there are some key signs that psychologists look for when measuring and assessing happiness.

Some key signs of happiness include:

One important thing to remember is that happiness isn't a state of constant euphoria . Instead, happiness is an overall sense of experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones.

Happy people still feel the whole range of human emotions—anger, frustrastion, boredom, loneliness, and even sadness—from time to time. But even when faced with discomfort, they have an underlying sense of optimism that things will get better, that they can deal with what is happening, and that they will be able to feel happy again.

Types of Happiness

There are many different ways of thinking about happiness. For example, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle made a distinction between two different kinds of happiness: hedonia and eudaimonia.

Hedonia and eudemonia are more commonly known today in psychology as pleasure and meaning, respectively. More recently, psychologists have suggested the addition of the third component that relates to engagement . These are feelings of commitment and participation in different areas of life.

Research suggests that happy people tend to rank pretty high on eudaimonic life satisfaction and better than average on their hedonic life satisfaction.  

All of these can play an important role in the overall experience of happiness, although the relative value of each can be highly subjective. Some activities may be both pleasurable and meaningful, while others might skew more one way or the other.

For example, volunteering for a cause you believe in might be more meaningful than pleasurable. Watching your favorite tv show, on the other hand, might rank lower in meaning and higher on pleasure.

Some types of happiness that may fall under these three main categories include:

While some people just tend to be naturally happier, there are things that you can do to cultivate your sense of happiness. 

Pursue Intrinsic Goals 

Achieving goals that you are intrinsically motivated to pursue, particularly ones that are focused on personal growth and community, can help boost happiness. Research suggests that pursuing these types of intrinsically-motivated goals can increase happiness more than pursuing extrinsic goals like gaining money or status.  

Enjoy the Moment

Studies have found that people tend to over earn—they become so focused on accumulating things that they lose track of actually enjoying what they are doing.  

So, rather than falling into the trap of mindlessly accumulating to the detriment of your own happiness, focus on practicing gratitude for the things you have and enjoying the process as you go. 

Reframe Negative Thoughts

When you find yourself stuck in a pessimistic outlook or experiencing negativity, look for ways that you can reframe your thoughts in a more positive way. 

People have a natural negativity bias , or a tendency to pay more attention to bad things than to good things. This can have an impact on everything from how you make decisions to how you form impressions of other people. Discounting the positive—a cognitive distortion where people focus on the negative and ignore the positive—can also contribute to negative thoughts.

Reframing these negative perceptions isn't about ignoring the bad. Instead, it means trying to take a more balanced, realistic look at events. It allows you to notice patterns in your thinking and then challenge negative thoughts.

Impact of Happiness

Why is happiness so important? Happiness has been shown to predict positive outcomes in many different areas of life including mental well-being, physical health, and overall longevity.

Some people seem to have a naturally higher baseline for happiness—one large-scale study of more than 2,000 twins suggested that around 50% of overall life satisfaction was due to genetics, 10% to external events, and 40% to individual activities.

So while you might not be able to control what your “base level” of happiness is, there are things that you can do to make your life happier and more fulfilling. Even the happiest of individuals can feel down from time to time and happiness is something that all people need to consciously pursue.

Cultivate Strong Relationships

Social support is an essential part of well-being. Research has found that good social relationships are the strongest predictor of happiness. Having positive and supportive connections with people you care about can provide a buffer against stress, improve your health, and help you become a happier person.

In the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a longitudinal study that looked at participants over 80 years, researchers found that relationships and how happy people are in those relationships strongly impacted overall health.

So if you are trying to improve your happiness, cultivating solid social connections is a great place to start. Consider deepening your existing relationships and explore ways to make new friends. 

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is good for both your body and mind. Physical activity is linked to a range of physical and psychological benefits including improved mood. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise may play a role in warding off symptoms of depression, but evidence also suggests that it may also help make people happier, too.

In one analysis of past research on the connection between physical activity and happiness, researchers found a consistent positive link.  

Even a little bit of exercise produces a happiness boost—people who were physically active for as little as 10 minutes a day or who worked out only once a week had higher levels of happiness than people who never exercised.

Show Gratitude

In one study, participants were asked to engage in a writing exercise for 10 to 20 minutes each night before bed.   Some were instructed to write about daily hassles, some about neutral events, and some about things they were grateful for. The results found that people who had written about gratitude had increase positive emotions, increased subjective happiness, and improve life satisfaction.

As the authors of the study suggest, keeping a gratitude list is a relatively easy, affordable, simple, and pleasant way to boost your mood. Try setting aside a few minutes each night to write down or think about things in your life that you are grateful for.

Find a Sense of Purpose

Research has found that people who feel like they have a purpose have better well-being and feel more fulfilled.   A sense of purpose involves seeing your life as having goals, direction, and meaning. It may help improve happiness by promoting healthier behaviors. 

Some things you can do to help find a sense of purpose include:

This sense of purpose is influenced by a variety of factors, but it is also something that you can cultivate. It involves finding a goal that you care deeply about that will lead you to engage in productive, positive actions in order to work toward that goal.

Press Play for Advice On Reaching Your Dreams

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Challenges of Finding Happiness

While seeking happiness is important, there are times when the pursuit of life satisfaction falls short. Some challenges to watch for include:

Valuing the Wrong Things

Money may not be able to buy happiness, but there is research that spending money on things like experiences can make you happier than spending it on material possessions. 

One study, for example, found that spending money on things that buy time—such as spending money on time-saving services—can increase happiness and life satisfaction.  

Rather than overvaluing things such as money, status, or material possessions, pursuing goals that result in more free time or enjoyable experiences may have a higher happiness reward.

Not Seeking Social Support

Social support means having friends and loved ones that you can turn to for support. Research has found that perceived social support plays an important role in subjective well-being. For example, one study found that perceptions of social support were responsible for 43% of a person's level of happiness.  

It is important to remember that when it comes to social support, quality is more important than quantity. Having just a few very close and trusted friends will have a greater impact on your overall happiness than having many casual acquaintances.

Thinking of Happiness as an Endpoint

Happiness isn’t a goal that you can simply reach and be done with. It is a constant pursuit that requires continual nurturing and sustenance.

One study found that people who tend to value happiness most also tended to feel the least satisfied with their lives.   Essentially, happiness becomes such a lofty goal that it becomes virtually unattainable. 

“Valuing happiness could be self-defeating because the more people value happiness, the more likely they will feel disappointed,” suggest the authors of the study.

Perhaps the lesson is to not make something as broadly defined as “happiness” your goal. Instead, focus on building and cultivating the sort of life and relationships that bring fulfillment and satisfaction to your life. 

It is also important to consider how you personally define happiness. Happiness is a broad term that means different things to different people. Rather than looking at happiness as an endpoint, it can be more helpful to think about what happiness really means to you and then work on small things that will help you become happier. This can make achieving these goals more manageable and less overwhelming.

History of Happiness

Happiness has long been recognized as a critical part of health and well-being. The "pursuit of happiness" is even given as an inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Our understanding of what will bring happiness, however, has shifted over time.

Psychologists have also proposed a number of different theories to explain how people experience and pursue happiness. These theories include:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The hierarchy of needs suggests that people are motivated to pursue increasingly complex needs. Once more basic needs are fulfilled, people are then motivated by more psychological and emotional needs.

At the peak of the hierarchy is the need for self-actualization, or the need to achieve one's full potential. The theory also stresses the importance of peak experiences or transcendent moments in which a person feels deep understanding, happiness, and joy. 

Positive Psychology

The pursuit of happiness is central to the field of positive psychology . Psychologists who study positive psychology are interested in learning ways to increase positivity and helping people live happier, more satisfying lives. 

Rather than focusing on mental pathologies, the field instead strives to find ways to help people, communities, and societies improve positive emotions and achieve greater happiness.

Finley K, Axner M, Vrooman K, Tse D. Ideal levels of prosocial involvement in relation to momentary affect and eudaimonia: Exploring the golden mean . Innov Aging . 2020;4(Suppl 1):614. doi:10.1093/geroni/igaa057.2083

Kringelbach ML, Berridge KC. The neuroscience of happiness and pleasure .  Soc Res (New York) . 2010;77(2):659-678.

Panel on Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework; Committee on National Statistics; Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council; Stone AA, Mackie C, editors. Subjective Well-Being: Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience [Internet]. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US).

Lee MA, Kawachi I. The keys to happiness: Associations between personal values regarding core life domains and happiness in South Korea . PLoS One . 2019;14(1):e0209821. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209821

Hsee CK, Zhang J, Cai CF, Zhang S. Overearning . Psychol Sci . 2013;24(6):852-9

Carstensen LL, Turan B, Scheibe S, et al. Emotional experience improves with age: evidence based on over 10 years of experience sampling . Psychol Aging . 2011;26(1):21‐33. doi:10.1037/a0021285

Steptoe A, Wardle J. Positive affect and biological function in everyday life . Neurobiol Aging . 2005;26 Suppl 1:108‐112. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.08.016

Sapranaviciute-Zabazlajeva L, Luksiene D, Virviciute D, Bobak M, Tamosiunas A. L ink between healthy lifestyle and psychological well-being in Lithuanian adults aged 45-72: a cross-sectional study . BMJ Open . 2017;7(4):e014240. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014240

Costanzo ES, Lutgendorf SK, Kohut ML, et al. Mood and cytokine response to influenza virus in older adults . J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci . 2004;59(12):1328‐1333. doi:10.1093/gerona/59.12.1328

Lyubomirsky S, Sheldon KM, Schkade D. Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change . Review of General Psychology. 2005;9 (2):111–131. doi:0.1037/1089-2680.9.2.111

The Harvard Gazette. Good genes are nice, but joy is better .

Zhang Z, Chen W. A systematic review of the relationship between physical activity and happiness . J Happiness Stud 20, 1305–1322 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-9976-0

Cunha LF, Pellanda LC, Reppold CT. Positive psychology and gratitude interventions: a randomized clinical trial . Front Psychol . 2019;10:584. Published 2019 Mar 21. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00584

Ryff CD. Psychological well-being revisited: advances in the science and practice of eudaimonia . Psychother Psychosom . 2014;83(1):10‐28. doi:10.1159/000353263

Whillans AV, Dunn EW, Smeets P, Bekkers R, Norton MI. Buying time promotes happiness .  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A . 2017;114(32):8523‐8527. doi:10.1073/pnas.1706541114

Gulacti F. The effect of perceived social support on subjective well-being . Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences . 2010;2(2):3844-3849. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.602

Mauss IB, Tamir M, Anderson CL, Savino NS. Can seeking happiness make people unhappy? [corrected] Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness [published correction appears in Emotion. 2011 Aug;11(4):767]. Emotion . 2011;11(4):807‐815. doi:10.1037/a0022010

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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Essays About Happiness: 5 Essay Examples and 6 Writing Prompts

Being happy and content is essential to living a successful life. If you are writing essays about happiness, start by reading our helpful guide.

Whenever we feel positive emotions rushing through our heads, chances are we are feeling happy. Happiness is what you feel when you enter the house, the smell of your favorite food being cooked or when you finally save up enough money to buy something you’ve wanted. It is an undeniably magical feeling. 

Happiness can do wonders for your productivity and well-being; when you are happy, you are more energetic, optimistic, and motivated. So it is, without a doubt, important. However, do not become caught up in trying to be happy, as this may lead to worse problems. Instead, allow yourself to feel your emotions; be authentic, even if that means feeling a little more negative.

5 Top Essay Examples

1. causes of happiness by otis curtis, 2. how to be happy by tara parker-pope, 3. reflections on ‘happiness’ by shahzada sultan.

5. Toxic positivity by Suhani Mahajan

6 prompts for essays about happiness, 1. why is it important to be happy, 2. what is happiness to you, 3. the role of material things in happiness, 4. how does happiness make you more productive, 5. is true happiness achievable, 6. happiness vs. truth.

“If you don’t feel good about yourself you will have a similarly negative attitude towards others and education is one way of having good self-esteem, as it helps you to live life successfully and happily. Education is one way of getting that dream job and education is an essential cog in the wheel to living comfortably and happily. One English survey that included over 15,000 participants revealed that 81 percent of people who had achieved a good level of education had a high level of life satisfaction.”

Based on personal beliefs and research, Curtis’ essay describes different contributing causes to people’s happiness. These include a loving, stable family and good health. Interestingly, there is a positive correlation between education level and happiness, as Curtis cites statistics showing that education leads to high self-esteem, which can make you happier. 

“Socratic questioning is the process of challenging and changing irrational thoughts. Studies show that this method can reduce depression symptoms. The goal is to get you from a negative mindset (“I’m a failure.”) to a more positive one (“I’ve had a lot of success in my career. This is just one setback that doesn’t reflect on me. I can learn from it and be better.”)”

Parker-Pope writes about the different factors of happiness and how to practice mindfulness and positivity in this guide. She gives tips such as doing breathing exercises, moving around more, and spending time in places and with people that make you happy. Most importantly, however, she reminds readers that negative thoughts should not be repressed. Instead, we should accept them but challenge that mindset.

“Happiness is our choice of not leaving our mind and soul at the mercy of the sways of excitement. Happiness cannot eliminate sorrow, suffering, pain or death from the scheme of things, but it can help keep fear, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, pessimism and other fathers of unhappiness at bay.”

Sultan discusses what happiness means to her personally. It provides an escape from all the dreariness and lousy news of daily life, not eliminating negative thoughts but keeping them at a distance, even just for a moment. She writes that to be happy; we should not base our happiness on the outcomes of our actions. We cannot control the world around us, so we should not link our happiness to it. If something doesn’t go our way, that is just how the world works. It is useless to be sad over what we cannot control.

4.   Happiness is Overrated by John Gorman

“Our souls do float across the sea of life, taking on water as they go, sinking ever so slightly — perhaps even imperceptibly — into despair. But our souls are not the bucket. Happiness itself is. And it’s the bucket we use to pour water out our souls and keep us afloat. What we really need is peace. Peace patches the holes in our souls and stops the leaking. Once we have peace, we will no longer need to seek happiness.”

In his essay, Gorman reflects on how he stopped trying to chase happiness and instead focused on finding peace in life. He writes that we are often so desperate looking for happiness that our lives become complicated, chaotic, and even depressing at times. He wants readers to do what they are passionate about and be their authentic selves; that way, they will find true happiness. 

“That’s the mindset most of us have. Half of toxic positivity is just the suppression of 200% acceptable feelings such as anger, fear, sadness, confusion, and more. Any combination of such feelings is deemed “negative.” Honestly, mix ‘em up and serve them to me in a cocktail, eh? (Fine, fine, a mocktail. I reserve my right to one of those little umbrellas though.)

But by closing ourselves off to anything but positivity, we’re experiencing the same effects as being emotionally numb. Why are we doing this to ourselves?”

Mahajan writes about the phenomenon known as “toxic positivity” in which everyone is expected to be happy with their lives. It trivializes people’s misfortunes and sufferings, telling them to be happy with what they have instead. Mahajan opposes this, believing that everyone’s feelings are valid. She writes that it’s okay to be sad or angry at times, and the stigma around “negative feelings” should be erased. When we force ourselves to be happy, we may feel emotionally numb or even sad, the exact opposite of being happy. 

Essays About Happiness: Why is it important to be happy?

Many would say that happiness aids you in many aspects of your life. Based on personal experience and research, discuss the importance of being happy. Give a few benefits or advantages of happiness. These can include physical, mental, and psychological benefits, as well as anything else you can think of. 

Happiness means different things to different people and may come from various sources. In your essay, you can also explain how you define happiness. Reflect on this feeling and write about what makes you happy and why. Explain in detail for a more convincing essay; be sure to describe what you are writing about well. 

Essays About Happiness: The role of material things in happiness

Happiness has a myriad of causes, many of which are material. Research the extent to which material possessions can make one happy, and write your essay about whether or not material things can truly make us happy. Consider the question, “Can money buy happiness?” Evaluate the extent to which it can or cannot, depending on your stance.  

Happiness has often been associated with a higher level of productivity. In your essay, look into the link between these two. In particular, discuss the mental and chemical effects of happiness. Since this topic is rooted in research and statistics, vet your sources carefully: only use the most credible sources for an accurate essay.

In their essays, many, including Gorman and Mahajan, seem to hold a more critical view of happiness. Our world is full of suffering and despair, so some ask: “Can we truly be happy on this earth?” Reflect on this question and make the argument for your position. Be sure to provide evidence from your own experiences and those of others. 

In dystopian stories, authorities often restrict people’s knowledge to keep them happy. We are seeing this even today, with some governments withholding crucial information to keep the population satisfied or stable. Write about whether you believe what they are doing is defensible or not, and provide evidence to support your point. 

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining “what is persuasive writing ?”

For help picking your next essay topic, check out our top essay topics about love .

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Why our pursuit of happiness may be flawed

Modern society seems to be obsessed with finding happiness, but if some philosophers are to believed, this could be a fruitless pursuit (Credit: Mike Kemp/Getty Images)

What do you want from life? You’ve probably had the opportunity and the cause to ask yourself that question recently. Perhaps you want to spend more time with your family, or get a more fulfilling and secure job, or improve your health. But why do you want those things?

Chances are that your answer will come down to one thing: happiness. Our culture’s fixation on happiness can seem almost religious. It is one of the only reasons for action that doesn’t stand in need of justification: happiness is good because being happy is good. But can we build our lives on that circular reasoning?

Considering the importance of the question, there’s remarkably little data on what people want from life. A survey in 2016 asked Americans whether they would rather "achieve great things or be happy" and 81% said that they would rather be happy, while only 13% opted for achieving great things (6% were understandably daunted by the choice and weren’t sure). Despite the ubiquity of happiness as a goal, it’s hard to know how to define it or how to achieve it.

Yet more and more aspects of life are judged in terms of their contribution to the phantom of happiness. Does your relationship, your job , your home, your body, your diet make you happy? If not, aren’t you doing something wrong? In our modern world, happiness is the closest thing we have to a summum bonum , the highest good from which all other goods flow. In this logic unhappiness becomes the summum malum , the greatest evil to be avoided. There is some evidence that the obsessive pursuit of happiness is associated with a greater risk of depression .

Entire sections of book shop shelving are often dedicated to self-help books that promise to make us happier (Credit: Gerry Walden/Alamy)

Entire sections of book shop shelving are often dedicated to self-help books that promise to make us happier (Credit: Gerry Walden/Alamy)

In his recent book, The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness , historian Ritchie Robertson argues that the Enlightenment should be understood not as the increase in value of reason itself, but instead as the quest for happiness through reason. The determining intellectual force of modernity was about happiness and we are still grappling with the limits of that project today.

It’s easy to assume that happiness has always been valued as the highest good, but human values and emotions are not permanently fixed. Some values which once were paramount, such as honour or piety, have faded in importance , while emotions like " acedia " (our feeling of apathy comes closest) have disappeared completely. Both the language we use to describe our values and emotions and even the feelings themselves are unstable.

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Modern conceptions of happiness are primarily practical and not philosophical, focusing on what we might call the techniques of happiness. The concern is not what happiness is, but instead on how to get it. We tend to see happiness in medicalised terms as the opposite of sadness or depression, implying that happiness emerges from chemical reactions in the brain. Being happy means having fewer of the chemical reactions that make you sad and more of the reactions that make you happy.

Martha Nussbaum , a prominent virtue ethicist, claims that modern societies take happiness to "be the name of a feeling of contentment or pleasure, and a view that makes happiness the supreme goods is assumed to be, by definition a view that gives supreme value to psychological states". Self-help books and "positive psychology" promise to unlock that psychological state or happy mood. But philosophers have tended to be sceptical of this view of happiness because our moods are fleeting and their causes uncertain. Instead, they ask a related but wider question: what is the good life?

A life with loving attachments has been shown to be linked to happiness but it can also cause us great pain (Credit: Solstock/Getty Images)

A life with loving attachments has been shown to be linked to happiness but it can also cause us great pain (Credit: Solstock/Getty Images)

One answer would be a life spent doing things you enjoy and which bring you pleasure. A life spent experiencing pleasure would, in some ways, be a good life.

But maximising pleasure isn’t the only option. Every human life, even the most fortunate, is filled with pain. Painful loss, painful disappointments, the physical pain of injury or sickness, and the mental pain of enduring boredom, loneliness, or sadness. Pain is an inevitable consequence of being alive.

For the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-270 BCE), a good life was one in which pain is minimised . The sustained absence of pain grants us tranquillity of mind, or ataraxia . This notion has something in common with our modern understanding of happiness. To be "at peace with yourself" marks the happy person out from the unhappy one and no one would imagine that a life filled with pain could be a good life. But is the minimisation of pain really the essence of happiness?

What if living a good life increases the pain we experience? Studies have shown that having loving attachments correlates with happiness, but we know from experience that love is also the cause of pain. What if pain is necessary and even desirable ? The painful death of parents, children, partners or friends could be obviated by ceasing to care about those people, or excising them from your life completely. But a life without loving attachments is deficient in important ways, even if it might free us from the rending pain of losing those you love. Less dramatically, all the good things in life entail suffering. Writing a novel, running a marathon, or giving birth all cause suffering in pursuit of the final, joyous result.

Epicurean happiness is a matter of being a good accountant and minimising pain in the most efficient way possible

Epicurus might respond that the inevitability of suffering actually makes ataraxia more appealing. Accepting the inevitable, while trying to minimise its harm, is the only way to live. You can also use pain minimisation as a guide to action. If the process of writing a novel causes you more pain than the pleasure you anticipate from finishing it, then don’t write it. But if a little pain now will prevent greater pain later – the pain of giving up smoking to avoid the pain of cancer for example – then that pain can probably be justified. Epicurean happiness is a matter of being a good accountant and minimising pain in the most efficient way possible.

But the accountant’s view of happiness is too simple to reflect reality. Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Genealogy of Morals, saw that we do not merely endure pain as a means to greater pleasure because "man…does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering". In Nietzsche’s view , pain is not alleviated through pleasure, but instead through meaning. He was sceptical that we could find enough meaning to make the suffering worthwhile, but his insight points to the flaw in Epicurus’s view of the good life.

A life of meaningful pain then, might be more valuable than a life of meaningless pleasure. As if it weren’t hard enough to work out what happiness is, we now need to work out what a meaningful life is too.

But if we put the tricky question of what makes life meaningful to one side, we can still see that the modern view of happiness as the summum bonum – or highest good from which all other goods flow – is mistaken.

The majority of Americans would choose happiness over achieving great things, according to one recent survey (Credit: Michael Wheatley/Alamy)

The majority of Americans would choose happiness over achieving great things, according to one recent survey (Credit: Michael Wheatley/Alamy)

The American philosopher Robert Nozick came up with a thought experiment to make the point. Nozick asks us to imagine a "machine that could give you any experience you desired". The machine would allow you to experience the bliss of fulfilling your every wish. You could be a great poet, become the greatest inventor ever known, travel the Universe in a spaceship of your own design, or become a well-liked chef at a local restaurant. In reality though, you would be unconscious in a life-support tank. Because the machine makes you believe that the simulation is real, your choice is final.

Would you plug in? Nozick says you wouldn’t because we want to actually do certain things and be certain people, not just have pleasurable experiences. This hypothetical situation might seem frivolous, but if we are willing to sacrifice limitless pleasure for real meaning, then happiness is not the highest good. But if Nozick is right, then the 81% of surveyed Americans who chose happiness over great achievements are wrong, and studies have shown that people would mostly choose not to enter the machine.

Nozick’s experience machine aimed to disprove the essential claim of utilitarianism, "that happiness is desirable, and the only thing desirable, as an end". In 1826, the philosopher who wrote those words, John Stuart Mill, became mired in unhappiness. In his autobiography, Mill describes what we now recognise as depressive anhedonia: "I was in a dull state of nerves, such as everybody is occasionally liable to; unsusceptible to enjoyment or pleasurable excitement; one of those moods when what is pleasure at other times, becomes insipid or indifferent."

Mill could take no pleasure from life. This would be bad for most people, but for Mill it pointed to something even more worrying. He had been taught from birth that the ultimate end of life is to maximise humanity’s pleasure and minimise its pain. Mill’s father was a follower of the classical utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, and had raised his son in accordance with Bentham’s views. Bentham went further than Epicurus by making happiness the ultimate appeal of an individual life and the ultimate appeal of morality. For Bentham, all moral, political, and personal questions can be settled by one simple principle – "the greatest happiness for the greatest number". But if that was the one principle to live by, how could Mill justify his own existence, devoid as it was of happiness?

Unlike happiness, eudaimonia is realised through habits and actions, not through mental states

Through his depression, Mill realised that Bentham’s utilitarian viewpoint, which elevated pleasure to the supreme good, was a "swinish philosophy", suitable only for pigs . Dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and pain are part of the human condition and so "it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied", according to Mill. He continued to believe that happiness was deeply important, but came to see that aiming at happiness will rarely lead to it.

Instead, Mill thought that you should aim for other goods, and happiness might be a felicitous by-product. But this also suggests that a good life can be an unhappy one. What Mill recognised was what Aristotle had argued two millennia earlier – the passing pleasure of happiness is secondary to living a good life, or of achieving what Aristotle called eudaimonia .

Eudaimonia is difficult to translate into our contemporary concepts. Some, like the philosopher Julia Annas, translate it directly as "happiness", while others scholars prefer "human flourishing". Whatever the translation, it marks a distinctive contrast to our modern conception of happiness.

Aristotle’s view of flourishing is complex and complicated because it incorporates individual satisfaction, moral virtue, excellence, good fortune, and political engagement. Unlike Epicurus’s accounting view of pain or Bentham’s "swinish" view of pleasure, Aristotle’s idea of flourishing is as messy as the humans it describes.

Like our modern conception of happiness, eudaimonia is the ultimate purpose of life. But unlike happiness, eudaimonia is realised through habits and actions, not through mental states. Happiness is not something you experience or obtain, it’s something you do .

Rather than being a mental state, happiness may be something we obtain from doing things and our habits (Credit: Chris Gorman/Getty Images)

Rather than being a mental state, happiness may be something we obtain from doing things and our habits (Credit: Chris Gorman/Getty Images)

In his Nicomachean Ethics , Aristotle wrote: "As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy." In other words, to flourish is the undertaking of a lifetime because it’s something you must cultivate daily through your actions. Like the utilitarians, Aristotle argued that happiness and virtue were inextricably linked.

For Aristotle, virtue is a characteristic which achieves a mean or middle position between extremes. For example, between the extremes of cowardice and foolhardiness lies bravery, between the extremes of the miser and spendthrift lies generosity. Acting so to maintain a balance between extremes is virtuous action. But where the utilitarians reduced morality down to happiness, Aristotle held that virtue is necessary but not sufficient for eudaimonia . We cannot flourish unvirtuously, but nor is being virtuous a shortcut to eudaimonia . Rather, virtuous action is itself a part of eudaimonia .

Aristotle argued that the questions of what makes someone happy and what makes someone a good person aren’t separate. The relationship between ethical goodness and living a good life was, Annas claims , the defining question of ancient philosophy. And it’s still our question today.

Happiness is not an emotional state so much as it is the excellence of the relations we cultivate with other people

For Aristotle, we flourish by exercising our uniquely human capabilities to think and reason. But thinking and reasoning are as much social activities as they are individual: "men are not isolated individuals, and the human excellences cannot be practised by hermits". If flourishing requires others, then so does happiness. Happiness is not an emotional state so much as it is the excellence of the relations we cultivate with other people.

But even that cannot guarantee flourishing. Aristotle recognised that our happiness is hostage to fortune. Events beyond any individual’s control – war, unrequited love, poverty, and global pandemics – will often make flourishing (and happiness with it) impossible.

This idea of moral luck does not undermine the pursuit of eudaimonia even when it frustrates it. Happiness is not a mental state that can be permanently won, but instead it’s a practice which we hone, imperfectly, in circumstances only partly of our making.

Recognising this will not secure a good life, but it will dispel the illusory hope of eternal contentment. By misunderstanding happiness, the modern conception increases the likelihood of disappointment. No life worth living should meet the standard set by Epicurean or utilitarian views of happiness, and so its modern adherents are destined to be disillusioned by the blemishes of human life. Instead, aim with Aristotle to embrace those blemishes and to flourish in spite of them.

* Nat Rutherford is a teaching fellow in political theory at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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essay about true happiness is


essay about true happiness is

True Feelings In Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 quote analysis.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States claims, “We are as happy as we make our minds to be”. In Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451, Mildred and Montag, a married couple live in a technologically advanced society where books along with any other items or activities that provoke thought are not allowed. Drowning in technology, the society absorbs in distractions such as television and earbuds that isolate themselves. Though Mildred claims she lives her life satisfied, she proves she rejects her unhappiness by escaping society with meaningless relationships, drowning in technology, and attempting to commit suicide.

Women In Fahrenheit 451

In the novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, Montag becomes increasingly upset at his wife and her friends due to the way they ignore their emotions with superficial conversation and television. When the women talk about their husbands, for instance, Montag notices just how unattached the women are to their own emotions. Mrs. Phelps recalls her husband saying “If I get killed off you just go right ahead and don’t cry but get married again and don’t think of me” (Bradbury 91). Montag notices how nonchalant she was she spoke, as if her husband meant nothing to her. Montag is outraged because he sees this as parallel to his own life as he earlier realized he would not cry over his own wife’s death. Furthermore, Montag is irritated by the lack

Examples Of Dystopian Society In Fahrenheit 451

In the book, Beatty says, “People want to be happy, isn’t that right… I want to be happy, people say… Don’t we keep them moving…” (pg. 56). He thinks that if people keep moving, they won’t have time to think about their problems. Along with hiding their feelings, people are very selfish. An example of greed is Mildred, who wants a fourth TV so she can live up to everyone else’s standards. “How long you figure before we save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth wall-TV put in? It’s only two thousand dollars.’ ‘That’s one-third of my yearly pay.’ ‘It’s only two thousand dollars,’ she replied. ‘And I should think you’d consider me sometimes’” (pg. 18). Mildred expects Montag to pay for the TV, even though it costs so much money. In our society, people don’t always pretend to be joyful. There is violence everywhere and crime everywhere. If people were happy, there would be no pain and suffering, but there is. On the other hand, our society is like the one in Fahrenheit 451 because we too are self- involved. People only spend time on their phones or computers or TVs. People never spend time with each other, but instead find value in their virtual friends. Society today, as one could see, is much like and different from the Fahrenheit 451 dystopia regarding feelings and emotions.

Fahrenheit 451 Empathy Quotes

Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, presents a society in which humans suffer from depression, fear, and loss of empathy which are the result of censorship of free thought and knowledge.Humans suffer from loss of empathy due to their lack of human interaction. People live in fear of the government as the dystopian society deprives the people of knowledge. Depression is evidenced by suicidal tendencies caused by hollow lives.

Figurative Language In Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 explores what is considered happiness in a futuristic society where the citizens live censored and superficial lives, favoring mindless entertainment and ignorant bliss over knowledge, freedom, and individuality. While some characters initially appear to be satisfied, the majority show evidence that they are not genuinely content and struggle to live truly happy lives due to their society. Shown through varied figurative language and symbolism, Bradbury explores different characters and their contrasting pursuits of happiness, conveying a message of how the illusion of happiness of materialism and entertainment fails against the true happiness of knowledge, freedom, and individuality.

Distractions In Fahrenheit 451

Both our society, and Fahrenheit 451 lack natural surroundings and the ability to listen and think. (SIP-A) The society in Fahrenheit 451 is disconnected with nature and they never get the chance to think or to comprehend their thoughts in the silence of nature. (STEWE-1) Being in nature is so important because it gives you time to think with yourself, you are able to listen and respond without any distractions. Fahrenheit 451 proves this by showing Montag going down the river. Montag is able to find himself and he is able to be in a quiet space where he could think and reflect, “He saw the moon low in the sky now. The moon there, and the light of the moon caused by what. By the sun, of course. And what lights the sun? Its own fire. And the sun goes on, day after day, burning and burning. The sun and time. The sun and time burning. Burning. The river bobbed him along gently. Burning. The sun and every clock on earth. It all came together and became a single thing in his mind.”(Bradbury, 134). Montag comes to realizations, he notices and thinks about simple things that change his whole perspective on how he should handle the huge problem in the society. (STEWE-2) Today with everyone is such a hurry we are not able to take a walk outside or for example play with our dogs. We are so busy with our distraction that when we finally have time to go for a walk, we chose the gym, where there is machines, televisions,

Dehumanization In Fahrenheit 451 Analysis

In Fahrenheit 451, the people spend their days watching colors and sounds on TV. Society has made it so every house has a ‘parlor’ with multiple television walls, and children spend all day at school in front of a television or playing sports instead of learning. This meaningless life is a result of society taking away human emotions. The people took away anything that made anyone unhappy, which lead to a lack of human emotions and, therefore, human relationships. This is most clearly shown through Mrs. Bowles’ C-sections and her lack of relationships with her children. Montag recognises his lack of emotions towards Mildred, demonstrating the dehumanization of society. Granger explains how society used to be, with meaningful lives and human emotions/relationships. Without these human characteristics, life is not valued and not seen as important. Because of this, the people spend their days doing whatever makes them think they are happy for that moment in time. No one thinks about others, or about love, or about true happiness. To lead a life with purpose, one must first lead a life of humanity, a life full of emotions and relationships, good and

Ray Bradbury's Novel 'Fahrenheit 451'

Ray Bradbury’s novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’ warns of the dangers of technology and blind obedience through the character of Mildred Montag amongst others. Although Mildred is a minor character throughout the text, her image as the poster girl of the dystopian vision of the future Bradbury had created highlights that in a society where technology is all-powerful and all-consuming, true happiness is seldom found. Bradbury depicts characters who have an awareness of life outside of technology to be genuinely happier and more sincere, whereas those who have conformed to mores of society are consequently dissatisfied with life. Ultimately, it is Montag’s realisation that there is more to life than shallow conversations and parlour walls, and the happiness

Fahrenheit 451 Critical Lens Essay

Social lives and interaction in Fahrenheit 451 are also somewhat different than our world. In their world, people don’t usually interact, and they have parlor ‘families’ on TV screens. Any relationship someone does have is usually fake, shallow, and distant. In the book, Millie interacts with her neighbors, but all they do is watch the parlor TV’s. When Montag unplugs the parlor, the women can’t seem to have a meaningful conversion, and repeat the same sentences to each other. On the other hand, some people, such as Clarisse, have real conversations, like when she talks with her

Happiness In Fahrenheit 451

In today’s society, people achieve happiness through interaction with others, but in Ray Bradbury’s dystopian Novel, Fahrenheit 451, his characters believe that they need technology to enjoy their lives. People’s main priority is to be happy and have a successful life. They don’t want to have to worry about anything and just enjoy themselves. “‘You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, what do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Well, aren’t they?’” (Bradbury 56). All people want in life is to be happy. They want to be untroubled and not have to stress about what’s going on in the real world. They think that technology will

Similarities Between Pleasantville And Fahrenheit 451

In Fahrenheit 451, people need authentic human interaction to be truly happy. This is supported with Montag and Mildred’s relationship and how Mildred says the parlor walls are “really fun” (18), but she still tried to commit suicide. Montag and Mildred have been married for years, but Montag still feels as if he doesn’t know the woman he’s married to. In the text, Bradbury states, “And [Montag] [remembers] thinking then that if [Mildred] dies, he [is] certain he wouldn’t cry. For it would be dying of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it [is] suddenly so very wrong that he [has] begun to cry, not at death but at the thought of not crying at death, a silly empty man near a silly empty woman,

Examples Of Numb In Fahrenheit 451

In Fahrenheit 451 society is numb. Millie Montag has chosen to become numb by constantly subjecting herself to the incessant blaring of the television and constantly listening to her shells. She barely even talks with her husband. She does not even know how they met each other. Imagine not remembering or caring where you met your husband, let alone not speaking to them. Millie attempted suicide and she did not even know it. She was so numb, she did not even remember a suicide attempt! When she woke up in the morning, she thought that she had a hangover! Millie’s friend Mrs. Bowles is a prime example of what life is like in this horribly numb society. She has gone through a divorce, had two husbands die, one husband killed in an accident and

Examples Of Seashells In Fahrenheit 451

In Fahrenheit 451, a vast percentage of the populace are under a misguided feeling of bliss, in light of the fact that they are oblivious to events outside of their groups, homes, and parlor walls. For example, Mildred was so unengaged while tuning into her seashells that she, “took all the pills in [her] bottle last night” (Bradbury 23). This brought about her overdosing on sleeping pills, and helps further the point that citizens are extremely disconnected while engaged in their “parlors” or while listening to their “seashells”. Furthermore, Beatty discloses to Montag that, “If the

How Does Bradbury Create Happiness In Fahrenheit 451

By writing the novel “Fahrenheit 451” Ray Bradbury shows what a “bad” society would be and he expects folks to comprehend and take the novel as a warning to what may happen if folks aren’t careful. He presents a brand new thought of happiness, one that these days we have a tendency to wouldn’t think about the definition of happiness. He presents the key to happiness as data, that books supply, then from that data happiness is possible; by reaching goals or sharing happiness with others. This differs from what {most folks|most of the people|the general public|the majority} think about happiness as a result of people sometimes think about happiness material objects, which is what Ray Bradbury reproaches. finally, “Fahrenheit 451” could be a novel

Theme Of Discontentment In Fahrenheit 451

People in the Fahrenheit 451 society feel they really are happy when they are not. The people had no way of expressing or talking about how they really felt. No one is in love with each other, for example like Montag and Mildred, because they hadn’t even remembered how they met. The society that they live in is very strict and people

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Definition Essay: Happiness

Happiness. It is not measurable, profitable, nor tradable. Yet, above all else in the world, it is what people seek. They want to have happiness, and want to know they have a lot of it. But happiness, like air or water, is a hard thing to grasp in one’s hand. It is intangible. So how does one know if they have it? Is it just a feeling? And if someone does not feel happy, how can they go about achieving that feeling?

Happiness is not measured by material wealth. A new car or television, a waterskiing boat or a three-level house does not equate to joyful feelings. They are status symbols, surely, and ones that make others assume a person is happy, but they do not guarantee a happy life. The clichéd phrase, “money can’t buy happiness,” is heard often… because it is true. People who have wealth can be unhappy, just as the poor can be living on cloud nine. Possessions can be gained and lost, and with that comes fear. And fear rarely leads to happiness.

So if it isn’t ‘stuff’ that achieves happiness, then what can? Well, goals can. People need to have a sense of purpose. It is no coincidence that Peanuts creator Charles Schultz died a week after ending his famous comic strip. Without a purpose, he was lost. But people that have a sense of purpose in their life often have a feeling of satisfaction about them. They sense they were put on this planet for a reason. To each person, this purpose can be different. Maybe they were meant to teach. Maybe they were meant to mother. Maybe they were meant to learn. And goals can be small things, like taking an extra moment each day to breathe. But having progress in life, a feeling of forward motion, can make people feel happy.

But taking that forward motion too far can be a bad thing. Success at the expense of everything else, for example, leads to the opposite of happiness. Life requires balance. And people that understand that there is a balance to work and play, strife and joy, are more in tune with the universe and, therefore, better able to achieve happiness. Life with a dose of humor is more pleasant. Comedians, compared to any other profession, live the longest because they understand that laughter adds the spice to life, and makes daily progress worth the minor tribulations.

So people can be happy if they have something to strive for and something to laugh about. But is that it? Can people with goals and a sense of humor still be unhappy? Well, yes. After all, the final key to happiness is the decision to actually be happy. Human nature can see negative energy anywhere. People can fixate on problems instead of solutions. So at the end of the day, “happiness depends upon ourselves.” (Aristotle). As Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Being happy with who you are and what you have, is a decision that has to be consciously made. Goals can help lead to happiness. Finding laughter in life is important. But at the end of the day, a person needs to make a choice about happiness. They need to agree they want it, deserve it, and have it.

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The Philosophy of Happiness in Life (+ Aristotle’s View)

The Philosophy of Happiness in Life

We all hope to be happy and live a ‘good life’– whatever that means! Do you wonder, what does it actually mean?

The basic role of ‘philosophy’ is to ask questions, and think about the nature of human thought and the universe. Thus, a discussion of the philosophy of happiness in life can be seen as an examination of the very nature of happiness and what it means for the universe.

Philosophers have been inquiring about happiness since ancient times. Aristotle, when he asked ‘ what is the ultimate purpose of human existence ’ alluded to the fact that purpose was what he argued to be ‘happiness’. He termed this eudaimonia – “ activity expressing virtue ”. This will all be explained shortly.

The purpose of this article is to explore the philosophy of happiness in life, including taking a closer look at Aristotle’s philosophy and answering some of those “big” questions about happiness and living a ‘good life’. In this article, you will also find some practical tips that hopefully you can put in place in your own life. Enjoy!

Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values and self-compassion and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students or employees.

This Article Contains:

A look at the philosophy of happiness, aristotle on happiness, what is real happiness, the value and importance of having true happiness in life, the biggest causes that bring true happiness in life, 15 ways to create happy moments in life, five reasons to be happy from a philosophical perspective, finding happiness in family life, a look at happiness and productivity, how does loneliness affect life satisfaction, 6 recommended books, a take-home message.

Happiness. It is a term that is taken for granted in this modern age. However, since the dawn of time, philosophers have been pursuing the inquiry of happiness… after all, the purpose of life is not just to live, but to live ‘well’.

Philosophers ask some key questions about happiness: can people be happy? If so, do they want to? If people have both a desire to be happy and the ability to be happy, does this mean that they should, therefore, pursue happiness for themselves and others? If they can, they want to, and they ought to be happy, but how do they achieve this goal?

To explore the philosophy of happiness in life, first, the history of happiness will be examined.

Democritus, a philosopher from Ancient Greece, was the first philosopher in the western world to examine the nature of happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). He put forth a suggestion that, unlike it was previously thought, happiness does not result from ‘favorable fate’ (i.e. good luck) or other external circumstances (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Democritus contended that happiness was a ‘case of mind’, introducing a subjectivist view as to what happiness is (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

A more objective view of happiness was introduced by Socrates, and his student, Plato.

They put forth the notion that happiness was “ secure enjoyment of what is good and beautiful ” (Plato, 1999, p. 80). Plato developed the idea that the best life is one whereby a person is either pursuing pleasure of exercising intellectual virtues… an argument which, the next key figure in the development of the philosophy of happiness – Aristotle – disagreed with (Waterman, 1993).

The philosophy of Aristotle will be explored in depth in the next section of this article.

Hellenic history (i.e. ancient Greek times) was largely dominated by the prominent theory of hedonism (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Hedonism is, to put it simply, the pursuit of pleasure as the only intrinsic good (Waterman, 1993). This was the Cyrenaic view of happiness. It was thought that a good life was denoted by seeking pleasure, and satisfying physical, intellectual/social needs (Kashdan, Biswas-Diener & King, 2008).

Kraut (1979, p. 178) describes hedonic happiness as “ the belief that one is getting the important things one wants, as well as certain pleasant affects that normally go along with this belief ” (Waterman, 1993).

In ancient times, it was also thought that it is not possible to live a good life without living in accordance with reason and morality (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). Epicurus, whose work was dominated by hedonism, contended that in fact, virtue (living according to values) and pleasure are interdependent (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

In the middle ages, Christian philosophers said that whilst virtue is essential for a good life, that virtue alone is not sufficient for happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

According to the Christian philosophers, happiness is in the hands of God. Even though the Christians believed that earthly happiness was imperfect, they embraced the idea that Heaven promised eternal happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

A more secular explanation of happiness was introduced in the Age of Enlightenment.

At this time, in the western world pleasure was regarded as the path to, or even the same thing as, happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). From the early nineteenth century, happiness was seen as a value which is derived from maximum pleasure.

Utilitarians, such as the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, suggested the following: “ maximum surplus of pleasure over pain as the cardinal goal of human striving ” (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). Utilitarians believe that morals and legislation should be based on whatever will achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

In the modern era, happiness is something we take for granted. It is assumed that humans are entitled to pursue and attain happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). This is evidenced by the fact that in the US declaration of independence, the pursuit of happiness is protected as a fundamental human right! (Conkle, 2008).

Go into any book store and large sections are dedicated to the wide range of ‘self-help’ books all promoting happiness.

What is This Thing Called Happiness?

It is incredibly challenging to define happiness . Modern psychology describes happiness as subjective wellbeing, or “ people’s evaluations of their lives and encompasses both cognitive judgments of satisfaction and affective appraisals of moods and emotions ” (Kesebir & Diener, 2008, p. 118).

The key components of subjective wellbeing are:

These four components have featured in philosophical material on happiness since ancient times.

Subjective life satisfaction is a crucial aspect of happiness, which is consistent with the work of contemporary philosopher Wayne Sumner, who described happiness as ‘ a response by a subject to her life conditions as she sees them ’ (1999, p. 156).

Thus, if happiness is ‘a thing’ how is it measured?

Some contemporary philosophers and psychologists question self-report as an appropriate measure of happiness. However, many studies have found that self-report measures of ‘happiness’ (subjective wellbeing) are valid and reliable (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Two other accounts of happiness in modern psychology are firstly, the concept of psychological wellbeing (Ryff & Singer, 1996) and secondly, self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

Both of these theories are more consistent with the eudaemonist theories of ‘ flourishing ’ (including Aristotle’s ideas) because they describe the phenomenon of needs (such as autonomy, self-acceptance, and mastery) being met (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Eudaimonia will be explained in detail in the next section of the article (keep reading!) but for now, it suffices to say that eudaemonist theories of happiness define ‘happiness’ (eudaimonia) as a state in which an individual strives for the highest human good.

These days, most empirical psychological research puts forward the theory of subjective wellbeing rather than happiness as defined in a eudaimonic sense (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Although the terms eudaimonia and subjectivewellbeing are not necessarily interchangeable, Kesebir and Diener (2008) argue that subjective wellbeing can be used to describe wellbeing, even if it may not be an absolutely perfect definition!

Can People be Happy?

In order to adequately address this question, it is necessary to differentiate between ‘ideal’ happiness and ‘actual’ happiness.

‘Ideal’ happiness implies a way of being that is complete, lasting and altogether perfect… probably outside of anyone’s reach! (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). However, despite this, people can actually experience mostly positive emotions and report overall satisfaction with their lives and therefore be deemed ‘happy’.

In fact, most people are happy. In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in the US (2006), 84% of Americans see themselves as either “very happy” or “pretty happy” (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Happiness also has an adaptive function. How is happiness adaptive? Well, positivity and wellbeing are also associated with people being confident enough to explore their environments and approach new goals, which increases the likelihood of them collecting resources.

The fact that most people report being happy, and happiness having an adaptive function, leads Kesebir and Diener (2008) to conclude that yes people can, in fact, be happy.

Do People Want to be Happy?

The overwhelming answer is yes! Research has shown that being happy is desirable. Whilst being happy is certainly not the only goal in life, nonetheless, it is necessary for a good life (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

A study by King and Napa (1998) showed that Americans view happiness as more relevant to the judgment of what constitutes a good life, rather than either wealth or ‘moral goodness’.

Should People be Happy?

Another way of putting this, is happiness justifiable? Happiness is not just the result of positive outcomes, such as better health, improved work performance, more ethical behavior, and better social relationships (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). It actually precedes and causes these outcomes!

Happiness leads to better health. For example, research undertaken by Danner, Snowdon & Friesen in 2001 examined the content of handwritten autobiographies of Catholic sisters. They found that expression in the writing that was characterized by positive affect predicted longevity 60 years later!


Happiness is derived not from pursuing pleasure, but by working towards goals which are reflected in one’s values (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Happiness can be predicted not merely by pleasure but by having a sense of meaning , purpose, and fulfillment. Happiness is also associated with better performance in professional life/work.

Social relationships and prosocial behavior

Happiness brings out the best in people… people who are happier are more social, cooperative and ethical (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Happy individuals have also been shown to evaluate others more positively, show greater interest in interacting with others socially, and even be more likely to engage in self-disclosure (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Happy individuals are also more likely to behave ethically (for example, choosing not to buy something because it is known to be stolen) (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

How to be happy?

The conditions and sources of happiness will be explored later on, so do keep reading… briefly in the meantime, happiness is caused by wealth, friends and social relationships, religion, and personality. These factors predict happiness.

This section has provided a comprehensive summary of the philosophy of happiness. Following on from a brief historical overview, the possibility, desirability, and justifiability of happiness will be explored. Now, onto Aristotle…

Chances are, you have heard of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Are you aware that it was Aristotle who introduced the ‘science of happiness’? (Pursuit of Happiness, 2018).

Founder of Lyceum, the first scientific institute in Athens, Aristotle delivered a series of lectures termed Nicomachean Ethics to present his theory of happiness (Pursuit of Happiness, 2018).

Aristotle asked, “ what is the ultimate purpose of human existence? ”. He thought that a worthwhile goal should be to pursue “ that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else ” (Pursuit of Happiness, 2018).

However, Aristotle disagreed with the Cyrenaic view that the only intrinsic good is pleasure (Waterman, 1993).

In developing his theory of ‘happiness’, Aristotle drew upon his knowledge about nature. He contended that what separates man from animal is rational capacity – arguing that a human’s unique function is to reason. He went on to say that pleasure alone cannot result in happiness because animals are driven by the pursuit of pleasure and according to Aristotle man has greater capacities than animals (Pursuit of Happiness, 2018).

Instead, he put forward the term ‘ eudaimonia ’.

To explain simply, eudaimonia is defined as ‘ activity expressing virtue ’ or what Aristotle conceived as happiness. Aristotle’s theory of happiness was as follows:

‘the function of man is to live a certain kind of life, and this activity implies a rational principle, and the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed it is performed in accord with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue’

(Aristotle, 2004).

A key component of Aristotle’s theory of happiness is the factor of virtue. He contended that in aiming for happiness, the most important factor is to have ‘complete virtue’ or – in other words – good moral character (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008).

Aristotle identified friendship as being one of the most important virtues in achieving the goal of eudaimonia (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008). In fact, he valued friendship very highly, and described a ‘virtuous’ friendship as the most enjoyable, combining both pleasure and virtue.

Aristotle went on to put forward his belief that happiness involves, through the course of an entire life, choosing the ‘greater good’ not necessarily that which brings immediate, short term pleasure (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008).

Thus, according to Aristotle, happiness can only be achieved at the life-end: it is a goal, not a temporary state of being (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008). Aristotle believed that happiness is not short-lived:

‘for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy’

Happiness (eudaimonia), to Aristotle, meant attaining the ‘daimon’ or perfect self (Waterman, 1990). Reaching the ‘ultimate perfection of our natures’, as Aristotle meant by happiness, includes rational reflection (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008).

He argued that education was the embodiment of character refinement (Pursuit of Happiness, 2008). Striving for the daimon (perfect self) gives life meaning and direction (Waterman, 1990). Having a meaningful, purposeful life is valuable.

Efforts that the individual puts in to strive for the daimon are termed ‘ personally expressive ’ (Waterman, 1990).

Personal expressiveness involves intense involvement in an activity, a sense of fulfillment when engaged in an activity, and having a sense of acting in accordance with one’s purpose (Waterman, 1990). It refers to putting in effort, feeling challenged and competent, having clear goals and concentrating (Waterman, 1993).

According to Aristotle, eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment are separate and distinguishable (Waterman, 1993). However, in a study of university students, personal expressiveness (which is, after all a component of eudaimonia) was found to be positively correlated with hedonic enjoyment (Waterman, 1993).

Telfer (1980), on the other hand, claimed that eudaimonia is a sufficient but not a necessary condition for achieving hedonic enjoyment (Waterman, 1993). How are eudaimonia and hedonic enjoyment different?

Well, personal expressiveness (from striving for eudaimonia) is associated with successfully achieving self-realization, while hedonic enjoyment does not (Waterman, 1993).

Thus, Aristotle identified the best possible life goal and the achievement of the highest level of meeting one’s needs, self-realization many, many years before Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs!

Results from Waterman’s 1993 study provide empirical support for the association between ‘personal expressiveness’ and what was described by Csikszentimikalyi (1975) as “flow” (Waterman, 1993).

Flow , conceptualized as a cognitive-affective state, is an experience whereby the challenge a task presents to a person is aligned with the skills that individual has to deal with such challenges.

Understanding that flow is a distinctive cognitive-affective state combines hedonic enjoyment and personal expressiveness (Waterman, 1993).

Aristotle’s work Nicomachean Ethics contributed a great deal to the understanding of what happiness is. To summarise from Pursuit of Happiness (2018), according to Aristotle, the purpose and ultimate goal in life is to achieve eudaimonia (‘happiness’). He believed that eudaimonia was not simply virtue, nor pleasure, but rather it was the exercise of virtue.

According to Aristotle, eudaimonia is a lifelong goal and depends on rational reflection. To achieve a balance between excess and deficiency (‘temperance’) one displays virtues – for example, generosity, justice, friendship, and citizenship. Eudaimonia requires intellectual contemplation, in order to meet our rational capacities.

To answer Aristotle’s question of “ what is the ultimate purpose of human existence ” is not a simple task, but perhaps the best answer is that the ultimate goal for human beings is to strive for ‘eudaimonia’ (happiness).

What does ‘true’ happiness look like? Is it landing the dream job? Having a child ? Graduating from university? Whilst happiness is certainly associated with these ‘external’ factors, true happiness is quite different.

To be truly happy, a person’s sense of contentment with their life needs to come from within (Puff, 2018). In other words, real happiness is internal.

There are a few features that characterize ‘true’ (or real) happiness. The first is acceptance . A truly happy individual accepts reality for what it is, and what’s more, they actually come to love ‘what is’ (Puff, 2018).

This acceptance allows a person to feel content. As well as accepting the true state of affairs, real happiness involves accepting the fact that change is inevitable (Puff, 2018). Being willing to accept change as part of life means that truly happy people are in a position to be adaptive.

A state of real happiness is also reflected by a person having an understanding of the transience of life (Puff, 2018). This is important because understanding that in life, both good and ‘bad’ are only short-lived means that truly happy individuals have an understanding that ‘this too shall pass’.

Finally, another aspect of real happiness is an appreciation of the people in an individual’s life. (Puff, 2018). Strong relationships characterize people who are truly ‘flourishing’.

Why is true happiness so important

Most people would say that, if they could, they would like to be happy. As well as being desirable, happiness is both important and valuable.

Happy people have better social and work relationships (Conkle, 2008).

In terms of career, happy individuals are more likely to complete college, secure employment, receive positive work evaluations from their superiors, earn higher incomes, and are less likely to lose their job – and, in case of being laid off, people who are happy are re-employed more quickly (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Positive emotions also precede and promote career success (Lyubomirsky, 2018). Happy workers are less likely to burn out, be absent from work and quit their job (Lyubomirsky, 2018). Further on in this article, the relationship between happiness and productivity will be explored more thoroughly.

It has also been found that people who are happy contribute more to society (Conkle, 2008). There is also an association between happiness and cooperation – those who are happy are more cooperative (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). They are also more likely to display ethical behavior (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Perhaps the most important reason to have true happiness in life is that it is linked to longevity. True happiness is a significant predictor of a longer, healthier life (Conkle, 2008).

It is not only the effects of happiness that benefit individuals. Whole countries can flourish too – according to research, nations that are rated as happier also score more highly on generalized trust, volunteerism and democratic attitudes (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

However, as well as these objective reasons why happiness is important, happiness also brings with it some positive experiences and feelings. For example, true happiness is related to feelings of meaning and purpose (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

It is also associated with a sense of fulfillment, plus a feeling of achievement that is attained through actively striving for, and making progress towards, valuable goals (Kesebir & Diener, 2008).

Interestingly, objective life circumstances (demographic details) only account for 8% – 15% of the variance in happiness (Kesebir & Diener, 2008). So what causes true happiness? Kesebir and Diener (2008) identified five sources of happiness:

Wealth is the first cause of happiness. Studies have shown a significant positive correlation between wealth and happiness. It is the case that having enough (i.e. adequate) money is necessary for happiness but is not sufficient to cause happiness. Money gives people freedom, and having enough money enables individuals to meet their needs – e.g. housing, food, and health-care.

Satisfaction with income has been shown to be related to happiness (Diener, 1984). However, money is not the guarantee of happiness – consider lottery winners. Whilst it is necessary to have sufficient money this alone will not cause happiness. So, what else is a source of happiness?

Having friends and social relationships has been shown to be a leading cause of happiness. Humans are primarily social beings and have a need for social connection.

A sense of community is associated with life satisfaction (Diener, 1984). Making and keeping friends is positively correlated with wellbeing. Aristotle (2000) stated that “no one would choose to live without friends, even if he had all the other goods” (p. 143).

In fact, the association between friendship/social support and happiness has been supported by empirical research. Furthermore, being satisfied with family life and marriage is the key to subjective wellbeing (Diener, 1984).

Another source of happiness is religion . While not true universally, religion has been associated with greater happiness. Positive effects have been found with taking part in religious services.

Having a strong religious affiliation has also been shown to be of benefit. Engaging in prayer, and having a relationship with God is also related to greater happiness.

Finally, a large determinant of happiness is personality . Research supports the fact that individual differences in how a person responds both to events and also to other people have an impact on the levels of a person’s happiness.

Lykken & Tellegen (1996) found that stable temperamental tendencies (those that are inherited genetically) contribute up to 50% in the total variability in happiness. This research found that many personality factors – extraversion, neuroticism – as well as self-esteem , optimism , trust , agreeableness, repressive defensiveness, a desire for control, and hardiness all play a part in how happy a person is.

We can, to a certain extent, determine how happy we feel. Kane (2017) has come up with 15 ways in which happiness can be increased:

1. Find joy in the little things

Savoring ordinary moments in everyday life is a skill that can be learned (Tartarkovsky, 2016). For most of us, we spend so much time thinking about things we’re not currently even doing! This can make us unhappy.

Happiness can, in fact, be predicted by where our minds wander to when we’re not focused on the present. By appreciating the simple things in life, we foster positive emotions…from admiring a beautiful flower to enjoying a cup of tea, finding joy in the little things is associated with increased happiness.

2. Start each day with a smile

It sounds easy, but smiling is associated with feeling happy. Beginning the day on a positive note can vastly improve wellbeing.

3. Connect with others

As mentioned in the previous section, having friendship and social support is definitely a source of happiness. So, to create more happy moments in life, step away from the desk and initiate a conversation with a work colleague, or send an SMS to someone you have not seen for a while. Take opportunities to interact with other people as they arise.

4. Do what you’re most passionate about

Using your strengths and finding an activity to engage in which leads to ‘flow’ has been identified as an enduring pathway to happiness. Being completely engaged in an activity is termed ‘flow’. What constitutes an experience of flow?

To begin with, the task needs to require skill but not be too challenging (Tartarkovsky, 2016). It should have clear goals and allow you to completely immerse yourself in what you’re doing so your mind doesn’t wander (Tartarkovsky, 2016). It should completely absorb your attention and give a sense of being ‘in the zone’ (Tartarkovsky, 2016). Perhaps the easiest way to identify a flow experience is that you lose track of time.

By doing what you’re most passionate about, you are more likely to use your strengths and find a sense of flow .

5. Count your blessings and be thankful

Gratitude is known to increase happiness. Gratitude has been defined as having an appreciation for what you have, and being able to reflect on that (Tartarkovsky, 2016). Gratitude creates positive emotions, enhances relationships and is associated with better health (Tartarkovsky, 2016).

Examples of ways to engage in gratitude include writing a gratitude journal, or express appreciation – such as, send a ‘thank you’ card to someone.

6. Choose to be positive and see the best in every situation

Taking a ‘glass half full’ attitude to life can certainly enhance feelings of happiness. Finding the positives in even difficult situations helps to foster positive affect. As one psychologist from Harvard Medical School, Siegel, said “relatively small changes in our attitudes can yield relatively big changes in our sense of wellbeing” (Tartarkovsky, 2016).

7. Take steps to enrich your life

A great way to develop a happier life is to learn something new. By being mentally active and developing new skills, this can promote happiness. For example, learn a musical instrument, or a foreign language, the sky’s the limit!

8. Create goals and plans to achieve what you want most

Striving for things we really want can make us feel happy, provided the goals are realistic. Having goals gives life purpose and direction, and a sense of achievement.

9. Live in the moment

Though easier said than done, a helpful way to create happy moments in life is to live for the moment – not to ruminate about the past, or to focus on the future. Staying in the ‘here and now’ can help us feel happier.

10. Be good to yourself

Treat yourself as well as you would treat a person whom you love and care about. Showing self-compassion can lead to happy moments and improve overall wellbeing.

11. Ask for help when you need it

Seeking help may not immediately come to mind when considering how to create happy moments. However, reaching out for support is one way to achieve happiness. As the old adage says “a problem shared is a problem halved”.

Having someone help you is not a sign of weakness. Rather, by asking for help, you are reducing the burden of a problem on yourself.

12. Let go of sadness and disappointment

Negative emotions can compromise one’s sense of happiness, especially if a person ruminates about what ‘could have been’. Whilst everyone feels such emotions at times, holding onto feelings of sadness and disappointment can really weigh a person down and prevent them from feeling happy and content.

13. Practice mindfulness

The positive effects of practicing mindfulness are widespread and numerous, including increasing levels of happiness. There is lots of material on this blog about mindfulness and its’ positive effects. Mindfulness is a skill and, like any skill, it can be learned. Learning to be mindful can help a person become happier.

14. Walk in nature

Exercise is known to release endorphins, and as such engaging in physical activity is one way to lift mood and create happy moments. Even more beneficial than simply walking is to walk in nature, which has been shown to increase happiness.

15. Laugh, and make time to play

Laughter really is the best medicine! Having a laugh is associated with feeling better. Also, it is beneficial for the sense of wellbeing not to take life too seriously. Just as children find joy in simple pleasures, they also love to play. Engaging in ‘play’ – activities done purely for fun – is associated with increased happiness.

Reasons to be happy

Philosophers believe that happiness is not by itself sufficient to achieve a state of wellbeing, but at the same time, they agree that it is one of the primary factors found in individuals who lead a ‘good life’ (Haybron, 2011).

What then, are reasons to be happy from a philosophical perspective… what contributes to a person living a ‘good life’? This can also be understood as a person having ‘psychosocial prosperity’ (Haybron, 2011).

Many of us spend a lot of time with our families. However, as much we love our partners, children, siblings, and extended families, at times family relationships can be fraught with challenges and problems. Nonetheless, it is possible for us to find happiness in family life by doing some simple, yet effective things suggested by Mann (2007):

Take time to appreciate your family, and focus on the little things you can do to find happiness in family life.

The aim of any workplace is to have productive employees. This leads to the question – can happiness increase productivity? The results are unequivocal!

Researchers Boehm and Lyubomirsky define a ‘happy worker’ as one who frequently experiences positive emotions such as joy, satisfaction, contentment, enthusiasm, and interest (Oswald, Proto & Sgroi, 2009).

They conducted longitudinal as well as experimental studies, and their research clearly showed that people who could be classified as ‘happy’ were more likely to succeed in their careers. Amabile et al. (2005) also found that happiness results in greater creativity.

Why are happy workers more productive?

It has been suggested that the link between positive mood and work appears to be mediated by intrinsic motivation (that is, performing a task due to internal inspiration rather than external reasons) (Oswald et al., 2009). This makes sense because if one is feeling more joyful, the person is more likely to find their work meaningful and intrinsically rewarding.

It has been found by some experimental studies that happiness raises productivity. For example, research has shown that the experience of positive affect means that individuals change their allocation of time to completing more interesting tasks, but still manage to maintain their performance for the less interesting tasks (Oswald et al., 2009).

Other research has reported that positive affect influences memory recall and the likelihood of altruistic actions. However, much of this research has taken place in laboratory sessions where participation was unpaid. Which certainly leads to the obvious question… does happiness actually increase productivity in a true employment situation?

Oswald and colleagues (2009) did some research with very clear results on the relationship between happiness and productivity. They conducted two separate experiments.

The first experiment included 182 participants from the University of Warwick. The study involved some participants watching a short video clip designed to try and increase levels of happiness, and then completing a task which they were paid for in terms of both questions answered and accuracy. The participants who watched the video showed significantly greater productivity.

Most interestingly, however, 16 individuals did not display increased happiness after watching the movie clip, and these people did not show the same increase in productivity! Thus, this experiment certainly supported the notion that an increase in productivity can be linked to happiness.

Oswald and colleagues also conducted a second study which involved a further 179 participants who had not taken part in the first experiment. These individuals reported their level of happiness and were subsequently asked whether they had experienced a ‘bad life event’ (which was defined as bereavement or illness in the family) in the last two years.

A statistically significant effect was found… experiencing a bad life event, which was classified by the experts as ‘happiness shocks’ was related to lower levels of performance on the task.

Examining the evidence certainly makes one thing clear: happiness is certainly related to productivity both in unpaid and paid tasks. This has tremendous implications for the work-force and provides an impetus for working towards happier employees.

How does loneliness affect happiness

According to the Belonging Hypothesis put forth by psychologists Baumeister and Leary in 1995, human beings have an almost universal, fundamental human need to have a certain degree of interaction with others and to form relationships.

Indeed, people who are lonely have an unmet need to belong (Mellor, Stokes, Firth, Hayashi & Cummins, 2008). Loneliness has been found in a plethora of research to have a very negative effect on psychological wellbeing, and also health (Kim, 1997).

What about ‘happiness’? In other words, can loneliness also have an impact on life satisfaction?

There is evidence to suggest that loneliness does affect life satisfaction. Gray, Ventis, and Hayslip (1992) conducted a study of 60 elderly people living in the community. Their findings were clear: the aged person’s sense of isolation, and loneliness, explained the variation in life satisfaction (Gray et al., 1992).

Clearly, lonely older persons were less satisfied with their lives overall. In other research, Mellor and colleagues (2008) found that individuals who were less lonely had higher ratings of life satisfaction.

It may be assumed that only older people are prone to feeling isolated and lonely, however, an interesting study by Neto (1995) looked at satisfaction with life among second-generation migrants.

The researchers studied 519 Portuguese youth who was actually born in France. The study found that loneliness had a clear negative correlation with the satisfaction with life expressed by the young people (Neto, 1995). Indeed, along with the perceived state of health, loneliness was the strongest predictor of satisfaction with life (Neto, 1995).

Therefore, yes, loneliness affects life satisfaction. Loneliness is associated with feeling less satisfied with one’s life, and, presumably, less happy overall.

Perhaps you have a desire to understand this topic further… great! Here are some books that you can read to further your understanding:

I don’t know about you but, whilst exploring the philosophy of happiness is fascinating, it can be incredibly overwhelming too. I hope that I have managed to simplify some of the ideas about happiness so that you have a better understanding of the nature of happiness and what it means to live a ‘good life’.

Philosophy can be complex, but if you can take one message from this article it is that it is important and worthwhile for humans to strive for wellbeing and ‘true happiness’. Whilst Aristotle argued that ‘eudaimonia’ (happiness) cannot be achieved until the end of one’s life, tips in this article show that each of us has the capacity to create happy moments each and every day.

What can you do today to embrace the ‘good life’? What ideas do you have about happiness – what does real happiness look like for you? What are your opinions as to what the philosophy of happiness in life means?

This article can provide a helpful resource for understanding more about the nature of happiness, so feel free to look back at it down the track. I would love to hear your thoughts on this fascinating topic!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our 3 Positive Psychology Exercises for free .

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really thought this statement was insightful: Well, positivity and wellbeing are also associated with people being confident enough to explore their environments and approach new goals, which increases the likelihood of them collecting resources.

William nahishakiye

Late but still find it very useful. Happiness is what defines humans’ activeness. Thanks for the good explore

Lagdhir Rabari

Reading this make me more happy. Thanks Author.

Sahanara Hossain

This is wonderful article. Thank you for writing this . May God bless you all time.

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Essay on Can Money Buy Happiness

Students are often asked to write an essay on Can Money Buy Happiness in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word and 250-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Can Money Buy Happiness


Money has been a great source of power since time immemorial. It can buy almost anything, even happiness. But is that really true?

Yes, money can buy happiness as it can provide us with many things that can bring us joy and satisfaction. It can buy us material possessions, vacations, and experiences that bring us joy.

No, money cannot buy happiness as it does not guarantee a sense of contentment, peace, and satisfaction. Money can provide us with temporary happiness, but true and lasting joy can only come from a strong relationship with family and friends.

In conclusion, money can buy us happiness to some extent, but true and lasting joy can only come from relationships with family and friends.

250 Words Essay on Can Money Buy Happiness

Money is an important part of our lives. It is the means by which we obtain the things we need and want for our daily lives. But the question remains – can money buy happiness? While it is true that money can help us achieve certain goals in life that bring us joy, it is not a guarantee of happiness. In this essay, we will explore the relationship between money and happiness and answer the question of whether money can buy happiness.

Money and Happiness

Studies have shown that money can indeed bring happiness in certain circumstances. For example, having enough money to meet basic needs such as food, housing, and healthcare can bring a sense of security and contentment. Money can also bring happiness in the form of material possessions, vacations, and experiences. However, these are all short-term sources of happiness and can quickly be replaced by other sources.

Limitations of Money

Money can only go so far in bringing happiness. Studies have found that beyond a certain point, additional money does not bring about additional happiness. This suggests that money is not the most important factor in achieving happiness, and that other factors such as relationships and physical health play a more important role.

In conclusion, money can bring some degree of happiness in certain circumstances, but it is not the only factor in achieving happiness. Money can help us achieve certain goals, but it cannot replace other sources of happiness such as relationships, physical health, and personal fulfillment. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to determine what brings them happiness in life.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

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