How do you define happiness? According to research in the domain of positive psychology and happiness, a happy person is defined as one who experiences positive emotions such as pride, interest, and joy frequently and does not, on a regular basis, experience negative emotions like anger, sadness, and anxiety (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).
Happiness is also related to satisfaction in life: life, appreciation, and moments of pleasure. An important note about these definitions is that the presence of positive emotions does not mean that negative emotions are absent. A happy person will experience a range of emotions like any other person, but the frequency of negative emotions differs. Maybe, happy people do not experience negative emotion as much because they find meaning and process it differently than others.
Actually, it is probably incorrect to use the phrase “happy person” because it assumes that good things always happen to them or they are naturally happy. Life’s stressors affect everyone. The difference is in how you perceive them, as moments of opportunity or moments of opposition. Each person defines happiness in his or her own way.
Politicians, actors, philosophers, have all made a contribution based on their view. Here are some of the best definitions. According to ancient Greeks, happiness is the joy that people feel when they are working to reach their potential. Shirley MacLaine, who is an Academy Award winner, asserted that to be happy, you must be willing to “be compliant without knowing”. For Michael J. Fox, his happiness is directly proportional to his acceptance and indirectly proportional to his expectations.
The founder of Daily Love, Mastin Kipp, says that “he does not expect to be happy always, he simply accepts what is”. That acceptance, to him, is key. Self-love is all about this, acceptance and being able to love yourself where you are. Gabrielle Bernstein said that, “choosing happiness is the path of least resistance.”
According to Aristotle, “happiness is a state of activity.” Dr. Shefali Tsabary said that you could only be truly fulfilled and happy when you fill your own needs and feel satisfied from within. Eleanor Roosevelt said that she was once asked what she considered the three top most requirements for happiness.
Her answer was: it is the feeling that comes with knowing that you have been honest with those around you and yourself, knowing that you have given your best in your work and personal life, and being able to love other people.
The best thing about these definitions is that they share some commonalities. Michael J. Fox and Shirley MacLaine talk about accepting life situations and uncertainties. The more you can do that, the happier you are likely to become. Mastin Kipp says it is okay to accept whatever you are feeling and not strive for happiness.
Acknowledgement takes you to the happy space faster since your emotions are not striving for your attention. Aristotle also has an important point about happiness; staying active. Happiness is easily found when you are doing what you love and building meaningful connections.