There have been questions as to what constitutes happiness and whether it is influenced by the aspects of life that surround us.Researchers have put forward what they think being happy is and left the room for discussions. Philosophers likewise have put their theories to explain the elements of happiness.
The first step in unlocking secret Of happiness is being able to have awareness of yourself i.e having the power to be happy. You have the power to be happy when you are free to choose the way you feel, what you think about, what you look at and free on how you experience life regardless of what has happened to you and therefore It follows that happiness comes from inside of us.
Since happiness comes from within us it requires us to learn practices to keep us happy and repeat them rather than having a ‘flip of a switch’ which turns on and off. It takes practice to learn to search inside of yourself for happiness instead of chasing it. The good thing is that you do not have to do anything to bring happiness but only to stop what prevents you from experiencing happiness.
You have the power to be happy……….
Wishing to be happy is basic to us and make us have an enormous positive contribution to life and it is from these that we exert our powers to be happy. We have the power to control our mind and realise the benefits of happiness when we ‘peel off‘ our layers and reach the core of our lives and by doing this we align our lives with our purpose to realise life abundance.
There are myriad opinions about how to ‘get happy’ and since this is a subjective matter, different people place different measurement of happiness. Happiness takes different forms and there are controversies on the method used to measure happiness since:
a) The causal factors can be manipulated e.g choices of leisure activities.
b) Imbalances as methods chosen e.g surveys.
c) Variables e.g income and health being largely subjective.
d) Changes in one’s mood by the simple method of mood indication.
Researchers have pointed out that there are mechanisms that make happy due to different circumstances which call for positive activities tailored to fit each specific person, situation and time.
Paul Dolan explained that happiness constitutes a life that is rich in activities that are both pleasurable and meaningful. He is convinced that you make happiness through deliberate choices about the environment you create and the aspects of life that deserve your attention.
A large part of how you feel is determined by motivation on what you do which has an impact on your happiness and it is human nature that by ‘going with the grain’ you find pleasure and purpose in everyday life.
As a result of quest for the truth of happiness, there have been principles which provide guidelines to happiness ;
- Learn unconditional arises naturally from your deepest self.
- Learn the nature of unconditional happiness.
- Turn your attention away from your desires for conditional happiness.
- Learn to see the truth of happiness in yourself through mindfulness and meditation.
- Let’s go off attachment to self-centre desires through selflessness.
- Live ethically to reduce guilt and what precludes happiness.
- Choose work that promotes happiness.
The guidelines provide the path to achieve happiness which enhances healthy living physically, mentally and emotionally.
The psychological view of happiness…
From the psychological point of view, happiness is modelled into an array of feelings that one is subjected to. This technique takes both positive and negative factors which are further categorised into either; two by two model or the pleasure- purpose principle.
i. Two by two model is where sentiment is expressed. Positive feelings e.g joyful, excitement is rated against negative feelings of anger, anxious etc.
ii. The pleasure – purpose principle concentrates with the good and bad feelings. It evaluates the purpose when life as a whole is reflected upon and not the day to day experience of purpose. it elaborates the feelings pleasure and pain in life.
In recognisance of this model, happiness is seen to be a subjective experience that originates in the ‘psyche’ of the individual.
There have been attempts to study the nature and dynamics of happiness from the different perspective including environmental, economic, sociology, political and psychological processes. This approach has been classified into two namely; bottom-top approach and top-down approach;
– The bottom-top approach includes general environmental factors like family, education and income which contributes to happiness.
– The top- bottom approach is a model that underlines the importance of the individual processes which includes cognitive, personality, motivational, emotional processes as variants in determining happiness.
The two approaches are combined to bring meaning in happiness and they recognise that people are moved by quest for happiness which is a fundamental strive in bringing meaning to our life.
Psychology views happiness as the state of well -being. It acknowledges measurement of; self acceptance, positive relation with others, autonomy, purpose in life , environmental mastery and personal as the key ingredients of happiness.
Research on positive activities have improved the technique of improving well-being by recognising ‘work’ on individual which is unique with person’s personality thus making people ‘happier‘.
Happiness from my own perspective……….
From my perspective, happiness depends on how we look at things. It is brought about and affected by changes in life e.g relationship, family ties, employment, social connections, emotions, physical conditions etc. Therefore happiness is an end in itself and is related to physical and mental health, living statures and cognitive factors.
Happiness is a collective culture that depends on state of others as well as oneself. It can be enhanced by lifestyle changes, therapy of increasing positive life events, exercises , social skills training and mood induction.
The big question is how should we measure happiness:
– Should it be how people feel as they go about their life or to stop and think about your life and report whether satisfied or not…………..OR
– Should it be positive feelings and contentment we have with our lives and the purpose and/or meaning we place in our lives.
No one match with another in bringing happiness into one’s life beneath the surface but there is a common denominator in all approaches – being happy.
If you have any query, opinion or comment you are free to post. Thank you.
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