This blog post answers the question “What is Happiness?”
You can’t really achieve something if you don’t know what it is, right?
Sometimes people feel pressured to be happy. Everyone’s talking about how important it is. But are we supposed to be skipping through meadows filled with buttercups and sunshine everyday? Is that even POSSIBLE?
Happiness comes in many forms and when you understand the full range of positive emotions, you can feel happier without striving for it. In this post, I’ll teach you about the 10 positive emotions that make up the feeling of happiness.
When you get to the end of this post, look for a special bonus that will help you remember and more easily access these happy-making emotions!
Researchers in the field of positive psychology often struggle with defining the term “happiness”. One definition is: “Happiness is the subjective experience of well-being”.
Seem a little unhelpful? I mean, how often do you say, “Gee, I’m feeling a lot of well-being today!” Probably never.
Researcher Barbara Fredrickson from the University of North Carolina has defined happiness in a more practical and accessible way.
She says happiness is the presence of at least 1 of 10 positive emotions. As you read them, consider whether you feel some of them more often than others. This insight can be helpful. You may discover ways to more easily be happy.
Joy: When you feel victorious, exuberant and satisfied. It’s like winning a race or completing something meaningful. This feeling creates a big smile on your face and it might make you want to skip and dance. When did you last feel joy?
Gratitude: Someone has gone out of their way to do something nice for you. A moment of awareness takes hold and you realize your life is pretty good. Gratitude opens your heart. Think of something that happened in the last few days for which you are grateful.
Serenity: You are safe and content. You feel peaceful and calm. Nothing is demanding your attention. In a moment of serenity you want to sit back and soak it in. Have you had a moment of serenity lately?
Interest: Something new draws your attention. You are fascinated. Your horizons are expanding as you are beckoned to explore. Think of a time when you got excited about learning something new.
Hope: This feeling usually arises with a bit of fear. The possibility of something “good” always comes with the chance it won’t work out. Hope motivates you. It often allows you to tap into your own capabilities. You can see a better future. When have you hoped for something to happen?
Pride: When paired with a touch of humility, pride is a terrific feeling. It’s a sense of accomplishment or a pleasing reflection on your character. Your actions are valued by others; you are making a difference! Think of something about yourself that you’re proud of.
Amusement: Something unexpected happens and you laugh. Amusement is social, so most often it happens with others, and laughter is contagious. The situation is safe and not serious. A funny face, a Freudian slip . . . almost anything that’s incongruent and unexpected can amuse us! What made you laugh recently?
Inspiration: You discover true human excellence; you transcend the ordinary. Or you witness nature at its best. Your attention is riveted. Your heart is warmed. You feel pulled to be your best self. What inspires you?
Awe: Goodness on a massive scale! You’re overwhelmed, momentarily transfixed, even humbled by something or someone. You may recognize that you are part of something greater than yourself. Awe often defies explanation. What has made your jaw drop or made you feel like your eyes were going to pop out of your head?
Love: Love is a different kind of positive emotion. It’s always a combination of some of the other happy emotions. When we love something or someone, we may feel joy AND hope. We may feel inspired AND amused by that person or thing. When many positive emotions are stirred within a relationship, we call that LOVE! When have you felt love?
My gift to you is a FREE pdf poster of the 10 words that define Happiness. Print this off and put it where you will see it daily. Looking at it frequently will help you become more attuned to your positive emotions.
Click HERE to get it in letter size and HERE as widescreen wallpaper for your computer.
It’s my life’s mission to help the world be a bit happier. If you found this content valuable, please share it with others and you will make the world happier too.
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