Definition of happiness and how to be happy in life

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The definition of happiness

Happiness is much more than what an article could describe. Some people describe happiness as the feeling you experience when you realize that everything is exactly as it should be, some define it as the state of feeling that you experience after reaching your goals while others define it as a having inner peace.

Defining happiness is not so easy. The aim of this article is to teach you how to be happy rather than giving you a philosophical definition of happiness that won’t help in changing your mood.

Happiness is perspective dependent

Happiness is a perspective dependent emotion. This means that what could make someone happy may not be of any importance to someone else. I may become happy if I became rich but for someone else money wont make him feel happy.

You usually become happy when you get something that satisfies an unmet need that you have. For example if you were suffering from a financial insecurity then nothing could make you more happy than earning money while if you were lonely nothing can make you happy more than an intimate relationship.

But what if you were in need of more than one thing? What if you were lonely and at the same time feeling financially insecure? In that case finding an intimate relationship will still make you happy but as time passes you will get used to it then feel unhappy because of the financial insecurity.

That's why in my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression I explained how people who give advice such as "learn to love life" or "take few days off" misguide the person who is seeking happiness simply because each one of us has got certain things that can make him happy. Giving apples to a person who wants meat will never make him happy!!

How to be happy in life

The following is not a magical formula for happiness but if you followed these steps they could have a dramatic change on your happiness levels:

  • You can only experience one emotion at a time: You cannot experience more than one emotion at the same time. For example if you were stressed you can’t feel happy and if you were depressed you can’t feel motivated. So based on that information one of the main tasks you should be doing if you want to be happy is to eliminate all your bad or unwanted emotions. Just write down the emotions that are currently preventing you from feeling happy then read about them as much as you can. Seek someone’s help if you couldn’t get rid of them alone and do your best to eliminate them. By getting rid of these unwanted emotions you may not feel happy immediately but you will be opening the door to happiness by removing the first barrier to it.
  • Know what makes you happy: As I said happiness is perspective dependent so if you want to be happy then you should first know what makes you happy. Try to visualize the thing that can make you happy if you managed to get it and upon finding that thing fight for it, and I really mean it, fight for it until you get it.
  • Positive thinking and optimism: You may have asked yourself the question could I feel happy while having a major problem that I don’t have a solution to? Yes you can, by knowing that one day this problem will be solved. This is what is called positive thinking, optimism or hope. Learning how to be a positive thinker will open the door to hope and in turn to happiness.
  • Happiness and religion: This point is just a sub point of the previous one. Nothing could make you become an optimist or a positive thinker more than believing in a higher power that is there to help you. This higher power is God, if you have the belief that someone will save you then you will be a positive thinker and your big problems will seem to be a much smaller.
  • Happiness and life purpose: Having a life purpose may not make you happy on its own but not having a life purpose could make your life miserable. Many people commit suicide because they don’t know why they are here or what they should do in this world. If you want to be happy then seriously consider finding a life purpose
  • Happiness and Love: Having loving friends, a loving partner or a loving family could dramatically affect your happiness levels. When surrounded by love your big problems tend to be smaller and your life becomes happier. Social relationships in general could be used as a healthy escapement method from the storms of life, however don’t just escape without taking actions to solve your problems. Dampen your bad feelings by these beautiful relations and at the same time work towards solving your real problems
  • Increasing your happiness levels: If you already know what makes you happy and if it's something that is within your reach then know that sharing this experience with someone else will make you feel even happier. Have you tried to compare the feelings you experience when watching a comedy movie alone with the feelings you experience when watching the same movie with close friends? Most probably you will discover that when you watched it with your friends you felt happier, Share your experiences to experience more happiness.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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