Happiness Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on happiness.

Happiness is something which we can’t describe in words it can only be felt from someone’s expression of a smile. Likewise, happiness is a signal or identification of good and prosperous life. Happiness is very simple to feel and difficult to describe. Moreover, happiness comes from within and no one can steal your happiness.

Happiness Essay

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Every day we see and meet people who look happy from the outside but deep down they are broken and are sad from the inside. For many people, money is the main cause of happiness or grief. But this is not right. Money can buy you food, luxurious house, healthy lifestyle servants, and many more facilities but money can’t buy you happiness.

And if money can buy happiness then the rich would be the happiest person on the earth. But, we see a contrary image of the rich as they are sad, fearful, anxious, stressed, and suffering from various problems.

In addition, they have money still they lack in social life with their family especially their wives and this is the main cause of divorce among them.

Also, due to money, they feel insecurity that everyone is after their money so to safeguard their money and them they hire security. While the condition of the poor is just the opposite. They do not have money but they are happy with and stress-free from these problems.

In addition, they take care of their wife and children and their divorce rate is also very low.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Happiness Comes from Within

As we now know that we can’t buy happiness with money and there is no other shortcut to happiness. It is something that you feel from within.

In addition, true happiness comes from within yourself. Happiness is basically a state of mind.

Moreover, it can only be achieved by being positive and avoiding any negative thought in mind. And if we look at the bright side of ourselves only then we can be happy.

Happiness in a Relationship

People nowadays are not satisfied with their relationship because of their differences and much other reason. But for being happy in a relationship we have to understand that there are some rules or mutual understanding that keeps a relationship healthy and happy.

Firstly, take care of yourself then your partner because if you yourself are not happy then how can you make your partner happy.

Secondly, for a happy and healthy relationship give you partner some time and space. In addition, try to understand their feeling and comfort level because if you don’t understand these things then you won’t be able to properly understand your partner.

Most importantly, take initiative and plan to go out with your partner and family. Besides, if they have plans then go with them.

To conclude, we can say that happiness can only be achieved by having positive thinking and enjoying life. Also, for being happy and keeping the people around us happy we have to develop a healthy relationship with them. Additionally, we also have to give them the proper time.

FAQs about Happiness

Q.1 What is True Happiness? A.1 True happiness means the satisfaction that you find worthy. The long-lasting true happiness comes from life experience, a feeling of purpose, and a positive relationship.

Q.2 Who is happier the rich or the poor and who is more wealthy rich or poor? A.2 The poor are happier then the rich but if we talk about wealth the rich are more wealthy then the poor. Besides, wealth brings insecurity, anxiety and many other problems.

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What Is Happiness? – My Essay On Defining Your Happiness

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Updated on July 11, 2023

What is happiness essay featured image

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:

  • Contentment
  • Satisfaction
  • Carefreeness

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.

  • Picture a life in which you spent your youth partying, doing whatever you want to do, using drugs and living without planning for a good future. Sure, you feel pretty happy when doing these things, but you can probably see how this lifestyle will eventually catch up with you, right?

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:

  • You’re in your early twenties and want to become the next Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. You have great ambitions and are incredibly disciplined and inspired to become everything that you think you can become. You spend an incredible amount of time working on your projects, and you even make sacrifices just for the sake of your goals. You don’t have time for sleep, social activities or relationships. Hell, even your health starts to decline. It doesn’t matter though, because you eventually want to reach your goals, and then you’ll be happy right?

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:

  • I go out for a long-distance training run in the pouring rain because I want to eventually finish another marathon in 3 months. I don’t even enjoy the long-distance run but I think that it will eventually lead to a great finish time, and thus long-term happiness.
  • Instead of just playing a videogame, I decide to write an essay about my understanding of happiness. Why? Because I think it will grow my website, which will make me happy in the long run.
  • I skip a nice snack because I want to maintain my weight

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:

  • Your happiness equation is unique. Nobody can tell you what exactly to do in order to be happy.
  • You can pursue both short-term happiness and long-term happiness. The key is to find the perfect balance between the two. You can be happy on the journey towards a happy future.
  • The hedonic treadmill will diminish the effect events have on your happiness over time.

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!


Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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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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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.

  • 4.  Happiness is Overrated by John Gorman

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. You might also be interested in these essays about courage .

“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 .

my happiness essay

Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.

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Happiness Essay: Definition, Outline & Examples

happiness essay

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A happiness essay is an academic paper that explores the concept of happiness, and how it can be achieved and maintained in our lives. The purpose of a happiness essay is to explore the psychological, social, and cultural factors that contribute to happiness. On this type of essay, students should provide insights into how individuals can cultivate a happy and fulfilling life.

In this article, we will explore the definition of happiness and its various components and outline the key elements of happiness essay structure. Whether you are seeking how to write a happiness essay or want to know more about this feeling, this is the right article. You will also find en example for your inspiration. Struggling with your writing? Say goodbye to stress and let our experts handle your ' write my essay for me ' challenge. Our team of skilled writers is ready to tackle any topic and deliver top-notch papers tailored to your instructions.

What Is a Happiness Essay?

The definition of a happiness essay can differ, but in general, a happiness essay is a paper that examines emotions, experiences, and perspectives related to the pursuit of contentment. Likewise, it may explore the philosophical and psychological aspects of delight and how it is affected by factors like wealth, relationships, and personal circumstances. A happiness essay provides a deeper understanding of enjoyment, how it can be achieved, and its influence on society. It is an opportunity to take readers on a reflective and stimulating journey, exploring the essence of joy. Writing a thematic essay on happiness is also a chance for writers to share their thoughts and observations with other people. Let's dive in and explore what delight really means to you!

Purpose of an Essay on Happiness

The reason for writing an essay about happiness is to explore the concept of delight to understand what it means to different people. For example, many believe it primarily depends on external factors such as wealth, success, or material possessions. However, it can be illustrated that true joy largely comes from internal factors, like one's outlook, personal growth, and relationships, especially with family and friends. A happiness essay helps to dispel common misconceptions about what satisfaction truly is. Writing a paper on this subject can describe a deeper, healthy understanding of this universal pursuit.

Ideas to Write a Happiness Essay on

When you want to write a happiness essay , first, it is important to ask: What is happiness to you? How can it be understood? One approach is to define happiness and examine its various dimensions, such as psychological, emotional, and physiological.  For example, career satisfaction is a crucial factor in achieving contentment. When people enjoy their jobs and feel fulfilled, they tend to report higher levels of delight. It's worth exploring the link between happiness and career satisfaction and how people can find meaning in their work.  Another idea of how to be happy would look at factors like relationships, personal growth, and achievement. Besides, the connection between money and happiness can also be a significant factor in the quality of life. Can you buy satisfaction?  The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental aspect of life, and analyzing its various dimensions can help us gain valuable insights into what leads to a happy life.

Happiness Essay Outline

An outline for a happiness essay serves as a roadmap for writers to keep their paper organized. It helps to break down researched content into manageable sections while ensuring that all necessary information is included.  The essay outline on happiness example might look something like this:

  • Topic definition
  • Topic importance
  • Thesis statement
  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Concluding sentence, connected to your thesis
  • Summarizing main points
  • Final thoughts and future recommendations
  • Encouraging readers to reflect on their delight

This outline provides a comprehensive format for an essay about happiness, ensuring that articles are well-structured, easy to understand, and cover all the necessary information.

Structure of a Happiness Essay

Happiness essay structure is critical to a successful article because it helps to organize the ideas clearly and coherently. It is easier for readers to follow and understand writers' perspectives on this complex and multifaceted topic if the essay has the following sections: Introduction:  provides context for the topic with a clear thesis statement. Body:  delves into the details while providing evidence to support the thesis. Conclusion:  summarizes the main points while restating the thesis statement in a new way. By following this structure, writers can produce compelling essays on happiness in life that engage and inform readers.

Happiness Essay Introduction

The introduction of a happiness essay is critical to setting the stage for the article’s body. Good introductions should have three key elements: a hook, background information, and a thesis statement.  The hook draws readers in and keeps them engaged, but a boring or generic one may make them lose interest. The background information provides context for the topic and gives the audience a better understanding of why the essay is being written. Lastly, the thesis statement states the writer's stance on contentment, providing a roadmap for the rest of the essay.  An essay about happiness introduction is an important part that sets the tone and lays the foundation for the paper. By following this structure, authors can ensure that the introduction of their paper is well-organized, concise, and effective in drawing the readers into their piece.

Happiness Essay Introduction Example

An introduction to your paper should be engaging, interesting, brief, and to the point. It clearly states the objectives of the research and introduces readers to the key arguments that will be discussed. Here is an example of a happiness essay introduction:

Satisfaction is never a straightforward and easily attainable idea. It has intrigued philosophers, religious figures, and people alike for centuries. Some say contentment is found inside a material wealth lifestyle, and others believe it is a state of mind or a result of spiritual fulfillment. But what is happiness, really? And how can we cultivate it in our own lives?

Happiness Essay Thesis Statement

A happiness essay thesis statement is the backbone of an article and a crucial element in your paper. A good thesis statement about happiness should be arguable, specific, and relevant to the topic. It is important for defining the scope of an article and highlighting its focus while also identifying what it will not cover.  Finally, the thesis statement tells readers the writer's point of view and sets a standard for judging whether the essay achieves its goal. By creating an effective statement, writers can significantly impact their paper's quality by providing direction and focus to the author’s argument.

Happiness Thesis Statement Example

This thesis statement defines the pursuit of delight and outlines its contributing factors. Here is an example of a happiness essay thesis statement sample:

True happiness comes from family, friends, and learning to be content in life, while money can only purchase momentary happiness.

Happiness Essay Body

A happiness body paragraph is a component of the body section of an article that provides evidence, examples, and supporting arguments to develop an essay's central idea. Good paragraphs cover a topic in-depth and engage readers, prompting them to reflect on what brings joy and how to pursue it. A paragraph about happiness should be well-structured and focused, analyzing factors contributing to contentment in a logical and coherent manner. A well-crafted essay body on happiness includes several paragraphs, each focused on specific aspects of enjoyment while supporting an article's overall argument. Following these guidelines, writers can create persuasive essay paragraphs.

Happiness Body Paragraph Example

Body paragraphs should provide a deeper understanding of the topic while engaging readers with relevant, thought-provoking information. Happiness body paragraph example:

Contentment brings a smile to our faces, peace to our hearts, and a skip in our steps. It's what many of us strive for every day, and it turns out it's not just good for our spirits but our health too! Studies have linked contentment to lower stress, reduced risk of heart disease, and elevated life satisfaction. Delight can come from doing what you love, being with loved ones, or having a sense of purpose. Or, it may simply be found in everyday moments like a sunny day, a good meal, or a breathtaking sunset. Although joy can be fleeting and affected by life events, we can still work to cultivate it in our lives.

Happiness Essay Conclusion

A conclusion is the last section of an essay that summarizes the main points while offering a final perspective on the topic. To write a strong conclusion on a happiness essay, consider these key elements: 

  • summarize the main arguments
  • provide closure
  • include a final thought or reflection
  • leave a lasting impression
  • avoid introducing new information.

A good conclusion can make the difference between a forgettable essay and one that stays with the reader long after they've finished. Following these guidelines ensures that your essay conclusion about happiness effectively wraps up the argument and provides readers with memorable final impressions.

Happiness Essay Conclusion Sample

Conclusion helps readers better understand the topic by providing a sense of resolution or insight. Here is an example of a happiness essay conclusion:

In conclusion, delight is a difficult and multi-faceted concept that can influence various factors, including personal relationships, life events, and individual perspectives. The pursuit of contentment is a common initiative for all humans, and it is evident that becoming content requires a perfect balance and order of internal and external factors. This article presents evidence that helps you see clearly that contentment is not a fixed state. It is a journey that needs effort, reflection, and self-awareness to enjoy. I hope this paper has helped you realize a deeper understanding of this topic and become better equipped to embark on your pursuit of joy. 

How to Write an Essay on Happiness?

If you want to write an essay on happiness, remember that it can be a hard yet rewarding experience. Whether you are doing it for a class assignment, a job, a scholarship application, or personal growth, exploring what contentment means to you can be the journey of self-discovery.  You should clearly understand the topic and have a well-structured plan. The steps to effective happiness essay writing include defining satisfaction, conducting research, and organizing thoughts. When writing, it's crucial to consider factors that contribute to delight and obstacles that can hinder the process. Following the steps below, you can craft an article that effectively communicates your perspective on this topic.

1.  Pick a Topic About Happiness

Choosing a topic about happiness essay can be daunting, but with some guidance and creativity, you may find a subject that is both interesting and relevant. When brainstorming for happiness essay topics, follow these steps:

  • Start with a broad idea related to your issue. Narrow the focus to a specific aspect, gather information, list potential cases, evaluate options, refine the matter, and check for relevance to your audience.
  • Gather information, consider the different perspectives, and take note of the arguments you come across.
  • Come up with five to ten potential concerns and evaluate each, asking questions such as if it is interesting, has enough information available, and if you can find a unique approach.
  • Refine your chosen discussion to make it specific, focused, relevant, and interesting to your audience.

2. Do In-Depth Research

Gathering information from credible sources is crucial when writing an essay about happiness. Here are some tips to ensure that you collect accurate and relevant facts:

  • Research from trustworthy sources like academic journals, books by experts, and government websites.
  • Evaluate information's credibility and reliability. When you are reading, take notes on the information that you find. Write down the author, title, and publication date of each source to keep track of your research.
  • Use multiple sources to broaden your understanding of your topic.
  • Organize your research with a citation manager or bibliography.

Following these tips, you can delve into a wealth of credible sources for your happiness essays to elevate your article to new heights of insight.

3. Create an Outline for a Happiness Essay

Crafting an outline is essential in writing an essay on happiness and can give your work the structure and direction it needs to succeed. Here's how to create an effective happiness essay outline:

  • Framework Start by outlining the main sections of your essay - introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Pinpoint your ideas Determine the key points you want to convey in each section.
  • Supplement with specifics Add details that reinforce and support your ideas under each main point.
  • Follow the guide Use the happiness essay outline example above as a starting point, but feel free to customize depending on the situation.

By following these steps and utilizing an essay outline , you'll have a clear map to guide you as you craft your paper, ensuring that your ideas are coherently organized, and your writing flows effortlessly.

4. Write an Essay About Happiness

In this essay about happiness, we will delve into the elusive and complex nature of this emotion. Here is an example to follow when you write your happiness essay.

Contentment is a subjective experience that varies significantly from person to person. It is often considered the ultimate goal of human life, and many people spend their entire lives searching for it. Despite its elusive nature, it is a crucial component of well-being and has been linked to numerous benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health. The reasons to smile or experience joy are varied and can be both internal and external. Some individuals find joy in the simple things in life, like being with family, pursuing their passions, or exploring new experiences. On the other hand, others may find it through accomplishing personal goals, acquiring material goods, or attaining financial security. Nonetheless, it's crucial to keep in mind that these external sources of happiness may not always be possible and may not alleviate suffering. Conversely, true joy comes from within and is characterized by a sense of being content, satisfied, and with purpose. It can be cultivated through mindfulness, gratitude, and self-reflection. By focusing on personal growth, forming meaningful relationships, and finding meaning and purpose in life, individuals, including children, can develop a deep sense of satisfaction that is not dependent on external circumstances and is not easily disturbed by life's problems. In conclusion, delight is a complex and multifaceted experience that both internal and external factors can influence. While external sources can bring temporary joy, true and lasting contentment can only be found within. Individuals can create a foundation for joy that will endure throughout their lives by focusing on personal growth and cultivating a positive mindset.

5. Proofread Your Happiness Essay

When proofreading your happiness essay, make sure to take your time and approach it methodically. Follow these steps:

  • Read through the entire essay to get a sense of its overall structure and flow.
  • Pay close attention to the introduction, as this sets the tone for the entire piece.
  • Look for typos, grammatical errors, and awkward phrasing .
  • Ensure your paragraphs are well-organized, with clear transitions between ideas. Check that your happy essay accurately reflects your thoughts and clearly conveys the message you want.
  • Finally, read the paper out loud to yourself, or have someone else read it to you.

This can help you pick up on any errors that you might have missed during your initial proofreading. Finally, the article will leave a lasting impression on your reader and enhance your credibility as a writer.

Happiness Essay Examples

If you're looking to write truly captivating happiness essays, it's always helpful to seek inspiration from various sources. Consider checking out these excellent essay examples about happiness:  Happiness essay example 1

Essay example about happiness 2

Happiness essay sample 3

Essay on happiness example 4

Example of a happiness essay 5

They offer a rich tapestry of perspectives on what enjoyment truly means. Whether you draw on your own experiences or delve into the experiences of others, a happiness essay example will serve as a valuable resource as you strive to make your mark on this timeless topic.

Happiness Essay Writing Tips

When writing a happiness essay, there are key tips to keep in mind to help you create a compelling piece of work. Here are a few suggestions to get you started in happiness essays writing:

  • Explore the concept from a cultural or historical perspective, looking at how attitudes towards your topic have changed over time across different societies.
  • Consider how relationships, community, and social connections shape our enjoyment. How can these factors interact?
  • Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches, such as positive or negative thinking, mindfulness, and self-care, offering a well-rounded perspective on the topic.
  • Reflect on the connection between happiness and success, considering whether one necessarily leads to the other or can be pursued independently of success.
  • Incorporate humor and lightheartedness into your writing, making your essay entertaining.

By going about integrating these unique tips into your writing day by day, you'll be able to craft essays on happiness that are both original and memorable, capturing the reader's imagination from start to finish. Students can explore a vast range of topics through our platform, from an essay about true friendship  and a  family essay to an illustration essay that will show how to convey complex ideas in a clear and engaging way.

Bottom Line on Happiness Essay Writing

To write a happiness essay, you should consider providing long and in-depth ways to explore what truly brings us joy. Instead of repeating common knowledge, take a personal approach and reflect on the things that delight you. Consider the fact that relationships, gratitude, mindfulness, and activities all contribute to shaping our joy. Your happiness essays should also showcase your introspective side. Examine any challenges or obstacles you have faced in your journey toward contentment. This will make your paper not only unique but also relatable and insightful. The goal is to create a piece that offers a fresh perspective on the concept of happiness and a true reflection of your experiences.


Buy custom essay online from StudyCrumb and get a happiness paper delivered on time. Top-notch quality is guaranteed!


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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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 continue, we thought you might like to download our three Happiness & Subjective Wellbeing Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients identify sources of authentic happiness and strategies to boost wellbeing.

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:

  • Life satisfaction
  • Satisfaction with important aspects of one’s life (for example work, relationships, health)
  • The presence of positive affect
  • Low levels of negative affect

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.

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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).

Aristotle & virtue theory – CrashCourse

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).

  • One reason why a person can feel a sense of happiness is if they have been treated with respect in the last day (Haybron, 2011). How we are treated by others contributes to our overall wellbeing. Being treated with respect helps us develop a sense of self-worth.
  • Another reason to feel happy is if one has family and friends they can rely on and count on in times of need (Haybron, 2011). Having a strong social network is an important component of happiness.
  • Perhaps a person has learned something new. They may take this for granted, however, learning something new actually contributes to our psychosocial prosperity (Haybron, 2011).
  • From a philosophical perspective, a reason to be happy is a person having the opportunity to do what they do best (Haybron, 2011). Using strengths for the greater good is one key to a more meaningful life (Tartarkovsky, 2016). As an example, a musician can derive happiness by creating music and a sports-person can feel happy by training or participating in competitions. Meeting our potential also contributes to wellbeing.
  • A final reason to be happy from a philosophical perspective is a person having the liberty to choose how they spend their time (Haybron, 2011). This is a freedom to be celebrated. Being autonomous can contribute to a person living their best life.

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):

  • Enjoy your family’s company
  • Exchange stories – for example, about what your day was like in the evening
  • Make your marriage, or relationship, the priority
  • Take time to eat meals together as a family
  • Enjoy simply having fun with one another
  • Make sure that your family and its needs come before your friends
  • Limit number of extra-curricular activities
  • Develop family traditions and honor rituals
  • Aim to make your home a calm place to spend time
  • Don’t argue in front of children
  • Don’t work excessively
  • Encourage siblings to get along with one another
  • Have family ‘in-jokes’
  • Be adaptable
  • Communicate, including active listening

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.

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

  • Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to brain science – S. Bok (2010) ( Amazon )
  • Nicomachean ethics – Aristotle (2000). R Crisp, ed. ( Amazon )
  • What is this thing called happiness? – F. Feldman (2010) ( Amazon )
  • Authentic happiness: Using the new Positive Psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment – M. Seligman (2004) ( Amazon )
  • Philosophy of happiness: A theoretical and practical examination – M. Janello (2014) ( Amazon )
  • Happiness: A Philosopher’s guide – F. Lenoir (2015) ( Amazon )

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 three Happiness Exercises for free .

  • Amabile, T. M., Basade, S. G., Mueller, J. S., & Staw, B. M. (2005). Affect and creativity at work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50 , 367-403.
  • Aristotle (2000). Nicomachean Ethics . R. Crisp (ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
  • Aristotle (2004). Nicomachean Ethics . Hugh Treddenick (ed.). London: Penguin.
  • Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117 , 498 – 529.
  • Conkle, A. (2008). Serious research on happiness. Association for Psychological Science . Retrieved from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observe/serious-research-on-happiness
  • Danner, D., Snowdon, D., & Friesen, W. (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: Findings from the nun study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80 , 804 – 813.
  • Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95 , 542 – 575
  • Gray, G. R., Ventis, D. G., & Hayslip, B. (1992). Socio-cognitive skills as a determinant of life satisfaction in aged persons. The International Journal of Aging & Human Development , 35, 205 – 218.
  • Haybron, D. (2011). Happiness. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/happiness
  • Kane, S. (2017). 15 ways to increase your happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-ways-to-increase-your-happiness
  • Kashdan, T. B., Biswas-Diener, R., & King, L. A. (2008). Reconsidering happiness: the costs of distinguishing between hedonics and eudaimonia. Journal of Positive Psychology, 3 , 219 – 233.
  • Kesebir, P., & Diener, E. (2008). In pursuit of happiness: empirical answers to philosophical questions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3 , 117-125.
  • Kim, O. S. (1997). Korean version of the revised UCLA loneliness scale: reliability and validity test. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing,? , 871 – 879.
  • King, L. A., & Napa, C. K. (1998). What makes a life good? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75 , 156 – 165.
  • Lykken, D., & Tellegan, A. (1996). Happiness is a stochastic phenomenon. Psychological Science, 7 , 186-189.
  • Lyubomirsky, S. (2018). Is happiness a consequence or cause of career success? Psychology Today . Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/how-happiness/201808/is-happiness-consequence-or-cause-career-success
  • Mann, D. (2007). 15 secrets of happy families. Web MD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/15-secrets-to-have-a-happy-family
  • Mellor, D., Stokes, M., Firth, L., Hayashi, Y. & Cummins, R. (2008). Need for belonging, relationship satisfaction, loneliness and life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 45 , 213 – 218.
  • Neto, F. (1995). Predictors of satisfaction with life among second generation migrants. Social Indicators Research, 35 , 93-116.
  • Oswald, A. J., Proto, E., & Sgroi, D. (2009). Happiness and productivity, IZA Discussion Papers, No. 4645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10419/35451
  • Plato (1999). The Symposium . Walter Hamilton (ed). London: Penguin Classics
  • Puff, R. (2018). The pitfalls to pursuing happiness. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meditation-modern-life/201809/the-pitfalls-pursuing-happiness
  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development and wellbeing. American Psychologist, 55 , 68 – 78.
  • Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. (1996). Psychological wellbeing: meaning, measurement, and implications for psychotherapy research. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 65 , 14 – 23.
  • Tartarkovsky, M. (2016). Five pathways to happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/lib/five-pathways-to-happiness
  • The Pursuit of Happiness (2018). Aristotle. Retrieved from https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/aristotle
  • Waterman, A. S. (1990). The relevance of Aristotle’s conception of eudaimonia for the psychological study of happiness. Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 10 , 39 – 44
  • Waterman, A. S. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64 , 678 – 691.

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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.

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

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A Better Way to Pursue Happiness

We all want to be happy. And science shows that happiness not only feels great but also predicts better physical health and even a higher paycheck .

But how do we pursue happiness effectively? After all, some recent scientific research actually cautions us against the pursuit of happiness. For instance, a study led by Iris Mauss, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, found that people instructed to feel happier while watching a pleasant film clip ended up feeling worse than people instructed just to watch the clip. Findings like this are echoed in the popular press: Writer Ruth Whippman argued in a recent New York Times piece that the pursuit of happiness is a “recipe for neurosis.”

But is this the whole story? Are we doomed to fail at the pursuit of happiness?

my happiness essay

It depends. The difference between effectively and ineffectively pursuing happiness may all be in how we go about it. Research suggests that people who strive to feel happy all of the time may suffer disappointment, and people who pursue happiness as if it were the only thing that matters may, ironically, chase happiness away. 

But these are not the only ways you can go about pursuing happiness. Another approach involves what I call “prioritizing positivity”: deliberately organizing your day-to-day life so that it contains situations that naturally give rise to positive emotions. This way of pursuing happiness involves carving out time in your daily routine to do things that you genuinely love, whether it be writing, gardening, or connecting with loved ones. Prioritizing positivity also involves heavily weighing the positive emotional consequences of major life decisions, like taking a new job, which have implications for the daily situations in which you will regularly find yourself. This way of pursuing happiness means proactively putting yourself in contexts that spontaneously trigger positive emotions. 

For years I’ve studied prioritizing positivity, and through scientific research, I’ve found that it goes hand-in-hand with optimal mental health. That is, the people who pursue happiness by seeking out pleasant experiences as part of their everyday lives are happier. In stark contrast, people who strive to feel good every possible moment, as if it were possible to will oneself to be happy, appear to be following a recipe for unhappiness.

To test whether people are happier if they proactively seek out pleasant experiences as part of the framework for their everyday lives, I developed a prioritizing positivity scale to measure this tendency. The scale asks people how much they agree with statements such as, “What I decide to do with my time outside of work is influenced by how much I might experience positive emotions,” “My major decisions in life are influenced by how much I might experience positive emotions,” and “A priority for me is experiencing happiness in everyday life.” Together with Barbara Fredrickson and Sara Algoe, both professors of psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, I hypothesized that people who scored higher on prioritizing positivity would be happier and less depressed. Why did we predict this? One reason is that prioritizing positivity involves monitoring one’s daily itinerary, not one’s moment-to-moment emotional experience. As research has revealed, the mere act of monitoring one’s happiness from one second to the next may get in the way of positive emotions. By contrast, we thought a more effective strategy would be “situation selection,” which involves approaching (or avoiding) situations that naturally trigger certain emotions. Going for a walk with your partner after dinner is one way you might use situation selection to experience a feeling of tranquility. The tendency to prioritize positivity draws upon this strategy.

We also predicted that prioritizing positivity would predict greater happiness and fewer symptoms of depression because of its relevance to daily life. The “highs” we get from one-time events like going on vacation or winning a prize wear off over time. As a result, effectively pursuing happiness may require engaging regularly in behaviors that promote happiness. By its nature, prioritizing positivity increases the chance that we will weave these positive behaviors into our daily lives rather than just maintaining a general desire for happiness or expecting it to come from a few isolated events.

To test our hypothesis that people high in prioritizing positivity would be happier and less depressed, we ran a study surveying more than 200 adults, ranging in age from 21 to 87. The adults completed the prioritizing positivity scale, as well as questionnaires measuring their levels of positive emotions, negative emotions, symptoms of depression, and life satisfaction.

We also administered a questionnaire measuring the extent to which they value happiness to an extreme, obsessive degree—they had to indicate how much they agreed with statements such as, “How happy I am at any given moment says a lot about how worthwhile my life is” and “I value things in life only to the extent that they influence my personal happiness.” This scale measures a way of relating to happiness that previously has been shown by Iris Mauss and her colleagues to predict less happiness and more symptoms of depression. Our team wanted to replicate this effect and also pit prioritizing positivity against the extreme valuing of happiness. Would only one of them be positively related to emotional well-being?

More on Real Happiness

Learn about the relationship between meaning and happiness

Discover four ways that too much happiness can hurt you .

Read Dr. Rick Hanson's essay, "How to Trick Your Brain for Happiness."

Listen to Sonja Lyubomirsky discuss the myths of happiness .

Take our quiz to measure how much you identify with your neighborhood, nation, and humanity.

Indeed, that’s what the data told us. Our results, published recently in the journal Emotion , show that people who scored higher on the prioritizing positivity scale felt more positive emotions, fewer negative emotions, more life satisfaction, and fewer depressive symptoms than people who scored lower on that scale. People who scored higher on valuing happiness to an extreme showed the opposite pattern: They felt fewer positive emotions, more negative emotions, less life satisfaction, and more depressive symptoms. Both tendencies place a premium on happiness, yet one appears to be effective and healthy whereas the other does not.

So what are the real-world implications of these findings? The science on the deliberate pursuit of happiness is young, so any prescriptions for happiness must be offered with the caveat that the research is still evolving and conclusions might be subject to change. So far, however, I do have some speculations, based on my research, about how people might more effectively pursue happiness.

First, let go of extreme ways of relating to your happiness. Don’t set the unrealistic goal of feeling positive emotions all—or even most—of the time. Just because you’re striving to experience happiness doesn’t mean you should be striving to feel joy, contentment, gratitude, peace (or any other flavor of positive emotion) every second of the day. This is unrealistic, because life invariably contains hassles and disappointments—and, for many, chronic stress. The negative emotions that arise from negative life events, big or small, are natural and help us better understand ourselves—they provide vital information about what we value and what might need to change in our lives. For instance, feeling a wave of anxiety about your physical health may actually motivate you to improve your dietary habits.

Letting go of wanting to feel happy all the time also encourages less self-consciousness about happiness. This may be helpful because many peak, pleasant experiences, characterized by total absorption in an activity, a phenomenon known as “flow,” are marked by a lack of self-awareness.

Second, reflect on the activities that give you joy or contentment. This thought experiment should be highly personalized. For some, the activities that spark happiness are cooking elaborate meals and attending public lectures. For others, the activities are watching basketball and going to their children’s soccer practices. (If you have trouble coming up with ideas, here are two activities that, research has shown, elicit positive emotions in most people: connecting with a loved one and doing something physically active.)

Finally, once you think of a couple of activities, schedule them into your upcoming week. To ensure that you actually do them, consider transforming the activity into a social obligation. If running is something you enjoy, set up a specific time to go running with a friend, so that you’re more likely to follow through. Repeatedly incorporate these activities into your daily life; they don’t have to assume large blocks of your time. If carving out even 20 minutes each day to read a novel inserts a dose of tranquility into your life, then incorporate this ritual into your daily routine.

The pursuit of happiness is not easy. If people attempt it with unrealistic expectations and too much attention, they risk sabotaging it. But this doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to be happy. It may be more effective to adjust your daily routine so that it includes activities that naturally spark interest or contentment. Seeking happiness, although a delicate art, may still be a worthwhile pursuit.

About the Author

Lahnna catalino.

Lahnna Catalino, Ph.D. is postdoctoral scholar in psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. She studies the role of positive emotions and emotion regulation in the promotion of well-being and physical health.


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What Is Happiness?

Defining Happiness, and How to Become Happier

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

my happiness essay

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

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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:

  • The balance of emotions: Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. Happiness is generally linked to experiencing more positive feelings than negative ones.
  • Life satisfaction: This relates to how satisfied you feel with different areas of your life including your relationships, work, achievements, and other things that you consider important.

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:

  • Feeling like you are living the life you wanted
  • Going with the flow and a willingness to take life as it comes
  • Feeling that the conditions of your life are good
  • Enjoying positive, healthy relationships with other people
  • Feeling that you have accomplished (or will accomplish) what you want in life
  • Feeling satisfied with your life
  • Feeling positive more than negative
  • Being open to new ideas and experiences
  • Practicing self-care and treating yourself with kindness and compassion
  • Experiencing gratitude
  • Feeling that you are living life with a sense of meaning and purpose
  • Wanting to share your happiness and joy with others

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: Hedonic happiness is derived from pleasure. It is most often associated with doing what feels good, self-care, fulfilling desires, experiencing enjoyment, and feeling a sense of satisfaction.
  • Eudaimonia: This type of happiness is derived from seeking virtue and meaning. Important components of eudaimonic well-being including feeling that your life has meaning, value, and purpose. It is associated more with fulfilling responsibilities, investing in long-term goals, concern for the welfare of other people, and living up to personal ideals.

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:

  • Joy: A often relatively brief feeling that is felt in the present moment
  • Excitement: A happy feeling that involves looking forward to something with positive anticipation
  • Gratitude: A positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative
  • Pride: A feeling of satisfaction in something that you have accomplished
  • Optimism: This is a way of looking at life with a positive, upbeat outlook
  • Contentment: This type of happiness involves a sense of satisfaction

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.

  • Positive emotions increase satisfaction with life.
  • Happiness helps people build stronger coping skills and emotional resources.
  • Positive emotions are linked to better health and longevity. One study found that people who experienced more positive emotions than negative ones were more likely to have survived over a 13 year period.
  • Positive feelings increase resilience. Resilience helps people better manage stress and bounce back better when faced with setbacks. For example, one study found that happier people tend to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and that these benefits tend to persist over time.
  • People who report having a positive state of well-being are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as eating fruits and vegetables and engaging in regular physical exercise.
  • Being happy may make help you get sick less often. Happier mental states are linked to increased immunity.

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:

  • Explore your interests and passions
  • Engage in prosocial and altruistic causes
  • Work to address injustices
  • Look for new things you might want to learn more about

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, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Home — Essay Samples — Life — Happiness — Exploring the Path to Happiness: What Makes Me Happy


Exploring The Path to Happiness: What Makes Me Happy

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Published: Sep 7, 2023

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Connection and relationships, pursuit of personal growth, embracing creativity and expression, mindfulness and well-being, acts of kindness and giving, fulfillment through passion.

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my happiness essay

Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions Essay

Introduction, personal view about happiness, suggestions on how to be happy, works cited.

Happiness means different things for different people. This notwithstanding, every person is concerned about being happy. Drawing from a study by Radwan (1), defining what happiness is a very difficult task. For certain people, happiness is as a result of being content. It is a unique reaction by a person who feels that everything is going the way he or she desires. To some, it is a feeling that one experiences after attaining set goals.

According to Carlin and Capps (185), most people tend to describe happiness in ways that are quite vivid than definitions of happiness. Despite the fact that people have no problem identifying an expression of happiness when they come across one, no agreement on definitions of happiness exists. This view is also supported by Selin and Davey (294), who argued that defining happiness has been complicated by the fact that no common measurement parameters exist.

A major challenge when it comes to defining happiness has to do with the fact that it has many different faces (Lawrence and Lawrence 6). Despite the huge interest expressed by people in happiness and how to define it, it is very rare that most people will spend time thinking about the concept. Personally, I believe that happiness should be defined as that experience that causes an individual to feel alive. Despite the fact that defining happiness is complicated, there are certain things that can be said about happiness.

First, happiness depends on an individual’s way of looking at things. By and large, what makes one person happy may not trigger happiness in another person. For instance, while money will bring happiness to some people, it may not create happiness for others. Secondly, happiness may be realized by a person who gets what meets a need in his or her life. An individual who is financially insecure may experience happiness when he or she finally gets a job with a stable income. I am also of the opinion that happiness just occurs as people go about their businesses.

I strongly believe that true happiness always comes from within a person. It is a feeling of self assurance. While some people are of the opinion that individuals are the best judges of their own happiness, others are convinced that outsiders are better placed when it comes to judging happiness. Unlike the happiness that is from within, happiness due to external factors is bound to disappear after sometime. For example, any happiness that is as a result of one having all the money he or she desires to have fades away when the money gets depleted. While some people will be happy because they have money and everything else they may require, others are not bothered with material wealth and will be happy with or without money.

In order to maximize happiness, nations and communities should put a number of things into consideration when formulating public policies. Among other things, policy makers should come up with plans to ensure that individuals can get rid of all negative emotions that often lead to unhappiness. It is also imperative for policy makers to see to it that public policies include a training component about happiness. Without a doubt, it is necessary to train everyone about happiness and how to go about getting happiness. As has already been explained, one approach of creating happiness in an individual is to ensure that all bad feelings are done away with. Through training, individuals may also be advised on the best way possible to determine what creates happiness for them.

Another requirement for an individual’s happiness is the ability for one to think positively. It is therefore important for policy makers to figure out how to encourage people to be positive thinkers even in the face of serious challenges. As pointed out by Radwan (1), being positive opens an avenue for an individual to be hopeful and this in turn leads to a feeling of happiness. For an individual to increase his or her level of happiness, it is necessary to be aware of the things that make him or her happy. Nations and communities can take advantage of this fact to help people to be happy. Policy makers should be tasked with the responsibility of coming up with policies that lead to the creation of an environment that leads to the availability of those things that make people happy.

A number of factors have been identified as having an impact on the happiness of individuals (Selin and Davey 297). They include income, security, democracy, freedom, culture, and values. Although the actual connection between income and happiness is not very clear, research undertaken by some research professionals indicate that the level of an individual’s income has a huge effect on his or her happiness. According to McEachern (180), happiness is a basic human right that cannot be taken away from an individual and improving the economy is one strategy that a nation or a community can adopt to create happiness. Arguably, the same can also be said about democracy and happiness. In addition, culture plays a very important role in determining a person’s level of happiness. For this reason, it is imperative for policy makers to think about integrating these factors in the formulation of policies that are meant to promote happiness in people’s lives. Security is equally important when considering happiness and state governments must see to it that people live in a secure environment. According to Biswas-Diener (76), every development should be geared towards promoting happiness in the society.

Without a doubt, happiness is a very important need for every human being. For this reason, efforts must be made to come up with policies that will create a healthy environment for happiness to be realized. State governments are therefore expected to do everything possible to create an environment where individuals can be free to pursue happiness. Security also plays a critical role in promoting happiness.

Biswas-Diener, Robert. Positive Psychology as Social Change. Amherst, MA: Springer Science & Business Media, 2011. Print.

Carlin, Nathan and Donald Capps. 100 Years of Happiness: Insights and Findings from the Experts. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. Print.

Lawrence, Denis And Anne Lawrence. Happiness Makes You Healthy: Research and Practice. USA, Lulu, 2013. Print.

McEachern, William. Macroeconomics: A Contemporary Approach. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

Radwan, Farouk. Definition of Happiness and How to be Happy in Life . 2014. Web.

Selin, Helaine and Gareth Davey. Happiness across Cultures: Views of Happiness and Quality of Life in Non-Western Cultures, Amherst, MA: Springer Science & Business Media, 2012. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 23). Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions. https://ivypanda.com/essays/happiness-personal-view-and-suggestions/

"Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions." IvyPanda , 23 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/happiness-personal-view-and-suggestions/.

IvyPanda . (2020) 'Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions'. 23 June.

IvyPanda . 2020. "Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions." June 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/happiness-personal-view-and-suggestions/.

1. IvyPanda . "Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions." June 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/happiness-personal-view-and-suggestions/.


IvyPanda . "Happiness: Personal View and Suggestions." June 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/happiness-personal-view-and-suggestions/.

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Australian author Helen Garner: ‘[Happiness is] something you glimpse in the corner of your eye until one day you’re up to your neck in it. And before you’ve had time to take a big gasp and name it, it’s gone.’

Helen Garner on happiness: ‘It’s taken me 80 years to figure out it’s not a tranquil, sunlit realm’

In a series of short essays, writers consider what happiness means to them now, after the reckoning of the past few years

  • Read more in the What makes me happy now series

W hat is happiness, anyway? Does anybody know? It’s taken me 80 years to figure out that it’s not a tranquil, sunlit realm at the top of the ladder you’ve spent your whole life hauling yourself up, rung by rung. It’s more like the thing that Christians call grace: you can’t earn it, you can’t strive for it, it’s not a reward for virtue. It exists all right, it will be given to you, but it’s fluid, it’s evasive, it’s out of reach. It’s something you glimpse in the corner of your eye until one day you’re up to your neck in it. And before you’ve had time to take a big gasp and name it, it’s gone.

So I’m not going to spend what’s left of my life hanging round waiting for it. I’m going to settle for small, random stabs of extreme interestingness – moments of intense awareness of the things I’m about to lose, and of gladness that they exist. Things that remind me of other things. Tiny scenes. Words that people choose, their accidentally biblical turns of phrase. Hand-lettered signs, quotes from books, offhand remarks that make me think of dead people, or of living ones I can no longer stand the sight of. I plan to keep writing them down, praising them, arranging them like stepping stones into the dark. Maybe they’ll lead me somewhere good before I shrivel up and blow away.

On a shop window, somewhere up in Coburg: “Halal Meats, All the Fishes and Groceries.”

“Resentment is like taking poison and hoping that someone else will die.”

The under-16s footy coach leaning on the fence and muttering between clenched teeth, “ Don’t turn your back on the play. ”

The fact that the footy season exists, that it’s coming around again. The poetry of footy journalism: a player who “slides out of the pack like a gymnast’s ribbon”.

A family who, in the Age death notices, salutes their father in two words: “Our champion.”

Twenty minutes into a bout of gardening, when I notice I’m moving very slowly from task to task; when haste and impatience have left me.

One driver to another, on the 59 tram: “Quin. She was heavy drinker, you know? Quin? Of England? She die ressently, you know? She drink every day. That why she live a good age.”

An art critic on Delacroix: “… the deep appeal of violence in life and art, and the place of aggression in any realistic account of human purposes.”

My grandsons, who once curled in my lap and sucked their thumbs, striding down the steps into my kitchen: a room suddenly full of man.

The closing words of an article about a theatre company: “For the loneliness. For the forgiveness.”

Sitting shoulder to shoulder with the murdered man’s mother, leafing through magazines, laughing and sighing over trashy celebrities and pretty, ill-cut Chinese garments you can buy online. How hard she hugs me, when I leave.

‘Happiness exists all right, it will be given to you, but it’s fluid, it’s evasive, it’s out of reach.’

Gospel shouters. The fact that Aretha Franklin once walked this earth.

The theatre nurse gripping my hand at the moment the anaesthetic knocks me out.

The surprise of feeling my face soften at the theme music of the Japanese series Midnight Diner.

Realising that I have an enormous vocabulary.

How one of our chooks crouches and shivers and tramples with her feet when I open the gate.

My granddaughter getting a mullet and a job making cocktails and a gig singing jazz in a bar.

Finding a clean hanky in my apron pocket.

Learning how little it takes to please me.

Stuck in traffic on Brunswick Road, listening to Glen Campbell singing By the Time I Get to Phoenix . I know every note, every pause, every beautiful American place-name – Albuquerque, Oklahoma – and the freight of what’s left unsung. Why is he leaving? Why didn’t she believe he would? The singer’s voice hovers over the woman, her door, her work, her bed, while he vanishes down the endless highway – he’s a tail-light, a pin-point, and he’s gone.

Helen Garner is the author of The Spare Room, Joe Cinque’s Consolation and Helen Garner’s Diaries, volumes 1-3

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Raj Raghunathan Ph.D.

Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Happiness

Taking personal responsibility for happiness involves surrendering..

Posted December 13, 2011 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader

Interested in these topics? Go here for my new (and free) course on happiness .

As those who have embarked on the quest for happiness know quite well, a crucial milestone on the path involves taking personal responsibility. Taking personal responsibility means not blaming others for your unhappiness. It means figuring out ways in which you can be happy despite others' (negative) behaviors and despite the external circumstances. A person who has taken personal responsibility recognizes an all-important truth about happiness: your happiness depends much more on your attitude than it does on objective, external circumstances.

Does this mean that one can be happy no matter what the external circumstances? Can one be happy despite intense physical or psychological pain?

This is the question many of my students ask when I talk of taking personal responsibility for happiness.

Theoretically, it is possible to be happy no matter what the external circumstance. How? Because one's emotional state is a function of how one interprets events, rather than what actually happened, as reflected in Milton's famous saying, "The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." Findings from cognitive theories of affect support Milton's saying. Generally speaking, our happiness—in fact, any emotional state, including a negative one—is generated by interpretations of events, as I elaborated in another post . When we interpret our negative boss as an obstacle, for example, we feel angry and frustrated; if, in contrast, we view our boss as " exactly what we need in order to become a better person ," we experience a sense of calmness, perhaps even gratitude .

Of course, most of us do not believe that we can be happy no matter what the external circumstance. When confronted with the idea that happiness is ultimately in the mind, many of us immediately entertain extreme examples that falsify the theory: could we be happy even if we break a bone or lose our job?

To me, those are the wrong questions to ask. The right question to ask is whether we can be happy given the types of negative events that routinely occur in our lives. In other words, rather than ask yourself if you can be happy even in extremely negative circumstances, ask yourself whether you can be happy in the more moderate circumstances in which you find yourself on a day-to-day basis. Can you, for example, entertain the possibility of being happy despite the fact that it's raining outside? Can you be happy if a meeting with your client did not go as well as you would have liked?

Why is asking yourself whether you can be happy in extremely (vs. moderately) negative circumstances the wrong question? Because, by asking such a question, you undermine the confidence you need to develop the ability to be happy under all circumstances. Just as a child cannot imagine being as physically strong as an adult, those of us who haven't developed the ability to interpret moderately negative events in a happiness-enhancing fashion cannot imagine being happy in extremely negative circumstances.

It is useful to think of the ability to control your emotional responses to events as a muscle; just as your biceps become stronger only when you exercise them using the appropriate weights—weights that are neither too light nor too heavy—your ability to control your emotional response to events gains strength only when you take on challenges that are commensurate with your current ability. If you are currently someone who lets relatively minor events—like an encounter with a rude waitress—spoil your mood, how can you expect to maintain your happiness when a more extreme event—like a weeklong visit from a unpleasant relative—unfolds?

The point is: just because you currently lack the ability to maintain emotional positivity in the face of extremely negative events doesn't mean that the theory—that the key to your happiness ultimately lies in your hands—is false. Rather, what it means is that you don't, at present, possess sufficient control over your mind to feel happy regardless of the circumstances. You may ultimately desire to be like Gandhi or Jesus—who were remarkable in their ability to maintain good cheer even in the face of extreme adversity—but you can't get there by biting off more than you can chew right now.

This brings me to an interesting irony about taking personal responsibility. Seeking mental control, it might appear at first blush, is similar to seeking control over others or over the circumstances. Quite the contrary! If anything, your ability to control your own mind is diminished by seeking to control others and the circumstances. Indeed, a critical element in developing mental control is a willingness to accept whatever outcomes you are dealt. If you cannot fully accept your outcomes—including, for example, the presence of a toxic boss, or poor health—you will not be able to interpret these outcomes in a positive light, and hence, you cannot be happy.

So, taking personal responsibility for your happiness involves, ultimately, adopting a "surrender mindset"—which refers to the willingness to fully and unquestioningly accept the outcomes you are dealt in life.

But how does one develop the surrender mindset?

Before answering this question, let me briefly discuss a commonly held misconception about the surrender mindset. Surrendering isn't the same as capitulating. In other words, a person with a surrender mindset is not a weak, rudderless individual who has "checked out" from this world; rather, he is someone who, like the rest of us, has desires and goals and pursues them. However, whereas the rest of us cling to our desires with feverish desperation, a person with the surrender mindset does not. Thus, a person with the surrender mindset may dream of breaking the world record in the 100-meter dash, but if he were to discover a physical condition that prevents him from achieving this dream, he will be able to discard his dream, and move on to other goals without hesitation.

my happiness essay

In other words, a person with the surrender mindset is like the rest of us in many ways, but only until the moment the outcomes unfold. Whereas the rest of us ruminate and moan when our favored outcomes don't unfold, the person with a surrender mindset is able to move on, emotionally unscathed.

Let me now return to the question I had raised earlier: How does one develop the surrender mindset?

The most effective way to develop the mindset is one that those with a scientific orientation will likely find unappealing: it involves faith in a larger intelligence or force. Specifically, those who believe that there is force larger than oneself, and that this force is benign, will find it easier to surrender. The reason for this is straightforward: if you believe that the Universe is shaped by a force more powerful than you, and that this force has your best interests at heart, then you will find it much easier to make peace with the outcomes you are dealt. Even if you are unable to see how an outcome is beneficial for you in the moment, you will at least be willing to look for ways in which it opens new doors and opportunities. In contrast, if you are convinced that the outcome you have been dealt is bad for you, you are more likely to ruminate about the past than to move forward.

Ultimately then, surrendering has to do with trust. Just as trusting the people with whom you interact on a day-to-day basis is indispensible for being happy, so it seems that trusting that the Universe is taking care of you is crucial for being happy too.

This may be one reason why findings repeatedly show that religious people are, on average, significantly happier. Developing the surrender mindset, however, doesn't mean you need to become religious. One can entertain the belief in a benign (rather than malign or indifferent) Universe without subscribing to any other religious tenet.

So, the logical thing to do, if you want to take personal responsibility for your own happiness, is to do something that might sound illogical: to have faith and adopt the surrender mindset.

Isn't that wonderful?

Raj Raghunathan Ph.D.

Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D. , is an Associate Professor affiliated with the Department of Marketing at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

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Essays on Happiness

“What is happiness?” – composing a happiness essay will help you answer this question, which was on humanity’s mind forever. Time leaves its mark on society and on each person, our priorities, goals, values change, but they need to feel happy remains constant. Happiness essays explore happiness from a different point of view. Samples of essays on happiness define it as a positive emotion, which contributes to productive, creative, and active life. In addition, happiness is closely related to joy. Most authors of essays on happiness agree that in order to feel happiness and joy, people need certain reasons and incentives. Happiness occurs when a person’s surroundings meet their desires when needs are fulfilled and goals are achieved. However, happiness can also come from within. Happiness can be a choice, so we shouldn't allow external factors to rob us of it. Look through our happiness essay samples to discover more about happiness for your own essay!

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When the word psychology appeared, the first thing in mind may be an area of study dedicated to solving the gloomy side of life characterized by anxieties, addictions, phobias, etc. In a world struck by a flux of natural, social, economic and financial challenges, the study and understanding of happiness...

Dalai Lama has been able to address so many issues that have tended to affect the human life especially the spiritual perspective. So many people from across the globe usually wants to achieve that fundamental need in life which is mainly focused on ensuring that they are able to live...

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Stoic philosophers, who include Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Zeno of Citium (the founder of stoicism philosophy) among others, strongly emphasize that a good life is brought about by living with virtue, self-control, and tolerance by serving other people, and by bringing inner calmness to our lives. They taught that, if...

According to Aristotle, happiness depends on ourselves more than other people. For this reason, he gave this topic more time in his era. He established that happiness is an activity according to virtue and therefore the activity is according to the highest virtue. In most cases, it is referred to...

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The Pursuit of Happyness, Essay Example

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To be happy and to have a high standard of living is an American dream, which is based on individual freedom and connected with the concept of “self-made man”. This paper describes Chris Gardner’s story (2006) which is riddled with despair, challenges, cruelty, violence, but is advanced and foremost of love, faith and hope. It proposes up reminders that until now the American dream subsist and gives the opportunity to everyone to find it in themselves and to achieve the highest point in their life performance. This story is a saga of various singers, actors, performers, which are used as the examples of happy and fortunate people. It is a saga of a man who destroyed his family’s cycle of people abandoning their kids. Never giving up and falling into despondency and despair, Chris Gardner did an amazement change from being a part of city’s indigent and poor to being a strong and powerful person. The Pursuit of Happyness (Gardner, 2006) is a true American success and welfare story of a person who overcame difficulties and obstacles.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happyness (Gardner, 2006) is an encouraging and inspiring autobiography of a person, who overcame all types of misfortune and adversity to become a powerful person in a world of finance.

The Pursuit of Happyness (Gardner, 2006) is an autobiographical honest and humility story which describes Chris Gardner’s long, excruciating, ultimately rewarding travel from poor region Milwaukee to the top of success in a Wall Street. It is faithful and rags-to-riches story of a homeless father who brings up his son on mean and cruel streets of San Francisco and becomes a famous businessmen and moneymaker (Gardner, 2006).

Chris Gardner is a poor and indigent minority who is described as honest-minded, fair and comprehensive person. He is trying to show that it is impossible to buy happiness, but money and prosperity can help in this.

This story shows the contrast between San Francisco’s rich and poor, and the capitalistic rage of Dean Witter office where Chris Gardner’s internship was. It is a description of a person who at no time succumbed to self compassion. He did not surrender to bitter stuff either. He censured nobody for his plight, just pushed ahead and found decisions to each situation and problem he faced (Gardner, 2006).

For better understanding Chris Gardner’s psychology and why he denies giving up notwithstanding of having obstacles and impediments in his path at every turn it is important to answer the following questions:

  • How does Chris Gardner’s childhood influenced his path to success?
  • What were Chris Gardner’s main principles and goals?

Investigation of these questions will show the inner world of the main hero, interesting patterns of his behavior and the things which influenced his strong desire and thirst to become the number one in the world of finance.

Chris Gardner was born and grown up in the Milwaukee inner-city ghetto. He was a dutiful, quiet and good child who got into the mishap from time to time, but stayed on a stable, upward track (Gardner, 2006). It is a pity that the childhood accounts are all described not from a kid’s foreshortening and perspective, but with the grown-up and adult Gardner’s comprehension inserted regularly.How does Chris Gardner’s childhood influenced his path to success?

Gardner was poor, indigent and fatherless. His worship and adored mother Bettye Jean was strong on church and children and was not all the time near. When she was incarcerated, Chris stayed with relatives (Gardner, 2006).

Chris Gardner’s childhood was wracked with cruelty, brutal treatment and abuse of Freddie Triplett, his stepfather, who plainly and routinely verbally and physically mistreated child and whole family. Violent, spiteful and hateful he denied accepting Gardner as a stepchild and contradicted him at every turn.

Freddie Triplett considers being one of most unpleasant and meanest stepfather. His rages made Gardner constantly blue and afraid (Gardner, 2006).

An expert on psychopathy Dr. Robert D. Hare (1999) explains such antisocial or even criminal behavior of Gardner’s stepfather as a “continuations of behavior patterns that first showed themselves in childhood” (p. 97). He underlines that it is impossible to know why people such as Freddie Triplett become psychopaths and cruel with their family and society, but present evidence takes away from the ordinarily held concept that “the behavior of parents bears sole or even primary responsibility for the disorder” (p. 178). That means that in his childhood Freddie Triplett’s parents were cruel and violent with him. When he became an adult he tried to revenge for such bad treatment and violently abused Gardner and his family.

John W. Livesley (2003) a psychiatrist, whose investigation and research has been orientated at the grading, classification and etiology of individual disorder supposes that antisocial, dangerous and aggressive behavior in people such as Gardner’s stepfather runs in families. He underlines that “many difficult to alter because the environment remains the same” (p. 78). Livesley (2003) believes that the etiology of individual disorders within a wide framework where neither genetic spirited nor psychosocial factors may have considered for their development. Whereas admitting research demonstrating that a lot of patients experience childhood miseries, Livesley (2003) does not clarify and explain an individual disorder as through the sequel of such events. Instead, the author underlines the factors that keep up and support maladaptive features in the present.     Hare (1999) believes that though people can change, “many personality traits and behavioral patterns remain stable through-out life” (p. 97). That means that person’s personality and behavior are determined and fixed early in life, or that maturation, experience and development are not powerful coercion in define what kind of adults the person will become.

At the same time, Dr Stanton E. Samenow (2004), a clinical psychologist, supposes that such kind of people like Freddie Triplett cause offence not because of parents, neighbors, unemployment and television but because of their mind. Samenow (2004) strongly believed that different thinking is the cause of psychopaths violent behavior. On the other hand Samenow (2004) underlines that everything and everyone is responsible for the offence. The environment, economy, policy, poverty are responsible for committing a crime, brutal treatment and abuse.

People like Freddie Triplett “feel that their abilities will enable them to become anything they want to be” (Hare, 1999, p. 39). They want to be “physically and psychologically abusive to others with our society’s glorification of violence” (Wolman, 1999, p. 117). Hare (1999) believes that such people see nothing dishonest or wrong with their personality and find their behavior as “rational, rewarding, and satisfying; they never look back with regret or forward with concern” (p. 195).     Such people like Freddie Triplett do not “feel they have psychological or emotional problems, and they see no reason to change their behavior to societal standards with which they do not agree” (Hare, 1999, p. 195). That means, that Freddie Triplett was well satisfied with his own personality and with his “inner landscape, break as it may seem to outside observers” (p. 195). Samenow (2004) found that criminals, psychopaths and offenders will not change their personality until other options forsakes him / her. The author underlines that if a person wants to change a criminal or offender behavior, he / she should make alternative.

Hare (1999) emphasizes that people like Gardner’s stepfather does not authorize their actions to themselves. Once, Freddie Triplett because of groundless and irrational anger physically abused Chris. During cold winter, he threw him and his mother into the snow. He did it at the time Gardner was taking a bath and was thrown out naked.

The only way to curtail violence in such people is to change their way of thinking. Samenow (2004) found that such people think otherwise from a responsible person. The only appropriate offender’s issues are to continue their behavior, to change their personality or to suicide. Freddie chosen to continue his behavior and to abuse Chris, his family and weak people.

Wolman (1999) found some distinctive features between dangerous individuals, which are cruel and passive and the community which created them. According to his research, Chris Gardner’s stepfather belonged to the first type of such dangerous individuals. Freddie Triplett is an impassive, resourceful, amoral, impetuous and guileful individual. He is represented as no signs of remorse for his disgusting and terrible actions. Wolman (1999) underlines that such people are totally lacking sympathy for a human being. They are self-enamored individuals who have a tendency to consider that they are authorized to another people’s things, and that they merit to be loved.     The growth of sociopath behavior among children and adults, whether in a strained poor district or in a quiet suburban and country setting, is skillfully described by Dr Benjamin Wolman (1999) a famous national psychologist. He supposes that the growth of sociopath individuals is accountable for the moral and ethical collapse, whereas at the same time proposing the contrary hypothesis that the moral and ethical collapse is accountable for the growth in the population of sociopaths.

“Parental psychopathology” (Livesley, 2003, p. 57) growth and increasing the risk of developing individual problems is most extensive for unsociable antisocial feature. Livesley (2003) supposes that personal behavior like Freddie Triplett had toward Chris Gardner is due to regularities and consistencies in the environment. Samenow (2004) underlines that even though they are not able to change their past, they can change their future. When the person is responsible for himself / herself, it allows him / her to believe in changing its personality and life.

Of course Chris Gardner could escape or rescue his realities over any means accessible whether it was drugs or even mesmerism it would work. However, he didn’t. He was really afraid his stepfather. Even so, even during these bad and unfavorable times when everything was against him Gardner continued to struggle for everything better. He found some satisfaction and solace in reading various books in the library. He ran with different crowds being a young person and usually stayed out of difficulty and trouble (Gardner, 2006).

Emotional and physical maltreatment by Freddie Triplett towards Chris Gardner implicated “emotional abuse (verbal assaults and demeaning components) or emotional neglect (the failure of caregivers to meet the child’s needs for love, nurturance, and support)” (Livesley, 2003, p. 58). It means that pari passu with physical abuse and violent, emotional abuse has important, great and prevalent effects. Physical abuse increases the danger and risk of different individual problems, which include an antisocial personality disorder, Livesley (2003) emphasizes. Fortunately physical maltreatment by Triplett towards Gardner didn’t lead to the causes described by Livesley (2003).     Wolman (1999) emphasizes that parents and teachers sometimes may assist to the growth of sociopath and antisocial behavior. The way which parents bring up their children may be significant. The author underlines that parents which allow their children to do whatever they want and those which do not teach their kids the importance of morality will default to tell apart wrong from right. On the other hand, children of cruel and abusive parents, like Chris Gardner are generally very rough, aggressive, and unfriendly and used to hate and detest their parents. However, such children are not able to treat aggressively and rough against their own parents because they feel terror that they may retaliate. Instead such children conduct themselves rough and aggressively against weak people.

What Were Chris Gardner’s Main Principles and Goals?

Inspired by his uncle’s worldwide adventures and trips in the United States Navy, Gardner decided to hire shortly after graduating high school (Gardner, 2006). Thanks to the Navy Chris could leave his native city and start his life from the beginning.

At the age of twenty after the Navy Chris Gardner went to San Francisco where he got married and divorced. His wife was an educated and intelligent woman who was looking-for to sit for her dental boards. Right this time Gardner started a medical career, which led him to the market of medical equipment (Gardner, 2006).     The majority of Gardner’s time in the Navy was spent as a medical man at a military base. He assisted with the surgeon investigation and was honorable as well-informed and intelligent expert in teaching medical interns on surgical methods (Gardner, 2006).

Gardner, a smart and intelligent salesman invests all the family money and savings in bone-density scanners. This equipment was twice as costly as an x-ray equipment but with a little distinct image.

Unfortunately, the money, Gardner earned as a salesman was not enough for him, his girlfriend and their son (Gardner, 2006). Right that time, Gardner decided to change his profession and to earn more money. He was interested in selling, inspiration, business, motivation and social speaking. Gardner was good with numbers and great with people. He became an internship in Dean Witter company. Chris wanted to gain an entry level position, beat each candidate and obtain the position he wanted. Chris Gardner became an interned person just around the time he became homeless. During his internship Chris was paid a little stipend, but it was too small for living in hotels all the time. Right that time, his girlfriend left Gardner, and took their small son Christopher with her (Gardner, 2006).

Abandoned by own father and left to the depraved rage of a mean and cruel stepfather, Chris Gardner sworn that no matter what occurred in his own life, he would be committed and faithful father to his own kids. Induced and motivated by the promise Chris Gardner made to himself as a fatherless kid he took away his son.

Wolman (1999) emphasizes that parental refusal, like Gardner had in his childhood, could adversely affect their kid’s self-reliance and self-assurance. Such children will feel abandoned in case their parents are not sentimental, loving and attentive. That is why Chris Gardner was trying to give his small son more love, attention, protection and stable life (Gardner, 2006). Rather than give up his son, Gardner continued to follow his dream of being a successful and well-to-do businessman.     Livesley (2003) strongly believes that “family disorder, parental psychopathology, and various forms of parenting behavior” (p. 57) like Gardner had in his childhood can be considered as individual confusion. “Antisocial and psychopathic features” (Livesley, 2003, p. 57) in people like Freddie Triplett, are not able to prophesy antisocial features, traits and characteristics in his children.

“Poor parenting and unfavorable social and physical environments” (Hare, 1999, p. 178) may noticeably complicate potential problems and play an intense role in “molding the behavioral patterns” (Hare, 1999, p. 178). However, Samenow (2004) found that indigence, poverty, divorce and cruelty, the factors which Gardner had, were not the reasons of criminality.

Livesley (2003) determines two main types of parenting behavior, which are “neglectful (as opposed to loving and supportive) and overprotective (as opposed to encouraging independence and autonomy)” (p. 58). In his life Gardner used these two types of parenting behavior. The first type of parenting behavior belongs to the relations between Chris Gardner and his stepfather, the second is the relations between Gardner and Christopher.

Livesley (2003) pays great attention that the “higher-order patterns reflect the genetic architecture of personality” (p. 132) and consequently, represent essential and fundamental differences in individual structure. Each state of personality allure a particular pattern of emotions, means of thinking about “the self and others, interpersonal relationships, and coping strategies” (Livesley, 2003, p. 35).

It was difficult and complicated times for Gardner and his son. Because of lack of money they spent nearly a year traveling among hotels and shelters. Gardner had to carry out their clothes on his back all the time they were traveling (Gardner, 2006).

Sometimes Gardner with Christopher slept at the office and was afraid to be discovered by the night guards and cleaning crew. When Chris Gardner lived in shelters and hotels with his son, they used to play different games the main goal of which was to keep quiet, when people were searching them and knocking the door. Chris tried to make his best not to defeat (Gardner, 2006).

Chris Gardner is a personality with a response to the problems and tasks of everyday living. Personality disorder is represented as an inability to get adaptive solutions to life problems and tasks, and domains of sequel psychopathology proposed as coextensive (Livesley, 2003). Livesley (2003) found that the relation and connection between particulars and components of the personality system – “traits, self system, person system, and environment” (p. 76) generate a structure in which modification to one constituent tends to be dampened by its influence on other parts of the system.

Chris Gardner is a real personality. The relations with his stepfather influenced his personality, but it gave him a strong desire not to be like Freddie was. The main principles in his life were to be a human, to be a real father to his son and to be a useful part of the society. Thanks to these, Gardner became an individual with his own views on a human being and the importance to be a person, not a violent and cruel offender.

The story of Chris Gardner is not particularly fresh, but his voice is pleasant and likable, resulting in a virtue and quality African-American. He is the person who he is, and he is a successful and great moneymaker. Wolman (1999) believes that social harmony and true happiness are the main for each person. Chris Gardner succeeded contrary the establishment and became a successful businessman and moneymaker. After Gardner’s talents were estimated at company’s true worth, and he got the job he wanted, his American dream became real. Though all his achievements and progresses Chris Gardner was a prideful father. His own fatherless blues is disappeared now.

Chris Gardner’s Pursuit of Happyness (2006) is a painful, astonishing and amazing story, which describes remarkable frankness, comprehension and intelligent (Gardner, 2006). Best of all is that he is entirely unapologetic about following material benefits and success, and saying that these are pieces of his pursuit of happiness.

Hare, R. D. (1999). Without conscience . New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Gardner, C. (2006). The Pursuit of Happyness . New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Livesley, J. W. (2003). Practical management of personality disorder . New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Samenow, S. E. (2004). Inside the criminal mind . New York, NY: Crown Publishers.

Wolman, B. B. (1999). Antisocial behavior: personality disorders from hostility to homicide . Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

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Essay on Happiness

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Essay on Happiness: Happiness is something which is difficult to describe in words. It can only be felt. Happiness is essential for leading a good life but unfortunately it is missing from the lives of most people these days. Different people have different ideas of happiness. Some believe that it can be found in money, others feel happy and content when they are in a good relationship yet others feel elated when they are doing well professionally. Here are essays on happiness of varying lengths to help you with the topic in your exam. You can select any happiness essay according to your need:

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Long and Short Essay on Happiness in English

Happiness essay 1 (200 words).

Happiness is a very simple term which is used commonly. Even a small kid can tell the meaning of happiness. But how many of us really know the meaning of true happiness and how to attain that state? Not many! Most people look for happiness outside. They believe that they can be happy if they possess certain things or be with certain people or reach a professional height. This is what they have been fed with since their childhood. While all the mentioned things are essential for a good living, they cannot bring happiness.

Happiness is something that only you can bring for yourself. If you choose to be happy and channelize for thoughts accordingly, then you shall attain happiness. However, it is not as simple as it seems. You need to make efforts to work on it. Secondly, it is not a one-time activity. You need to practice certain things daily in order to achieve this state.

Now, while you need to look for happiness inside at times you need to seek help from your family and friends. Many people these days suffer from depression because they choose to deal with their problems on their own and not to involve others. This is wrong! It is important to look within to find true happiness but it is equally important to surround yourself with positive people.

Happiness Essay 2 (300 words)

Happiness is a state of bliss. If you train your brain to stay in this state it will stay this way. This is because your mind believes whatever you say . However, it is not as simple as it seems. You may experience happiness from time to time however it may take months or even years to make this state last.

Ways to Attract Happiness and Make it Last

As per some recent studies, some of the habits to attract happiness and make it last are as follows:

Instead of getting super excited or depressed in different situations you must practice to transform these activated feelings into deactivated feelings such as calmness and contentment. These feelings are healthier and also easier to sustain.

Live in Present

You must stop thinking about your past mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes; nobody is perfect. Stop blaming yourself or feeling guilty for all the bad decisions you have taken in life. Also stop worrying about your future. Live in the present moment. Don’t let the good times go unnoticed.

Be Thankful

Remember all your past moments and decisions that brought happiness and rejoice them. Be thankful to God for bestowing such joyous moments.

Develop Positive Thoughts

Your thoughts build your reality. Positive thoughts and positive mind attract positive things in life and negative thoughts fetch similar experiences. So the only way to experience happiness is to feel good about all that you have.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Steer clear from people who indulge in negative talks or de-motivate you. Surround yourself with positive minds instead.

It is easy to get carried away by negative thoughts and get into a state of anxiety and stress owing to several things in life. However, you must always remind yourself of the good times and all the things you should be thankful about. This is a good way to shift your mood from negative to positive.

Happiness Essay 3 (400 words)

Happiness is basically a state of being happy and content. Several philosophers have given different views on this topic however the most dominant one is that happiness comes from within and must not be searched for in the outside world.

Money Cannot Buy Happiness

It is sad how people look for happiness outside. Many people associate happiness with money. If this was the case then rich people would have never felt sad. But on the contrary, we see that it is the rich who seem more anxious, fearful, stressed and often experience relationship problems and suffer from depression. Celebrities such as movie stars, singers and ministers have hoards of money and yet the divorce rate of these people is much higher than the general public. These people live in constant fear of being chased or hit and hence require security all the time. They are more fearful about the safety of their children. They are also the ones more prone to theft and robbery. Many of them have so much overflow of wealth that they are constantly stressed about where to invest or hide it. On the other hand, those belonging to the poor classes are often more carefree and joyous.

This is not to say that being rich is a bad thing. Having money means that you have access to a lot of things. You can go on holidays, plan social gatherings, purchase good clothes, buy properties, live in a good locality and a lot more and all this brings in a feel good factor which is an essential component for being happy. However, believing that if you have all these you will be happy is wrong. Materialistic things can make you happy momentarily but cannot help attain true happiness.

Happiness Comes from Within

It is rightly said, “You will find true happiness in life when you realize it only takes “you” to be happy. True happiness lies within yourself, it doesn’t come from others”. This point has been emphasized at several places. But most people dismiss it as irrelevant. It needs to be understood that happiness is basically a state of mind. It cannot be achieved from things we see outside. We have the power to create it with the help of positive emotions which can be achieved with good thoughts.

It is basically our thoughts that create our emotions. So we need to work upon building positive thoughts and a positive outlook towards life and it would ultimately result in true happiness.

Happiness Essay 4 (500 words)

Happiness is something that everyone craves for but very few are able to attain. As simple as it is to define, it is equally difficult to achieve it. This is because people often associate it with people and things. Happiness is something that begins and ends with you. Only those who realize this shall be able to attain true happiness.

Aristotle’s Philosophy about Happiness

Aristotle was one such philosopher who wrote at length about happiness. He believed that happiness depends on our own self. As per him, happiness is the main purpose of human life. He stated that happiness is a goal in itself and that it depends on virtue. However, Aristotle’s virtues are more individualistic rather than being typically social virtues.

As per Aristotle, a truly happy life needs the fulfillment of many conditions such as being physically and mentally fit. He has presented the theory of happiness in one of his most influential works, Nicomachean Ethics. This theory of Aristotle holds relevance even in today’s scenario. As per him, happiness is the end that meets all the needs. He states that almost everything we desire, be it good relationships, money, success or power is because we believe that these will make us happy. This is to say that everything else is just a means towards attaining happiness and happiness is an end in itself.

Happiness in a Relationship

Many people associate happiness with money and several others associate it with relationships. What they do not understand is that they can never truly be happy in a relationship if they are not happy with themselves. Relationship problems have been growing rapidly and the main reason behind this is that we expect too much from the other person. We expect them to make us feel happy. We feed our brain with lies such as, ‘we shall be happy if our partner buys us this dress’ or ‘we shall be happy if our partner plans a surprise for us’. The problem is not just with couples. It is the same with every relationship be it a parent-child relationship, brother-sister relationship or friendship.

Here are a few ways to help develop healthy and happy relationships:

Take Care of Yourself

Take good care of yourself. Do not give priority to the other person over yourself and let him do the same. If you give too much and do not get anything in return you are creating a recipe for disappointment.

Take Initiative

If you want to go somewhere then plan it yourself. Do not wait for your partner or parent or child to take you there. Tell them you would love it if they come along. However, if they refuse do not get disheartened. Continue with your plan.

It is essential to give space to your partner and demand your personal space in a relationship to build a healthy relationship.

We set unrealistic expectations from other people in our life and believe that if they truly love us they would act in a certain manner. This is absolutely wrong. This only harms the relationship rather than doing any good. It needs to be understood that the only person who can make you feel truly happy is you.

Happiness Essay 5 (600 words)

Happiness is a way of life and not something that can be achieved and kept. People spend their entire life running after happiness but end up dissatisfied. They are conditioned to believe that they will be happy if they get admission in a good college or if they secure a good job or if they get an understanding life partner. While all these help in building a good life which is essential to attain happiness however these alone cannot bring happiness. Happiness is something that comes from within and not from external things.

Happiness as per Buddhism

As per Buddhism, “Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.”

Buddha believed that happiness begins from understanding the main causes of suffering. He has given an Eightfold path following which helps control the mind and ultimately leads to happiness. However, this is not a one-time task. This needs to be followed daily. The idea is to teach your mind not to dwell in the past or worry about future and to live in the present. The here and now is the only place where you can experience peace and happiness.

Buddha has been described as “ever-smiling”. His portrayals mostly depict him with a smile. This smile comes from a profound composure from within. Buddhism states that true happiness can be attained by knowledge and practice to develop mental calmness and this can be achieved by detaching oneself from the needs, wants and passions.

Happiness as per Hinduism

As per Hinduism, happiness is attained by way of one’s own actions, past deeds and the grace of God. Three types of happiness have been mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. These are as follows:

  • Physical Happiness: Also known as Bhautik Sukham, this can be attained from a comfortable living, bodily pleasures and sensual enjoyment.
  • Mental Happiness: Also known as Manasik Anandam, this can be derived from a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. It is a state in which as person is free from all sorts of worries and anxieties.
  • Spiritual Happiness: Also known as Adhyatmik Atmanandam, this can be attained when a person is able to come out of the cycle or births and deaths and make a union with self.

The ultimate aim of a living being as per Hinduism is to experience supreme blissfulness as a free soul in the heaven. The human beings can experience temporary happiness on earth by fulfilling their duties however permanent happiness according to Hinduism can only be achieved in the heaven by attaining liberation.

Happiness – Essential for Good Life

Whether you are a student, a working professional, a housewife or a retired person – happiness is something that is essential for each one of you to lead a good life. It is necessary for a person’s emotional well being. If a person is not healthy emotionally, his overall health is likely to do down the drain in no time.

Unfortunately, even though happiness is extremely essential, people do not pay much attention to ways in which they can keep themselves happy. They are all so engrossed in their professional lives and other nitty-gritty’s of life that they forget to enjoy the good moments in life. No wonder, the cases of stress, anxiety and depression are rising by the day.

Conclusion about Essay on Happiness

The definition of happiness and the perspective of seeing and pursuing it may be different as per different institutions however the sole meaning of it is to be in a joyous state. As hard as you work to earn and maintain your lifestyle, if you work equally hard to attain happiness, your life would be much better.

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