First, let’s take a look at the definition of happiness so we’re all on the same page. Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “happiness” is a simple one: “The state of being happy.”
Not exactly what we were looking for, was it? Perhaps we need to dive a little deeper. Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “happy” is a little more helpful: “Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
That’s better! So, happiness is the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. From this definition, we can glean a few important points about happiness:
- Happiness is a state, not a trait; in other words, it isn’t a long-lasting, permanent feature or personality trait, but a more fleeting, changeable state.
- Happiness is equated with feeling pleasure or contentment, meaning that happiness is not to be confused with joy, ecstasy, bliss, or other more intense feelings.
- Happiness can be either feeling or showing, meaning that happiness is not necessarily an internal or external experience, but can be both.
Now we have a better grasp on what happiness is—or at least, how the Oxford English Dictionary defines what happiness is. However, this definition is not the end-all, be-all definition of happiness. In fact, the definition of happiness is not a “settled” debate. When happy people are healthier, have better relationships, make friends more easily, and find more success in life, it’s easy to see why happiness and mental health are related.
The sources that contribute to happiness are the same as those that provide people with a buffer or protection against mental illness, which explains the close relationship between the two.
A recent study explored the association between happiness and mental health in college students and found that a relatively strong, positive correlation connects the two factors (Shafiq, Nas, Ansar, Nasrulla, Bushra, & Imam, 2015). This correlation held, even when gender and socio-demographic variables were added to the mix.
The close tie between mental health and happiness is reason enough to make happiness an important priority for parents, educators, researchers, and medical professionals alike, along with the simple fact that we all like to feel happy!
I hope this piece was helpful and informative for you, and that you learned something new about the scientific study of happiness. It’s a fascinating area of research, and new findings are coming out all the time, as the findings can be of great use in helping you to live your best life!
Few habits for staying happy
3. Get plenty of sleep
4. Eat with mood in mind
5. Be grateful
6. Give a compliment
7. Breathe deeply
8. Acknowledge the unhappy moments
9. Keep a journal
10. Face stress head-on
12. See friends
13. Plan your week
14. Ditch your phone
15. Get into nature
16. Explore meditation
17. Consider therapy
18. Find a self-care ritual
19. Give back
20. Take yourself out
21. Create a thought list
22. Take time to reflect
23. Reevaluate your goals
24. Take care of your body
25. Let go of grudges
What are your thoughts on happiness? Would you define it differently? What do you find is the most important ingredient for your own happiness? Let us know in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading, I hope you are all finding happiness in all your life journeys.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article.