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An explanation of the term "happiness"

Updated on July 6, 2017

This question, what is happiness? has been an issue of concern among people of all calibers including the religious, those not supporting any side of religion and even in the political environment. The much interest vested on this issue has triggered science to initiate its own investigation and present scientific facts pertaining to this debate. In this essay, I am going to explain what happiness is while weighing the views from different perspective. I will first begin to discuss what happiness is not and then finalize by explaining the correct view of happiness.

First of all, happiness is not a state of feeling good as some people perceive. If happiness could have been considered as the state of feeling good, then some people may resort to using drugs such as cocaine, bang, alcohol, heroine and other substances in order to raise their moods. However, research indicates that regular and excessive happiness may negatively affect the psychological wellbeing of an individual (Veenhoven, 2008). The study notes that sometimes, it is psychologically health when the mood is down. Therefore, happiness cannot be construed to be a status of feeling good at all time. Furthermore, the common perception of happiness as a state of being rich or having everything you need is wrong. This is because money cannot buy happiness and that no one else has ever been satisfied with any amount of money. For instance, when one obtains more money, his or her financial need keeps on increasing.

From the time of Aristotle and other great philosophers, happiness was considered to have two aspects: eudaimonia (which is a life well lived) and hedonia (pleasure’s feeling). In modern day psychology, happiness is considered to be simply meaning and pleasure. However, a more unique component of happiness has recently been added by positive psychologists: engagement. Engagement is defined as life in work, hobbies, friends, family and other social contacts. This component therefore, completes the true definition of happiness.


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