We all want to be happy, right? But what does that actually mean? Is it possible to quantify happiness? Turns out, there is a science to happiness.
It’s also something that scientists have been studying for years in an attempt to better understand what makes us tick. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting findings from their research.
And, according to researchers, there are some things we can do to increase our chances of leading a happy and fulfilling life. Here’s a look at the science of happiness and the most interesting findings from their research.
Table of Contents
So what is happiness, exactly? According to Positive Psychology, happiness is “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.” In other words, it’s not just about feeling good in the moment; it’s also about having a sense of purpose and satisfaction with your life as a whole.
It’s worth noting that happiness isn’t the same thing as pleasure. Pleasure is transitory—it comes and goes. Happiness, on the other hand, is more enduring. It’s the sense that you have a good life overall, even when things are tough in the moment.
What Is Happiness, Really?
The first step to understanding happiness is understanding what it is. And that’s not as easy as it sounds because happiness means different things to different people. For some, it’s a sense of contentment or satisfaction. For others, it might be a sense of joy or elation. In positive psychology, happiness is defined as “the experience of frequent positive emotions, such as joy, interest, and pride, and infrequent negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and anger.”
Happiness is obviously different for everyone, but it is a feeling of sustained joy. Feeling it long-term and not a burst of a singular sweet moment, but a deeper sense of contentment. Feeling good for a while is happiness and not just a fleeting feeling that’s here for a moment and gone the next. It’s a deeper joy.
The Science Of Happiness
So how do we become happier? Well, luckily for us, there is a whole field of study devoted to understanding happiness and how to increase it. This field is called Positive Psychology, and it has yielded some interesting insights into what makes people happy.
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the pioneers of Positive Psychology, there are five main pillars of happiness: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment.
Positive emotion refers to the pleasant emotions we feel on a daily basis—joy, love, pride, contentment, etc. Engagement refers to being fully absorbed in an activity—losing yourself in a book or hobby, for example. Relationships are self-explanatory—strong relationships with family and friends are linked with increased happiness. Meaning comes from having a sense of purpose or feeling like you’re part of something larger than yourself. And accomplishment refers to using your strengths and talents to achieve something you value.
While there are many who have contributed to this field, one seems to formidably stand out above the rest Martin Seligman. His ideas and story are worth consideration.
How Can You Increase Your Happiness?
Happiness has also been found to have certain physical health benefits.
- Studies have linked happiness to a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of heart disease.
- There’s even evidence that happy people tend to live longer than those who are unhappy.
- So if you’re looking for a way to improve your health and longevity, being happy might just be the answer.
Now that we know what happiness is and why it’s important, let’s talk about how we can increase our own levels of happiness. One way to do this is by practicing gratitude. When you take the time to appreciate the good things in your life—no matter how small they may seem—you’re essentially training your brain to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
This can lead to increased feelings of happiness and satisfaction over time. Additionally, research has shown that people who regularly practice gratitude also sleep better, have stronger immune systems, and are more likely to exercise regularly.
So if you’re looking for a way to boost your happiness AND your overall health, start by practicing gratitude on a daily basis. You can start with Episode #38 of the Blossom Your Awesome Podcast on Intentional Gratitude. I’m talking to Deb Hawkins. Let’s just say after more than 500 gratitude posts on her site she’s kind of got that whole gratitude thing down.
This article contains amazon affiliate links and I receive a commission should you choose to purchase.
Things I Love That Seem To Attribute To My Own Happiness
While I’ve just mentioned a series of things you can do to help promote greater happiness in your life here are few items I absolutely love and know contribute to my happiness.
Well we talked about gratitude and like I always say it seems when we commit to something or give it a little more of ourselves like splurging a little we tend to take it more necessary. Now not that this is any sort of splurge here really, but making a little effort really can go a long way. I have invested in journals my whole life. I have countless journals and in recent years have gotten really organized and have journals for my thoughts, note keeping, quotes I love and may reference at some point, my own writing, my poetry, my lists of to do’s, my project ideas, words I love, poetry and of course a gratitude journal. Check out some of my favorites in the Blossom Your Awesome Shop.
Next up is my Bose cause I do believe music makes us happy. I use this thing daily to tune out and just kick back. Depending on my mood and the weather at times I might be cranking up some dance tunes or taking in some ambient water sounds or chanting of some sort.
A few other things that bring me great joy are books so be sure to check out the bookshop for my recommendations. For an added dose of chill try out my new favorite thing – this massage mat. Let me tell you this thing is pretty plush.
These bath bombs are really amazing if you want to kick back and just really take it easy.
And my favorite treats these days are these CBD gummies by Nirvana Naturals. Super yummy and super relaxing since we’re on the topic of happiness. I find it fitting to share with you some of my favorite go to items.
There’s no question that happiness is important. Turns out, happiness is a complex emotion that can have a major impact on our physical health as well as our mental well-being.
So there you have it—the science of happiness! By understanding what makes us happy and incorporating those things into our lives, we can increase our chances of leading happy and fulfilling lives. So what are you waiting for? Start living your best life today!