As you may have gleaned from yesterday’s Sunday Smile, my current theme is happiness. I have already looked at the concept of joy Now I want to explore the concept of happiness. This may take more than one week’s blog posts, though because once I started to research happiness, I discovered so many views and theories on what it is, how to attain it, etc.
Definition of Happiness
According to Merriam-Webster happiness can be defined in two ways
- a pleasurable or satisfying experience
- a state of well-being or contentment
Whichever way we look at it, as a feeling of the moment or as a general state of being over a period of time, we know that happiness is something we feel, and it encompasses a range of positive emotions.
Happiness and Depression
Most people think that the opposite of depression is happiness: this may be the case if we are referring to depression as a period of sadness. But with clinical depression, happiness is a mirage, a fleeting picture in the distance which we may feel is beyond us. The opposite of depression, to Andrew Solomon’s way of thinking, is vitality – the state of being strong and active, a state characterized by energy, animation, spirit and life. To overcome depression means to regain vitality, and in doing so, for me, to realize the wonderful thing that is life, to appreciate what we have every day, and in doing so to discover happiness.
Some Thoughts on Happiness
This are just a few of the many thoughts I have read about happiness.
Happiness is not dependent on material things but that is often how people measure it.
People who are happy do not dwell on the past. They do not worry about the future. They focus on living fully in the present
A person needs three things in life to be happy – someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.
Happiness is not one thing. It is all the little things put together.