Recently I have been on a mission to learn more about happiness. Not just about what brings us pleasure and joy, but the deep inside happiness from living a satisfied life and being content with what we have. I discovered that there exists a science of happiness based on early philosophers including Plato, Confucius, and Aristotle. Plato and Aristotle believed in the Principle of Moderation where excessiveness and greed destroy your inner happiness. They thought that happiness is not about a personal pleasure but a state of well being.
I learned that there are 4 levels of happiness:
- well being or life satisfaction
- the trait of happiness
- the emotional state of happiness
- the sensation of happiness
I know this is some deep stuff but stick with me.
I personally believe that happiness is about life satisfaction. It is what makes a person’s life worth living. Being satisfied with what you have gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. You experience feelings of contentment and positive well being.
Whether we realize it or not, happiness is a choice and we are responsible for our own well being. True happiness is a product of our thoughts and requires work to stay happy. There are several ways to cultivate happiness in our lives:
- Make happiness a daily ritual. Don’t let negative feelings or negative people ruin your happiness.
- Make a concerted effort to be grateful on a daily basis. Being grateful instills happiness in our hearts and minds.
- Smile. When you smile, it gets the endorphins flowing in your body. It also adds sunshine to other people’s otherwise cloudy day.
- Perform random acts of kindness. Buy a homeless person lunch or help the elderly with simple household chores.
- Treat others like you would want to be treated. This should go without saying.
The purpose of our lives is to be happy. – Dalai Lama
Happiness is a choice and no one can make you happy but you. If you want to learn about what makes you happy then check out the Science of Happiness course on EDx. It is a pretty interesting course.