Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment.
While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction.
When most people talk about happiness, they might be talking about how they feel in the present moment, or they might be referring to a more general sense of how they feel about life overall.
Because happiness tends to be such a broadly defined term, psychologists and other social scientists typically use the term 'subjective well-being' when they talk about this emotional state. Just as it sounds, subjective well-being tends to focus on an individual's overall personal feelings about their life in the present.
Two key components of happiness (or subjective well-being) are:
The balance of emotions: Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. Happiness is generally linked to experiencing more positive feelings than negative.
Life satisfaction: This relates to how satisfied you feel with different areas of your life including your relationships, work, achievements, and other things that you consider important.
How to Know If You're Happy
While perceptions of happiness may be different from one person to the next, there are some key signs that psychologists look for when measuring and assessing happiness.
Some key signs of happiness include:
Feeling like you are living the life you wanted
Feeling that the conditions of your life are good
Feeling that you have accomplished (or will accomplish) what you want in life
Feeling satisfied with your life
Feeling positive more than negative
One important thing to remember is that happiness isn't a state of constant euphoria. Instead, happiness is an overall sense of experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones.
Happy people still feel the whole range of human emotions—anger, frustration, boredom, loneliness, and even sadness—from time to time. But even when faced with discomfort, they have an underlying sense of optimism that things will get better, that they can deal with what is happening, and that they will be able to feel happy again.
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