Happiness… Happiness gives wings … Everyone talks about it, everyone dreams about it. To be happy seems essential to our good, both physical and moral. It is also one of our main researches in life. All that we hopefully will contribute in one way or another to our fulfillment.
While we often hear that life was better in the past, we are currently living in a society where happiness appears as a right for all, even a duty. Tips on happiness are critical for everyone – and luckily their available aplenty. However, happiness is not a universal reality. It seems different for everyone: depending on the context of life, social environment, age, projects that we have, according to personality, etc.
What is happiness
But then, what is happiness? Are there key elements to be happy? If philosophers have been interested in happiness for centuries, psychologists have not really bent over the issue only since the 1990s, with the emergence of psychology positive. Unlike traditional psychology, which is more interested in problems and malfunctions, positive psychology (defined as “the study of conditions that favor the development of individuals and groups”), happiness is based on positive feelings, pleasure, well-being, etc. According to this discipline, happiness is the combination of well-being (emotional aspect) and meaning that we give to life (cognitive aspect).
Factors that influence happiness
Various factors can influence the feeling of happiness:
· genetic predispositions,
· living conditions,
· activities that we lead.
If we can not change genetics, however, it seems possible to act on the external factors that are our living conditions and our activities, so as to increase our level of happiness.
But here the major questions arise:
· Is happiness really accessible to all?
· To what extent does society contribute to our well-being?
· Why seek to be ever happier?
· Is happiness a necessity in life?
Tips on happiness are for everyone
Here are some critical thought and tips of reaching happiness:
1. Moreover, do our desires have to be systematically satisfied?
Satisfy all the desires may draw us into a circle vicious, because to desire is to desire ever more since the characteristic of a satiated desire is that it no longer exerts its motor power.
2. Happiness is perhaps having dreams!
But do not they also arouse an eternal dissatisfaction? Do not they distance us from our present life? And is it really our own dreams or “model-types” of happiness that are passed on to us? How does the context of commodification of our societies influence our representations of happiness?
3. The quest for happiness appears to many as vital.
Happiness seems moreover favorable to health. Studies show that the impression of happiness and positive thoughts influence the life span, would improve immune function, promote cardiac recovery after exercise, or accelerate healing.
In addition, the quest for happiness stimulates us and guides our decision making. About quarter of our thoughts daily are projections into the future, and the majority of them are positive. When we think of the future, we would think of what is fulfilling, and that is what makes us happy.
For example, we believe that having children makes happy. Yet most studies tend to show that “caring for children makes mothers less happy than all their other activities (only the household costs them even more) “. But in such a case, is the illusion of happiness not a good one thing? Is not it even necessary?
Does money bring happiness?
Since the end of the Second World War, happiness tends to be measured by the yardstick of what we consume. Often, it is that serves as an indicator of the level of well-being of populations. Certainly, a minimal quality of life is necessary. How to ask the question of happiness if one asks every day how to manage to make ends meet? But it does not seem that the economic level directly determines the level of happiness.
Indeed, we may need to have to be, we also need to be to make sense of the fact to have. Thus, studies have shown that beyond a certain financial threshold, incomes influence little sense of fulfillment. But the elements that favor are they flourishing identical for all? Are they not so unique to everyone: for example, having a passion, a goal in life, etc.? Are there ingredients of happiness? These are they not often associated for consumption?
These are the questions everyone should ask themselves in the first place.