What is happiness and joy
What is happiness for me and what should it be for you?
We talk about wanting to be happy all the time. But what does that actually mean? When are we happy? As you will see, there are tons of different ideas about this. So you have to be careful that you don't end up chasing the wrong luck. But if there is a wrong one, which one is the right luck?
Well-being, happiness, satisfaction, positive emotions, joy, pleasure, mood, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, psychological well-being, fulfillment, blossoming, full life, vitality ...
These are just some of the terms that keep coming up in connection with happiness and basically all mean more or less the same thing.
... and these are just the German terms.
But why so many words you may be wondering. Why don't we just talk about happiness?
That's because the term "happiness" also has many meanings and is understood and used in different ways.
What is luck?
The word "Glück" has two meanings in the German language: you can to be lucky (Chance luck) and Feel happiness.
We speak of chance luck when we find money on the street, win the lottery or it starts to rain the second we reach our front door. Phew ... lucky just.
But I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new. What many do not know, however, is that Feel happiness can have two meanings again. Because it cancan be understood as both a feeling ("pleasure") and a state ("happiness").
Unfortunately, we don't make this distinction in German. That is why we speak of being happy when we are in a good mood (= currently) and also when we lead a happy life (= permanently).
And that leads to quite a few misunderstandings.
Some happiness critics believe that happiness research is only about making people feel more happy in the sense of pleasure To provide.
The term can basically be better translated with joy, pleasure and enjoyment. And then it says: "yes, but joy is not everything in life“, „life is not always fun“, „you also have to go through tough times“, „I don't want to be in a good mood all the time and laugh all the time" Etc.
Neither do I.
A true positive psychologist would never demand or claim that. Because we care about so much more than that.
And to make it clearer what we are talking about, we use terms such as “well-being”, “lasting satisfaction”, “positive mood” or “fulfilled life”.
What is happiness to me
I started the happiness detective because I want to help you with the support of positive psychology to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
I consciously use both terms happy and Fulfillsto make it clear that joy and enjoyment is not enough.
What's so bad about joy, pleasure and fun, you ask yourself?
Nothing at all, as long as it's not your sole goal.
Because just chasing from one pleasure to the next doesn't make your life richer, it doesn't make you grow, it doesn't develop your talents and it can even be harmful to your health.
Happiness research is not (only) about finding out how we can experience more joy and pleasure in life. That would be pretty easy: go to the movies more often, eat more chocolate, go to the amusement park, or take disinhibiting drugs.
We all know these strategies well enough. We don't need science for that.
No. Happiness research wants to find out the conditions under which people flourish; how we can live our best and most beautiful lives. And that's exactly what this blog is about.
What is a happy and fulfilling life?
So what exactly do I mean when I come from happy and fulfilling life speak?
- It's about you overall experience more positive emotions than negative ones. And that doesn't just mean joy and pleasure. There are far more positive emotions that do us good and make us grow: e.g. gratitude, awe, inspiration, serenity, pride, hope and also love.
- It's about living a life that you can both gives pleasure and makes sense. People who are just chasing after their pleasure feel empty sooner or later. This way of life may be fun at first, but at some point it just doesn't make sense to run to the hundred thousandth party or eat the hundred thousandth cream cake. And then why actually still get up?
- It's about, Build resourcesthat will help you get through difficult times. Because they will inevitably come. Nobody is protected from strokes of fate, accidents and deaths. My job is to better prepare you for it.
- It's about that you like your life all in all. Not every day and not every week. But basically you like to get up in the morning and look forward to the days and years ahead.
- It's about living in harmony with your inner values, resting in yourself and yours Realize goals and dreams.
- It's about living your best and your most beautiful life; one that fills you with joy and pride.
This is the luck that I'm talking about; happiness that is independent of whether you are experiencing a good or a less good day.
And this is the luck that you should seekif you really want to live a happy (and by that I mean a fulfilled) life.
But remember: Others understand something completely different by the term. Sometimes because they don't know any better and sometimes because, for example, they are really only interested in a good mood or something similar.
So before you let anyone sell you anything about happiness, you should find out what they mean by happiness and whether it is happiness at all that you are looking for.
Which brings me to the question: what is the happiness you are looking for? What do you mean by this and can you think of a better term for the happiness I am talking about?
My YouTube episode on the topic: Is happiness just a question of hormones?
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