Updated: Jul 24

What comes to mind when you envision happiness?

Is it a recollection of an event? Is it an individual? Is it a thing?

How would you define happiness?

As with other vague questions, there is no wrong answer. Your guess is as good as any.

One area of psychology studying the efficacy of happiness-based interventions as a therapeutic aid is that of positive psychology.

There are a variety of paths to happiness.

Hedonism and eudaimonia are two terms that refer to different approaches to well-being; the former stresses pursuing life’s pleasures while the latter emphasizes the idea of becoming one’s best self.

Culture may also potentially influence how one can experience happiness. Differences in cultural values may shape what brings happiness cross-culturally.

The impact of happiness is far-reaching. Happiness clearly feels great! However, studies suggest that those who are happier are usually more successful at work, physically healthier, and have more fulfilling relationships.

There is evidence suggesting that happiness can influence longevity. Similarly, it is associated with higher resilience levels which are associated with higher life satisfaction.

Similarly, it is critical to account for its limitations. Happiness is not necessarily an antidote to disease, nor were its longevity effects as pronounced in those with severe diseases.

Nonetheless, happiness and its impact remain an area of great interest to researchers for its potential to be used as a treatment tool in psychological interventions.

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