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Exploring The Path to Happiness: What Makes Me Happy

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Published: Sep 7, 2023

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Connection and relationships, pursuit of personal growth, embracing creativity and expression, mindfulness and well-being, acts of kindness and giving, fulfillment through passion.

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what makes you happy in your life essay

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Essays About Happiness: 5 Essay Examples and 6 Writing Prompts

Being happy and content is essential to living a successful life. If you are writing essays about happiness, start by reading our helpful guide.

Whenever we feel positive emotions rushing through our heads, chances are we are feeling happy. Happiness is what you feel when you enter the house, the smell of your favorite food being cooked or when you finally save up enough money to buy something you’ve wanted. It is an undeniably magical feeling. 

Happiness can do wonders for your productivity and well-being; when you are happy, you are more energetic, optimistic, and motivated. So it is, without a doubt, important. However, do not become caught up in trying to be happy, as this may lead to worse problems. Instead, allow yourself to feel your emotions; be authentic, even if that means feeling a little more negative.


5 Top Essay Examples

1. causes of happiness by otis curtis, 2. how to be happy by tara parker-pope, 3. reflections on ‘happiness’ by shahzada sultan.

  • 4.  Happiness is Overrated by John Gorman

5. Toxic positivity by Suhani Mahajan

6 prompts for essays about happiness, 1. why is it important to be happy, 2. what is happiness to you, 3. the role of material things in happiness, 4. how does happiness make you more productive, 5. is true happiness achievable, 6. happiness vs. truth.

“If you don’t feel good about yourself you will have a similarly negative attitude towards others and education is one way of having good self-esteem, as it helps you to live life successfully and happily. Education is one way of getting that dream job and education is an essential cog in the wheel to living comfortably and happily. One English survey that included over 15,000 participants revealed that 81 percent of people who had achieved a good level of education had a high level of life satisfaction.”

Based on personal beliefs and research, Curtis’ essay describes different contributing causes to people’s happiness. These include a loving, stable family and good health. Interestingly, there is a positive correlation between education level and happiness, as Curtis cites statistics showing that education leads to high self-esteem, which can make you happier. 

“Socratic questioning is the process of challenging and changing irrational thoughts. Studies show that this method can reduce depression symptoms. The goal is to get you from a negative mindset (“I’m a failure.”) to a more positive one (“I’ve had a lot of success in my career. This is just one setback that doesn’t reflect on me. I can learn from it and be better.”)”

Parker-Pope writes about the different factors of happiness and how to practice mindfulness and positivity in this guide. She gives tips such as doing breathing exercises, moving around more, and spending time in places and with people that make you happy. Most importantly, however, she reminds readers that negative thoughts should not be repressed. Instead, we should accept them but challenge that mindset.

“Happiness is our choice of not leaving our mind and soul at the mercy of the sways of excitement. Happiness cannot eliminate sorrow, suffering, pain or death from the scheme of things, but it can help keep fear, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, pessimism and other fathers of unhappiness at bay.”

Sultan discusses what happiness means to her personally. It provides an escape from all the dreariness and lousy news of daily life, not eliminating negative thoughts but keeping them at a distance, even just for a moment. She writes that to be happy; we should not base our happiness on the outcomes of our actions. We cannot control the world around us, so we should not link our happiness to it. If something doesn’t go our way, that is just how the world works. It is useless to be sad over what we cannot control.

4.   Happiness is Overrated by John Gorman

“Our souls do float across the sea of life, taking on water as they go, sinking ever so slightly — perhaps even imperceptibly — into despair. But our souls are not the bucket. Happiness itself is. And it’s the bucket we use to pour water out our souls and keep us afloat. What we really need is peace. Peace patches the holes in our souls and stops the leaking. Once we have peace, we will no longer need to seek happiness.”

In his essay, Gorman reflects on how he stopped trying to chase happiness and instead focused on finding peace in life. He writes that we are often so desperate looking for happiness that our lives become complicated, chaotic, and even depressing at times. He wants readers to do what they are passionate about and be their authentic selves; that way, they will find true happiness. You might also be interested in these essays about courage .

“That’s the mindset most of us have. Half of toxic positivity is just the suppression of 200% acceptable feelings such as anger, fear, sadness, confusion, and more. Any combination of such feelings is deemed “negative.” Honestly, mix ‘em up and serve them to me in a cocktail, eh? (Fine, fine, a mocktail. I reserve my right to one of those little umbrellas though.)

But by closing ourselves off to anything but positivity, we’re experiencing the same effects as being emotionally numb. Why are we doing this to ourselves?”

Mahajan writes about the phenomenon known as “toxic positivity” in which everyone is expected to be happy with their lives. It trivializes people’s misfortunes and sufferings, telling them to be happy with what they have instead. Mahajan opposes this, believing that everyone’s feelings are valid. She writes that it’s okay to be sad or angry at times, and the stigma around “negative feelings” should be erased. When we force ourselves to be happy, we may feel emotionally numb or even sad, the exact opposite of being happy. 

Essays About Happiness: Why is it important to be happy?

Many would say that happiness aids you in many aspects of your life. Based on personal experience and research, discuss the importance of being happy. Give a few benefits or advantages of happiness. These can include physical, mental, and psychological benefits, as well as anything else you can think of. 

Happiness means different things to different people and may come from various sources. In your essay, you can also explain how you define happiness. Reflect on this feeling and write about what makes you happy and why. Explain in detail for a more convincing essay; be sure to describe what you are writing about well. 

Essays About Happiness: The role of material things in happiness

Happiness has a myriad of causes, many of which are material. Research the extent to which material possessions can make one happy, and write your essay about whether or not material things can truly make us happy. Consider the question, “Can money buy happiness?” Evaluate the extent to which it can or cannot, depending on your stance.  

Happiness has often been associated with a higher level of productivity. In your essay, look into the link between these two. In particular, discuss the mental and chemical effects of happiness. Since this topic is rooted in research and statistics, vet your sources carefully: only use the most credible sources for an accurate essay.

In their essays, many, including Gorman and Mahajan, seem to hold a more critical view of happiness. Our world is full of suffering and despair, so some ask: “Can we truly be happy on this earth?” Reflect on this question and make the argument for your position. Be sure to provide evidence from your own experiences and those of others. 

In dystopian stories, authorities often restrict people’s knowledge to keep them happy. We are seeing this even today, with some governments withholding crucial information to keep the population satisfied or stable. Write about whether you believe what they are doing is defensible or not, and provide evidence to support your point. 

For help with this topic, read our guide explaining “what is persuasive writing ?”

For help picking your next essay topic, check out our top essay topics about love .

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Essay on Happiness

List of essays on happiness, essay on happiness – short essay (essay 1 – 150 words), essay on happiness – for kids and children (essay 2 – 200 words), essay on happiness – 10 lines on happiness written in english (essay 3 – 250 words), essay on happiness (essay 4 – 300 words), essay on happiness – ways to be happy (essay 5 – 400 words), essay on happiness – for school students (class 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 standard) (essay 6 – 500 words), essay on happiness – ways of developing happiness (essay 7 – 600 words), essay on happiness – sources of suffering, happiness and conclusion (essay 8 – 750 words), essay on happiness – long essay on happiness (essay 9 – 1000 words).

Happiness is defined by different people in different ways. When we feel positive emotions we tend to feel happy. That is what happiness is all about. Happiness is also regarded as the mental state of a person in an optimistic manner.

Every person defines happiness in his/her own manner. In whatever manner you may define happiness; the truth is that it is vital for a healthy and prosperous life.

In order to make students understand what true happiness is all about, we have prepared short essays for students which shall enlighten them further on this topic.

Audience: The below given essays are exclusively written for school students (Class 3, 4 ,5, 6 and 7 Standard).


Happiness is a state of mind and the feeling expressed when things are going great. It is what we feel when we get our first car, buy a new house or graduate with the best grades. Happiness should be distinguished from joy. When joy is a constant state of mind, happiness depends on events in our lives.

Importance of Happiness:

The opposite of happiness is sadness which is a state of negativity in the mindset. When we remain sad for an extended period of time it can lead to depression. To avoid this state of mind we must always remind ourselves of happenings in our lives that made us happy.


Though life throws countless challenges at us on a daily basis, if we drown in those challenges we would definitely become depressed. It is important that we find positive things in our daily lives to get excited about and feel the happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind which makes you feel accomplished in life and having everything in this world without a single reason to repent. Well, although there can be no perfect definition of happiness; happiness is when you feel you’re at the top of the world where a sense of complete satisfaction prevails.

The meaning of happiness is relative and varies from people to people. For some, happiness is when you experience professional success, reunions with family and friends, eating out, reading books or watching good movies. While for others, happiness can be accomplished by some weekend activities which might help you de-stress and get the satisfaction of mind.

If you involve yourself in social activities where you help the needy and provide support to the weaker section of the society, you can experience happiness if not anything else. When a young boy flies a kite, plays with mud, and watches the nature, for him, that is the greatest happiness in the world.

The happiness of mind is often considered quite contrary to jealousy and anger which you experience once you have failed or unaccomplished any desired goal. You should always try to rehearse the ways of keeping yourself satisfied and keeping away from negativity to experience peace and happiness in life. True happiness begins where desire ends!

What is happiness? It is a state of being happy. But it does not mean to be happy all the time. Happiness is a feeling of something good that is happening in our life. We feel happy when we achieve something. But happiness is spread when our dear one is happy as well. Some people find true happiness in playing with their pets, while some may find happiness in staying engaged in creative work.

Happiness is often derived from channelizing thoughts to positive thinking. However, it is not as simple as it may sound.

To achieve the state of complete happiness one has to practice on improving the state of life by:

1. Staying contended in life with what you have. Cribbing and grumbling never lead to happiness.

2. Staying focused on the current life instead of daydreaming of the good days or old days.

3. Stop blaming for something that went terribly wrong in life. The life is all about moving on. Stop worrying and set new goals in life.

4. Being thankful to God for all the good things that you have in your life.

5. Having good people around you who can boost up positivity in your life.

Everyone desires to be happy in life. Happiness cannot be achieved without establishing complete control of one’s thoughts as it is very easy to be carried away by the waves of thoughts and emotions surrounding us. Remind yourself of the good things of your life and be thankful about it.

What is happiness? Some would state that happiness implies being well off. Others would state that for them, happiness intends to be sound. You will discover individuals saying that for them happiness implies having love in their life, having numerous companions, a great job, or accomplishing a specific objective. There are individuals, who trust that the want of a specific wish would make happiness in their life; however, it may not be so. Having true happiness is something which is desired by all.

The Path to Happiness:

There are small things which when incorporated into our daily lives, can lead us to the path of happiness. For instance, instead of thinking about problems, we should actually be thinking about the solutions. Not only will we be happier but we shall also be able to solve our problems faster. Similarly, once in a while, you start the day with the longing to achieve a few targets. Toward the day’s end, you may feel disappointed and miserable, in light of the fact that you haven’t possessed the capacity to do those things. Take a look at what you have done, not at what you have not possessed the capacity to do. Regularly, regardless of whether you have achieved a ton amid the day, you let yourself feel disappointed, due to some minor assignments you didn’t achieve. This takes away happiness from you.

Again, now and then, you go throughout the day effectively completing numerous plans, yet as opposed to feeling cheerful and fulfilled, you see what was not cultivated and feel troubled. It is out of line towards you.

Each day accomplishes something good which you enjoy doing. It may tend to be something little, such as purchasing a book, eating something you cherish, viewing your most loved program on TV, heading out to a motion picture, or simply having a walk around the shoreline. Even small things can bring great levels of happiness in our lives and motivate us for new goals.

Happiness is not what you feel from outside, rather it is something which comes from your inner soul. We should find happiness in us rather than searching for it in worldly desires.

Happiness is defined by different people in different ways. Some find happiness in having a luxurious life while some find it in having loving people around them rather than money. True happiness lies within us and our expectation of happiness. It is something that should be felt and cannot be explained in words.

Even though this simple word has a lot of meaning hidden in it, many fail to understand the real one or feel the real happiness. Finding happiness in the outer world is the main reason for this failure. Nothing can buy you happiness, whether be the favorite thing you desire for or the person you love the most or the career you build, unless and until you feel it within yourself.

Ways to be Happy:

Bring happiness and soulful life to yourself rather than expecting it from the outside world like things, money, etc. Being happy is not as easy as advised to be one happier person. To be content and happy with whatever you have and yourself it takes time and patience. You should practice to be a happier person in all moments and eventually you will notice that no sorrow can sink you down.

Whatever good or bad happened in your past shouldn’t bother your present. Learn to live today with more happiness than yesterday and forget about your past sadness for a harmonious life. Thankfulness to the life you got is another important character you should acquire to be happy. If you compare yourself with someone with better luxurious life, then you will never be happy or content and do it the other way.

Don’t depress your mind with bad and negative thoughts about yourself and around. Try to find every goodness in a situation you face and accept the things that already happened, whether good or bad. Never forget to choose merrier and positive people to be closer to you so that their vibes will also help you in being one merrier person.

Whenever you feel low and depressed never hesitate to go to those around you to find happiness. But be aware of those negative ones that may pull you even deeper into the bad thoughts. Always surround yourself with positive thinking and motivating people so that you can rise higher even from the deepest fall.

Happiness is nothing but a feeling that will be seeded into your soul only if you wish to and nothing other than yourself can indulge this feeling in you. Don’t spoil your life finding happiness somewhere else.

Happiness is a very complicated thing. Happiness can be used both in emotional or mental state context and can vary largely from a feeling from contentment to very intense feeling of joy. It can also mean a life of satisfaction, good well-being and so many more. Happiness is a very difficult phenomenon to use words to describe as it is something that can be felt only. Happiness is very important if we want to lead a very good life. Sadly, happiness is absent from the lives of a lot of people nowadays. We all have our own very different concept of happiness. Some of us are of the opinion that we can get happiness through money, others believe they can only get true happiness in relationships, some even feel that happiness can only be gotten when they are excelling in their profession.

As we might probably know, happiness is nothing more than the state of one being content and happy. A lot of people in the past, present and some (even in the future will) have tried to define and explain what they think happiness really is. So far, the most reasonable one is the one that sees happiness as something that can only come from within a person and should not be sought for outside in the world.

Some very important points about happiness are discussed below:

1. Happiness can’t be bought with Money:

A lot of us try to find happiness where it is not. We associate and equate money with happiness. If at all there is happiness in money then all of the rich people we have around us would never feel sad. What we have come to see is that even the rich amongst us are the ones that suffer depression, relationship problems, stress, fear and even anxiousness. A lot of celebrities and successful people have committed suicide, this goes a long way to show that money or fame does not guarantee happiness. This does not mean that it is a bad thing to be rich and go after money. When you have money, you can afford many things that can make you and those around you very happy.

2. Happiness can only come from within:

There is a saying that explains that one can only get true happiness when one comes to the realisation that only one can make himself/herself happy. We can only find true happiness within ourselves and we can’t find it in other people. This saying and its meaning is always hammered on in different places but we still refuse to fully understand it and put it into good use. It is very important that we understand that happiness is nothing more than the state of a person’s mind. Happiness cannot come from all the physical things we see around us. Only we through our positive emotions that we can get through good thoughts have the ability to create true happiness.

Our emotions are created by our thoughts. Therefore, it is very important that we work on having only positive thoughts and this can be achieved when we see life in a positive light.

Happiness is desired by every person. However, there are very few persons that attain happiness easily in life.

It is quite tough to get happiness in life as people usually link it with the things and the people around them. The simple fact is that happiness usually starts as well as finishes with your own life. All those people who understand this fact easily get the true happiness in their life.

Happiness in Relationships:

There are lots of people who link happiness with the money and there are few others also who link it with the personal relations. It is very important to know that if you are not happy with yourself then, it is not possible to remain happy in your relationship as well.

The problems in the relationship have been increasing speedily and the main cause behind it is the huge amount of expectation that we have from the other individual. We always want them to make us feel happy. For example, some people feel happy if their partner plans a surprise for them or if he/she buy them a new dress. But all these things are not a true source of happiness in life.

Ways of Developing Happiness:

The lack of happiness in the relationship not only exists in couples but also in the relationship of friends, sister – brother or parent-child.

The following are the few ways that help in creating happiness in the relationships:

1. Pay Attention to Yourself:

You should always pay attention to yourself to get happiness. You should not give importance to any other person in your life in comparison to yourself and also expect the same from that person. Giving too much importance to the other and not receiving anything back from them makes a person disappointed and happiness gets lost.

2. Have some Initiative:

You can make the plan of traveling outside yourself. Don’t wait for your parent, partner or kid to take you outside. You can ask them to come along with you if they want. But, if they decline your offer then, don’t get discouraged and carry on your trip plan along with full happiness.

3. Provide some Space:

It is necessary to provide some amount of space to every individual and spend some time with oneself. It helps in creating happiness.

Happiness is Necessary for Good Life:

It does not matter that whether you are a working expert, a schoolchild, a retired person or a housewife, happiness is necessary for everybody to live a good and happy life. Happiness is essential for an individual’s emotional comfort. A person who is not fit emotionally will feel an impact on his complete health that will drain very soon.

Unluckily, despite the fact that happiness is tremendously necessary, people do not give so much importance to all those habits which can keep them happy. They are so excessively captivated inside their professional lives as well as other nuts and bolts of life that they overlook to relish the happy memories of their life. It is also the main reason that problems like anxiety, stress, and depression are increasing gradually in people’s lives today.

Happiness is an internal feeling. It is a healthy emotion. Happiness helps us to stay fit both mentally and physically. Happiness helps in lowering stress and keeping away from any health issues. The reason of happiness may be different for different person. You just need to find out what actually makes you happy. So, if you want real happiness in life then, you need to understand that only you can make yourself happy.

“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way” this sentence has been attributed to Buddha. Well, at least that’s what it says on one sticker in my dorm room. The fact is that man has occupied himself with the path to happiness for millennia. Something happened during our evolution that made us deeply question the purpose of our existence. People like Buddha are part of the answer, or at least they try to give us the answer.

Since these questions have troubled us there have been many who sought to answer them and by doing so, they formed philosophies and religions. The search for earthly happiness will make many do incredible deeds but if this energy is used in the wrong way it can cause great suffering. How can we know which recipe for happiness is the best one and what we should devote our time and attention to? The trick is, there is no right answer and as the first sentence of this essay states, there is no way to be happy because being happy is the way. That’s how I got my head around this problem, let me explain some more.

Source of Suffering:

At the expense of sounding Buddhist, when you think about most of the things that make us unhappy are material in nature. They are the things that we really do not need but they make us feel happy. This notion is not just something the wise man from the 6 th century BC India expressed but many more have said this before and after him. Socrates and Jesus to name just a few.

What I find interesting in the struggle for happiness is the paradox present in the instructions to reach it. One has a  thought all through life to be good and hard working so he can get the things he wants and needs later on in life but then as you start to struggle for the money you realize that your life is turning into a money grabbing game. So, the source of happiness and stability becomes the source of all your anxiety and aggression. Naturally, we can see how some people thought that all material things stand on the path to our happiness.

But what about the immaterial, what if you are in love with someone you are not supposed to love? The above instruction would tell you to surrender your heart’s desire and you will be free from constraints. Is this happiness? Or is it the struggle to do and achieve the impossible the real source of happiness?

Source of Happiness:

People often forget that they are animals and like all of them they have a logic to their nature and their own specific needs. Like all the other animal’s people are caught in the struggle for existence and sometimes surviving the day can be a real ordeal if you get caught in the wrong circumstances. Men has made himself safe from most of the things that could have harmed him in nature but in doing so he forgot what he has made.

Think about the present from a historical perspective. Even a hundred years ago most people lost up to 80% of all their children to diseases, clean water was a rarity for most of our existence, and people actually had to labor to make food and to have enough to feed their family all through the year. The fact is we have a lot to be grateful for in the present age and the fact that some of us are unhappy because we do not have all our heart’s desires is just a symptom of collective infancy. Having all of your loved ones around you, with a roof to shelter under and with lots of delicious food is the only source of happiness man needs everything else should just be a bonus.

Happiness cannot be found by rejecting everything that is material or by earning more money then you can spend. The trick is to find balance by looking at yourself and the lives of people around you and by understanding that there is a lot to be grateful for, the trick is to stop searching for a path and to understand that we are already walking on one. As long as we are making any type of list of the prerequisite for our life of happiness, we will end up unsatisfied because life does not grant wishes we are the ones that make them come true. Often the biggest change in our lives comes from a simple change of perspective rather than from anything we can own.

Happiness is the state of emotional wellbeing and being contented. Happiness is expressed through joyful moments and smiles. It is a desirable feeling that everybody want to have at all times. Being happy is influenced by situations, achievements and other circumstances. Happiness is an inner quality that reflects on the state of mind. A peaceful state of mind is considered to be happiness. The emotional state of happiness is mixture of feelings of joy, satisfaction, gratitude, euphoria and victory.

How happiness is achieved:

Happiness is achieved psychologically through having a peaceful state of mind. By a free state of mind, I mean that there should be no stressful factors to think about. Happiness is also achieved through accomplishment of goals that are set by individuals. There is always happiness that accompanies success and they present feelings of triumph and contentment.

To enable personal happiness in life, it is important that a person puts himself first and have good self-perception. Putting what makes you happy first, instead of putting other people or other things first is a true quest towards happiness. In life, people tend to disappoint and putting them as a priority always reduces happiness for individuals. There is also the concept of practicing self-love and self-acceptance. Loving oneself is the key to happiness because it will mean that it will not be hard to put yourself first when making decisions.

It is important for an individual to control the thoughts that goes on in their heads. A peaceful state of mind is achieved when thoughts are at peace. It is recommended that things that cause a stressful state of mind should be avoided.

Happiness is a personal decision that is influenced by choices made. There is a common phrase on happiness; “happiness is a choice” which is very true because people choose if they want to be happy or not. Happiness is caused by circumstances and people have the liberty to choose those circumstance and get away from those that make them unhappy.

Happiness is also achieved through the kind of support system that an individual has. Having a family or friends that are supportive will enable the achievement of happiness. Communicating and interacting with the outside world is important.

Factors Affecting Happiness:

Sleep patterns influence the state of mind thus influence happiness. Having enough sleep always leads to happy mornings and a good state of mind for rest of the day. Sleep that is adequate also affects the appearance of a person. There is satisfaction that comes with having enough sleep. Enough rest increases performance and productivity of an individual and thus more successes and achievements are realized and happiness is experienced.

Another factor affecting happiness is the support network of an individual. A strong support network of family and friends results in more happiness. Establishing good relationships with neighbors, friends and family through regular interactions brings more happiness to an individual. With support network, the incidences of stressful moments will be reduced because your family and friends will always be of help.

Sexual satisfaction has been established to affect happiness. It is not just about getting the right partner anymore. It is about having a partner that will satisfy you sexually. There is a relationship between sex and happiness because of the hormones secreted during sexual intercourse. The hormone is called oxytocin and responsible for the happiness due to sexual satisfaction. Satisfaction also strengthens the relationships between the partners and that creates happiness.

Wealth also plays a significant role in happiness. There is a common phrase that is against money and happiness: “money cannot buy happiness” is this true? Personally, I believe that being financially stable contributes to happiness because you will always have peace of mind and many achievements. Peace of mind is possible for wealthy people because they do not have stressors here and then compared to poor people. Also, when a person is wealthy, they can afford to engage in luxurious activities that relaxes the mind and create happiness. For a person to be wealthy, they will have had many achievements in life. These achievement make them happy.

A good state of health is an important factor that influences the happiness of individuals. A healthy person will be happy because there are no worries of diseases or pain that they are experiencing. When a person is healthy, their state of mind is at peace because they are not afraid of death or any other health concerns. Not only the health of individuals is important, but also the health of the support system of the person. Friends and family’s state of health will always have an impact on what we feel as individuals because we care about them and we get worried whenever they are having bad health.

Communication and interactions are important in relation to an individual’s happiness. Having a support system is not enough because people need to communicate and interact freely. Whenever there are interactions like a social gathering where people talk and eat together, more happiness is experienced. This concept is witnessed in parties because people are always laughing and smiling in parties whenever they are with friends.

Communication is key to happiness because it helps in problem solving and relieving stressors in life. Sharing experiences with a support system creates a state of wellbeing after the solution is sought. Sometime when I am sad, I take my phone and call a friend or a family member and by the time the phone call is over, I always feel better and relieved of my worries.

Happiness is an important emotion that influences how we live and feel on a daily basis. Happiness is achieved in simple ways. People have the liberty to choose happiness because we are not bound by any circumstances for life. Factors that influence happiness are those that contribute to emotional wellbeing. Physical wellbeing also affects happiness. Every individual finds happiness in their own because they know what makes them happy and what doesn’t.

Emotions , Happiness , Psychology

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Essay on What Makes Me Happy

Students are often asked to write an essay on What Makes Me Happy in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on What Makes Me Happy

Spending time with family.

Being with my family makes me very happy. We eat meals together, play games, and share stories. When I’m with them, I feel loved and safe. Their laughter and smiles fill me with joy.

Playing with My Pet

My pet is a big part of my happiness. When I come home, seeing my pet excited to see me makes me forget any bad day. Playing fetch or just cuddling on the couch with them brings me immense joy.

Doing What I Love

I love drawing and reading. When I draw, I create my own world. And reading takes me on adventures I could never imagine. Doing these activities always puts a big smile on my face.

Helping Others

Helping someone in need or just being kind makes me happy. When I see someone smile because of something I did, it makes me feel good inside. Knowing I made a difference, even if it’s small, is very rewarding.

250 Words Essay on What Makes Me Happy

Being in nature has a calming effect on me. Whether I’m hiking in the mountains, walking through a forest, or just sitting in my backyard, being surrounded by nature helps me to relax and appreciate the beauty of the world around me.

Doing things that I enjoy, like reading, writing, and playing music, makes me happy. These activities allow me to express myself creatively and challenge myself intellectually. They also help me to relax and de-stress.


Achieving goals, no matter how small, gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It makes me feel good about myself and motivates me to keep going.

Helping others makes me happy because it makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the world. Whether it’s volunteering my time, donating to charity, or just being a good friend, helping others makes me feel good about myself and the world around me.

500 Words Essay on What Makes Me Happy

Having good friends.

Having friends is one of the most important things that makes me happy. I have a group of close friends who I can always count on. We laugh together, cry together, and support each other through thick and thin. I know that I can always talk to them about anything, and they will always be there for me.

Doing Things I Love

I am also happy when I do things that I love. I love to play sports, read, and write. I also love spending time outside. When I am doing something that I enjoy, I feel relaxed and content.

Learning New Things

I also love learning new things. I am always trying to expand my knowledge and learn new skills. I find that learning new things helps me to grow as a person and makes me more interesting to be around.

There are many things that make me happy. Having good friends, spending time with family, doing things I love, learning new things, and helping others are all important things that contribute to my happiness. I am grateful for all of the things that make me happy, and I know that as long as I have these things in my life, I will be happy.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

Happy studying!

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what makes you happy in your life essay

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Essay on What makes you Happy

December 13, 2017 by Study Mentor 1 Comment

Being happy is a feeling that each and every human being wants. It’s in human being’s nature to crave happiness. There is nothing wrong in being happy. As a matter of fact, a person should be happy to have a healthy life. There are different people, animals or pets and things that make a person happy.

Each and every human being has different things in which they found happiness. The things may not be of importance to others or look stupid from other’s point of view but for the person, to whom these things belong, knows that they are irreplaceable and for them its value cannot be measured by money. Happiness is a feeling that money cannot ever buy.

Happiness is something that just lights up a person’s whole world in a matter of seconds. Happiness makes a person want to smile always. There are no words that can describe the feeling of happiness properly. It is something that can only be felt by someone. Sometimes the emotion happiness comes out from the eyes in the form of tears. These tears are called as happy tears.

In my life there are a lot of things that makes me happy starting with my family, friends and ends with many non-living thing. I respect each and every thing that makes me happy. However there are two particular things that make me happy the most.

Those two things are listening to music while going for a long walk all by myself. It is weird that these two seemingly unimportant things can give me happiness beyond imagination. But for me these two things are something I treasure from the bottom of my heart and are very important to me.

Music is something that refreshes my mind and keeps me in peace where as walking always calms me down and keeps me relaxed. When I combine walking and listening to music, I am left with relaxed body and refreshed mind which helps me waltz through my day with absolute ease.

From ancient days music is used as a means to calm someone’s mind. Music has always been there. Music can be of different kinds and people can twist music the way they please and create a song. Music has no particular tunes. Different people give different tunes and all of them are music.

I love the way people play with tunes and turn them into something amazing that we call song. These songs are what refresh my mind. Songs are beautiful melodies that are created by people. Every people love songs but not the same songs as people have different types of taste in music.

The kinds of songs that I like are slow songs where the melody is soothing and the lyrics are meaningful. The soothing music is capable of even calming down an angry animal. That is why I like music the most. Listening to music sometimes makes me feel like it is cleansing my soul.

Walking is good for health. A long walk relaxes my body. It makes me feel free of bounds. While walking I can feel the scenery around me. I enjoy walking very much. Walking is also a good exercise and it keeps my body in shape without working out.

While walking my mind wander off to different directions. I get lost in my thoughts often. I think about the problems in my life while walking and walking helps me to make decision in cool and calm mind and free from pressure.

Making important decisions while a person is in a relaxed state, makes the decision important as while the person is relaxed, he or she is free from all the tensions and external pressures and thinks about all the pros and cons of the decision thoroughly before taking it. This helps me in creating a balance in my life.

When I mix music and walking together, I find true peace. I stop thinking about my problems while walking and listening to music and just lose myself in the music and just enjoy a time with myself that I often don’t get. Spending time with me has been a benefit in my case.

In today’s date, each and everyone go through a hectic schedule and don’t get enough holidays to go for a short trip and because of that we don’t get to relax and spend some time with ourselves as much. So, I find some time out from my busy schedule to relax and to spend some time with myself.

Normally, it is not possible for me to relax so I use walking and music to relax. I love doing both individually but as I don’t get much time to do it, I do both of them together and it has benefited me till today and will keep on giving me benefit in the future also.

Whenever I go for a walk to take a break, I listen to music and I am in a hill station and am walking barefoot in a field which is filled with soft grass and the weather is just perfect that is not too warm neither too cold. When I think this, I can almost feel the grass underneath my feet. Yes, all of this is my imagination but this feels me with such happiness that no words will be able to describe that feeling.

Music always soothes me and in my imagination it acts like a back ground soft sound that is emitted throughout the hill to make me addicted to that feeling. This is how it relaxes my mind and body. It is really difficult for me to relax my mind but walking and music has done that for me.

Going for a walk while listening to music every day, has a positive effect on my mind and soul. It makes me happy and allows me to stay calm throughout the whole day. Each day I look forward to the time that I can spend all by myself by taking a break from the busy schedule.

As I mentioned above, the time I spend with myself only happen when the combination of walking and music happens. This is something I won’t ever give up at any cost. It makes me happy specially when I lose myself in the music of the song and think that I am visiting a hill station for a short break.

This is how I release all my frustration and pent up energy. The music flows throughout my body like water and relaxes my muscles too.

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January 14, 2021 at 11:48 pm

i realy love the all word that you write . please give me some advince to do some writing like this .

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Happiness Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on happiness.

Happiness is something which we can’t describe in words it can only be felt from someone’s expression of a smile. Likewise, happiness is a signal or identification of good and prosperous life. Happiness is very simple to feel and difficult to describe. Moreover, happiness comes from within and no one can steal your happiness.

Happiness Essay

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Every day we see and meet people who look happy from the outside but deep down they are broken and are sad from the inside. For many people, money is the main cause of happiness or grief. But this is not right. Money can buy you food, luxurious house, healthy lifestyle servants, and many more facilities but money can’t buy you happiness.

And if money can buy happiness then the rich would be the happiest person on the earth. But, we see a contrary image of the rich as they are sad, fearful, anxious, stressed, and suffering from various problems.

In addition, they have money still they lack in social life with their family especially their wives and this is the main cause of divorce among them.

Also, due to money, they feel insecurity that everyone is after their money so to safeguard their money and them they hire security. While the condition of the poor is just the opposite. They do not have money but they are happy with and stress-free from these problems.

In addition, they take care of their wife and children and their divorce rate is also very low.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Happiness Comes from Within

As we now know that we can’t buy happiness with money and there is no other shortcut to happiness. It is something that you feel from within.

In addition, true happiness comes from within yourself. Happiness is basically a state of mind.

Moreover, it can only be achieved by being positive and avoiding any negative thought in mind. And if we look at the bright side of ourselves only then we can be happy.

Happiness in a Relationship

People nowadays are not satisfied with their relationship because of their differences and much other reason. But for being happy in a relationship we have to understand that there are some rules or mutual understanding that keeps a relationship healthy and happy.

Firstly, take care of yourself then your partner because if you yourself are not happy then how can you make your partner happy.

Secondly, for a happy and healthy relationship give you partner some time and space. In addition, try to understand their feeling and comfort level because if you don’t understand these things then you won’t be able to properly understand your partner.

Most importantly, take initiative and plan to go out with your partner and family. Besides, if they have plans then go with them.

To conclude, we can say that happiness can only be achieved by having positive thinking and enjoying life. Also, for being happy and keeping the people around us happy we have to develop a healthy relationship with them. Additionally, we also have to give them the proper time.

FAQs about Happiness

Q.1 What is True Happiness? A.1 True happiness means the satisfaction that you find worthy. The long-lasting true happiness comes from life experience, a feeling of purpose, and a positive relationship.

Q.2 Who is happier the rich or the poor and who is more wealthy rich or poor? A.2 The poor are happier then the rich but if we talk about wealth the rich are more wealthy then the poor. Besides, wealth brings insecurity, anxiety and many other problems.

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Essay Sample

Happiness is a subjective feeling that varies from person to person. What makes one person happy might not necessarily make another person happy. However, there are some things that tend to bring joy and satisfaction to most people.

One of the things that make me happy is spending time with my loved ones. Being around people who care about me and whom I care about brings a sense of belonging and warmth that is hard to replicate in other circumstances. Whether it is having deep conversations, sharing a meal, or simply enjoying each other’s company, spending time with family and friends is an essential part of my happiness.

Another thing that brings joy to my life is pursuing my passions and hobbies. Engaging in activities that I enjoy, whether it is reading a good book, playing a musical instrument, or practicing yoga, provides me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. These activities allow me to enter a state of flow, where time seems to stop and my mind is fully engaged in the present moment.

Being in nature is also something that makes me happy. The beauty and serenity of natural environments, such as the beach, the mountains, or a park, have a calming effect on me. They remind me of the simplicity and purity of life, and they help me appreciate the beauty around me.

Finally, helping others is another source of happiness for me. Volunteering, donating to charity, or simply being kind to strangers all contribute to a sense of fulfillment and purpose in my life. Knowing that I am making a positive impact on someone else’s life is a powerful motivator that brings me joy.

In conclusion, happiness is a complex and multifaceted emotion that is influenced by many factors. However, spending time with loved ones, pursuing passions and hobbies, being in nature, and helping others are some of the things that tend to make people happy. By focusing on these aspects of our lives, we can cultivate a sense of joy and contentment that lasts beyond fleeting moments of pleasure.

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What is happiness?

Happiness is a subjective emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, and overall well-being. It varies from person to person and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including relationships, hobbies, environment, and acts of kindness.

Why does spending time with loved ones make you happy?

Spending time with loved ones brings a sense of belonging, warmth, and shared understanding. It’s a way to connect deeply with others, share experiences, and create lasting memories, which contribute to feelings of happiness.

How do passions and hobbies contribute to happiness?

Passions and hobbies contribute to happiness by providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Engaging in activities you enjoy can lead to a state of flow, where you’re fully engaged and lose track of time. This immersion in a rewarding activity often results in joy and satisfaction.

Why does being in nature make you happy?

Being in nature can instill feelings of peace and calm. The beauty and serenity of natural environments can simplify one’s perspective on life and help one appreciate the world’s inherent beauty, leading to a sense of happiness and contentment.

How does helping others contribute to happiness?

Helping others can create a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Knowing that you’re making a positive impact on someone else’s life can be a powerful source of joy and satisfaction, contributing to overall happiness.

Are these sources of happiness universal?

While these sources of happiness are common, happiness is a highly individual experience. What brings joy to one person might not have the same effect on another. It’s important to understand your unique sources of happiness and cultivate them.

How can one cultivate lasting happiness?

Cultivating lasting happiness often involves focusing on the aspects of life that bring joy and contentment, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing passions, appreciating nature, and helping others. Additionally, maintaining a positive mindset, practicing gratitude, and taking care of one’s physical health can also contribute to sustained happiness.

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Essay On What Makes Me Happy

what makes you happy in your life essay

There are many things in life that make us happy, but what makes us the happiest? There is no one answer to this question, as everyone has different values and priorities that make them happy. However, there are some things that are common to all people who are happy – they enjoy doing things that make them feel good, they have strong relationships with family and friends, and they find meaning in their lives. In this essay, we will explore each of these topics in greater detail and look at what makes each of them so important to us.

Table of Contents

Short Essay On What Makes Me Happy

Happiness is a feeling that we all strive for in life, and what makes each person happy can be different and unique. For me, there are several things that bring joy and happiness into my life, and I would like to share a few of them.

First and foremost, spending time with loved ones is what makes me the happiest. Whether it is going out for a meal, taking a walk, or simply having a chat, being surrounded by people I care about is what brings me the most joy. Spending quality time with family and friends creates memories and strengthens bonds, and I find that this is what brings me the most happiness in life.

Another thing that brings me happiness is traveling and exploring new places. I love experiencing new cultures, trying new foods, and seeing new sights. Traveling broadens my horizons and provides a sense of adventure and excitement, which I find extremely fulfilling. Whether it is a road trip, a weekend getaway, or a longer trip abroad, exploring new destinations always brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

In addition, I find that engaging in hobbies and activities that I am passionate about also brings me happiness. Whether it is photography, reading, or playing a musical instrument, these activities allow me to escape from the stress of daily life and focus on something that brings me joy and fulfillment. Pursuing my hobbies provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and it is a way for me to express my creativity and individuality.

Finally, volunteering and giving back to others is something that brings me happiness and a sense of purpose. Whether it is helping at a local food bank, volunteering at a local animal shelter, or simply lending a helping hand to someone in need, helping others is a way to make a positive impact on the world and feel good about oneself.

In conclusion, there are many things that bring happiness into my life, and each person’s list will be different. For me, spending time with loved ones, traveling, engaging in hobbies, and giving back to others are all things that bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. These are the things that make me happy, and I believe that they are the key to a fulfilling and happy life.

Long Essay On What Makes Me Happy

I believe that there are a few qualities that make me happy. One of the things that makes me happy is when I am able to help others. Another thing that makes me happy is spending time with my family and friends. Additionally, I enjoy doing activities that I love or have always loved. Lastly, I am also very grateful for all the blessings in my life.

How have my past experiences made me happy?

I have had a lot of experiences that have made me happy. Some of these experiences were things that I did myself, while others were things that happened to me. Regardless of how they occurred, every single experience has contributed to making me the person I am today.

One example of an experience that I enjoyed myself was when I took my first cooking class. It was a new challenge for me and it was rewarding to learn something new and make something delicious for someone else in the class. Another experience that made me happy was when I got accepted into my dream school. It was a hard process but it was worth it when I got the acceptance letter in the mail.

Some of the happiest moments in my life have come as a result of other people doing things for me. One such moment occurred when my grandma gave me a birthday present that she had been saving up for years – her entire collection of cookbooks! Another time, my friends organized an impromptu party at my house after I got back from travelling overseas and everything went smoothly thanks to their planning.

The list could go on and on, but ultimately what makes me happy is simply experiencing various things in life and feeling grateful for all the good that has come my way. Every little thing – no matter how small – contributes to creating a happiness inside of me which is difficult to shake off even once those special memories have faded away.

What do I need to do to increase my chances of happiness?

There is no single answer to this question, as everyone has different needs and wants. However, some things that may help increase your chances of happiness are: spending time with loved ones, enjoying hobbies or activities you enjoy, maintaining healthy personal relationships, and working towards goals that make you happy. Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings and take in all the beauty around you. Happiness can come from small moments as well as larger ones. Be sure to savor both!

Happiness is an elusive concept, but for me, it comes down to a few simple things. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, enjoying nature whenever possible, and indulging in my favorite hobbies. These are all things that make me happy and help me rid myself of stress. If you can find something that makes you happy on a regular basis then I believe you will be just as content as I am. So go out there and find what makes you smile – it might just be the key to happiness!

Manisha Dubey Jha

Manisha Dubey Jha is a skilled educational content writer with 5 years of experience. Specializing in essays and paragraphs, she’s dedicated to crafting engaging and informative content that enriches learning experiences.

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The Science of Happiness in Positive Psychology 101

The Science of Happiness

Whether on a global or an individual level, the pursuit of happiness is one that is gaining traction and scientific recognition.

There are many definitions of happiness, and we will also explore those in this article. For now, we invite you to think of a time when you were happy. Were you alone? With others? Inside? Outside.

At the end of this article, revisit that memory. You may have new insight as to what made that moment “happy,” as well as tips to train your brain towards more happiness.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Happiness & Subjective Wellbeing Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients identify sources of authentic happiness and strategies to boost wellbeing.

This Article Contains:

A definition of happiness, a look at the science of happiness, the scientific research on happiness at work, 17 interesting facts and findings, a study showing how acts of kindness make us happier, the global pursuit of happiness, measures of happiness, four qualities of life.

  • How to Train your Brain for Happiness

A Take-Home Message

In general, happiness is understood as the positive emotions we have in regards to the pleasurable activities we take part in through our daily lives.

Pleasure, comfort, gratitude, hope, and inspiration are examples of positive emotions that increase our happiness and move us to flourish. In scientific literature, happiness is referred to as hedonia (Ryan & Deci, 2001), the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative emotions.

In a more broad understanding, human wellbeing is made up of both hedonic and Eudaimonic principles, the literature on which is vast and describes our personal meaning and purpose in life (Ryan & Deci, 2001).

Research on happiness over the years has found that there are some contributing correlational factors that affect our happiness. These include (Ryan & Deci, 2001):

  • Personality Type
  • Positive Emotions versus Negative Emotions
  • Attitude towards Physical Health
  • Social Class and Wealth
  • Attachment and Relatedness
  • Goals and Self-Efficacy
  • Time and Place.

So what is the “ science of happiness? ”

This is one of those times when something is exactly what it sounds like – it’s all about the science behinds what happiness is and how to experience it, what happy people do differently, and what we can do to feel happier.

This focus on happiness is new to the field of psychology; for many decades – basically since the foundation of psychology as a science in the mid- to late-1800s – the focus was on the less pleasant in life. The field focused on pathology, on the worst-scenario cases, on what can go wrong in our lives.

Although there was some attention paid to wellbeing, success, and high functioning, the vast majority of funding and research was dedicated to those who were struggling the most: those with severe mental illness, mental disorders, or those who have survived trauma and tragedy.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing what we can to raise up those who are struggling, there was an unfortunate lack of knowledge about what we can do to bring us all up to a higher level of functioning and happiness.

Positive psychology changed all of that. Suddenly, there was space at the table for a focus on the positive in life, for “ what thoughts, actions, and behaviors make us more productive at work, happier in our relationships, and more fulfilled at the end of the day ” (Happify Daily, n.d.).

The science of happiness has opened our eyes to a plethora of new findings about the sunny side of life.

Current research and studies

For instance, we have learned a lot about what happiness is and what drives us.

Recent studies have shown us that:

  • Money can only buy happiness up to about $75,000 – after that, it has no significant effect on our emotional wellbeing (Kahneman & Deaton, 2010).
  • Most of our happiness is not determined by our genetics, but by our experiences and our day-to-day lives (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).
  • Trying too hard to find happiness often has the opposite effect and can lead us to be overly selfish (Mauss et al., 2012).
  • Pursuing happiness through social means (e.g., spending more time with family and friends) is more likely to be effective than other methods (Rohrer et al., 2018).
  • The pursuit of happiness is one place where we should consider ditching the SMART goals; it may be more effective to pursue “vague” happiness goals than more specific ones (Rodas et al., 2018).
  • Happiness makes us better citizens – it is a good predictor of civic engagement in the transition to adulthood (Fang et al., 2018).
  • Happiness leads to career success, and it doesn’t have to be “natural” happiness – researchers found that “experimentally enhancing” positive emotions also contributed to improved outcomes at work (Walsh et al., 2018).
  • There is a linear relationship between religious involvement and happiness. Higher worship service attendance is correlated with more commitment to faith, and commitment to faith is related to greater compassion. Those more compassionate individuals are more likely to provide emotional support to others, and those who provide emotional support to others are more likely to be happy (Krause et al., 2018). It’s a long road, but a direct one!

what makes you happy in your life essay

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There’s been a ton of research on the effects of happiness in the workplace. Much of this is driven by companies who want to find a way to improve productivity, attract new talent, and get a dose of good publicity, all at the same time. After all, who wouldn’t want to do business with and/or work for a company full of happy employees?

Although the jury is still out on exactly how happy employees “should” be for maximum productivity, efficiency, and health, we have learned a few things about the effects of a happy workforce:

  • People who are happy with their jobs are less likely to leave their jobs, less likely to be absent, and less likely to engage in counterproductive behaviors at work.
  • People who are happy with their jobs are more likely to engage in behavior that contributes to a happy and productive organization, more likely to be physically healthy, and more likely to be mentally healthy.
  • Happiness and job performance are related—and the relationship likely works in both directions (e.g., happy people do a better job and people who do a good job are more likely to be happy).
  • Unit- or team-level happiness is also linked to positive outcomes, including higher customer satisfaction, profit, productivity, employee turnover, and a safer work environment.
  • In general, a happier organization is a more productive and successful organization (Fisher, 2010).

To sum up the findings we have so far, it’s easy to see that happiness at work does matter – for individuals, for teams, and for organizations overall. We don’t have all the answers about exactly how the relationship between happiness and productivity works, but we know that there is a relationship there.

Lately, many human resources managers, executives, and other organizational leaders have decided that knowing there’s a relationship is good enough evidence to establish happiness-boosting practices at work, which means that we have a lot of opportunities to see the impact of greater happiness at work in the future.

Smelling flowers happiness

Research in this field is booming, and new findings are coming out all the time. Here are a few of the most interesting facts and findings so far:

  • Happiness is linked to lower heart rate and blood pressure, as well as healthier heart rate variability.
  • Happiness can also act as a barrier between you and germs – happier people are less likely to get sick.
  • People who are happier enjoy greater protection against stress and release less of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Happy people tend to experience fewer aches and pains, including dizziness, muscle strain, and heartburn.
  • Happiness acts as a protective factor against disease and disability (in general, of course).
  • Those who are happiest tend to live significantly longer than those who are not.
  • Happiness boosts our immune system, which can help us fight and fend off the common cold.
  • Happy people tend to make others happier as well, and vice versa – those who do good, feel good!
  • A portion of our happiness is determined by our genetics (but there’s still plenty of room for attitude adjustments and happiness-boosting exercises!).
  • Smelling floral scents like roses can make us happier.
  • Those who are paid by the hour may be happier than those on salary (however, these findings are limited, so take them with a grain of salt!).
  • Relationships are much more conducive to a happy life than money.
  • Happier people tend to wear bright colors; it’s not certain which way the relationship works, but it can’t hurt to throw on some brighter hues once in a while—just in case!
  • Happiness can help people cope with arthritis and chronic pain better.
  • Being outdoors – especially near the water – can make us happier.
  • The holidays can be a stressful time, even for the happiest among us – an estimated 44% of women and 31% of men get the “holiday blues.”
  • Happiness is contagious! When we spend time around happy people, we’re likely to get a boost of happiness as well.

Newman (2015) is the source for the first six facts and findings, and Florentine (2016) for the latter 11 .

Happiness as a Social Emotion.

Feeling blue? Treat yourself to a decadent dessert.

Feeling frustrated after an argument with a friend? Skip your workout and have an extra scoop of ice cream.

The message is clear: If you want to feel happy, you should focus on your own wishes and desires. Yet this is not the advice that many people grew up hearing. Indeed, most of the world’s religions (and grandmothers everywhere) have long suggested that people should focus on others first and themselves second.

Psychologists refer to such behavior as prosocial behavior and many recent studies have shown that when people have a prosocial focus, doing kind acts for others, their own happiness increases.

But how does prosocial behavior compare to treating yourself in terms of your happiness? And does treating yourself really make you feel happy?

Nelson et al. (2016) presented their research answering these questions.

Participants were divided into four groups and given new instructions each week for four weeks.

One group was instructed to perform random acts of kindness for themselves (such as going shopping or enjoying a favorite hobby); the second group was instructed to perform acts of kindness for others (such as visiting an elderly relative or helping someone carry groceries); the third group was instructed to perform acts of kindness to improve the world (such as recycling or donating to charity); the fourth group was instructed to keep track of their daily activities.

Each week, the participants reported their activities from the previous week, as well as their experience of positive and negative emotions.

At the beginning, the end, and again two weeks after the four-week period, participants completed a questionnaire to assess their psychological flourishing. As a measure of overall happiness, the questionnaire included questions about psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing .

The Results

The results of the study were striking. Only participants who engaged in prosocial behavior demonstrated improvements in psychological flourishing.

Participants who practiced prosocial behavior demonstrated increases in positive emotions from one week to the next. In turn, these increases in feelings such as happiness, joy, and enjoyment predicted increases in psychological flourishing at the end of the study. In other words, positive emotions appeared to have been a critical ingredient linking prosocial behavior to increases in flourishing.

But what about the people who treated themselves?

They did not show the same increases in positive emotions or psychological flourishing as those who engaged in acts of kindness. In fact, people who treated themselves did not differ in positive emotions, negative emotions, or psychological flourishing over the course of the study compared to those who merely kept track of their daily activities.

This research does not say that we shouldn’t treat ourselves, show ourselves self-love when we need it, or enjoy our relaxation when we have it. However, the results of this study strongly suggest that we are more likely to reach greater levels of happiness when we exhibit prosocial behavior and show others kindness through our actions.

happiness scales

In world economic circles, Richard Easterlin investigated the relationship between money and wellbeing.

The Easterlin paradox—”money does not buy happiness” (Mohun, 2012)—sparked a new wave of thinking about wealth and wellbeing.

In 1972, Bhutan chose to pursue a policy of happiness rather than a focus on economic growth tracked via their gross domestic product (GDPP). Subsequently, this little nation has been among the happiest, ranking amongst nations with far superior wealth (Kelly, 2012).

More global organizations and nations are becoming aware and supportive of the importance of happiness in today’s world. This has lead to The United Nations inviting nations to take part in a happiness survey, resulting in the “ World Happiness Report ,” a basis from which to steer public policy. Learn about the World Happiness Report for 2016 .

The United Nations also established  World Happiness Day , March 20 th , which was the result of efforts of the Bhutan Kingdom and their Gross National Happiness initiative (Helliwell et al., 2013).

Organizations such as the  New Economic Foundation are playing an influential role as an economic think tank that focuses on steering economic policy and development for the betterment of human wellbeing.

Ruut Veenhoven, a world authority on the scientific study of happiness, was one of the sources of inspiration for the United Nations General Assembly (2013) adopting happiness measures. Veenhoven is a founding member of the World Database of Happiness , which is a comprehensive scientific repository of happiness measures worldwide.

The objective of this organization is to provide a coordinated collection of data, with common interpretation according to a scientifically validated happiness theory, model, and body of research.

what makes you happy in your life essay

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At this point, you might be wondering: Is it possible to measure happiness? Many psychologists have devoted their careers to answering this question and in short, the answer is yes.

Happiness can be measured by these three factors: the presence of positive emotions, the absence of negative emotions, and life satisfaction (Ryan & Deci, 2001). It is a uniquely subjective experience, which means that nobody is better at reporting on someone’s happiness than the individuals themselves.

For this reason scales, self-report measures, and questionnaires are the most common formats for measuring happiness. The most recognized examples are the following:

  • The PANAS (Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule);
  • The SWLS (Satisfaction With Life Scale) ;
  • The SHS (Subjective Happiness Scale)

However, there are  many instruments available to measure happiness that have proven reliable and valid over time (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011).

global happiness

Of the four dimensions, satisfaction is our personal subjective measure of happiness as we interpret life as a whole. Veenhoven’s (2010) global research into happiness suggests that happiness is possible for many.

This is an overview of his Four Qualities:

Outer Qualities Inner Qualities
Life Chances Liveability of Environment Life-ability of Individual
Life Results Utility of Life Satisfaction

Using Veenhoven’s Four Qualities it is possible to assess the happiness of any country.

Liveability of environment

This dimension includes factors such as law, freedom, schooling, employment, electricity or gas, etc. It is a measurement of how well an environment meets what Maslow proposed as our basic needs (safety, security, shelter, food) (Maslow, 1943).

Life-ability of individuals

The ability of individuals to deal with life is important; both mental and physical health are identified as important factors, together with social values of solidarity, tolerance, and love (Veenhoven, 2010).

Utility of life

In this dimension, Veenhoven (2010) references a higher-order meaning, for example, religious affiliations.

Uchida et al. (2014) found that high levels of national disaster negatively impacted a nation’s level of happiness.


Happiness is a complex construct that cannot be directly controlled. Through policy and individual and organizational action, one can endeavor to influence and increase happiness (Veenhoven, 2010).

However, happiness is a subjective experience and only once we change the way we perceive the world can we really begin sharing and creating happiness for others.

But is it possible to train yourself to be happier?

The answer is yes!

How to Train Your Brain for Happiness

At birth, our genetics provide us a set point that accounts for some portion of our happiness. Having enough food, shelter, and safety account for another portion.

There’s also quite a bit of happiness that’s entirely up to us (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005).

By training our brain through awareness and exercises to think in a happier, more optimistic, and more resilient way, we can effectively train our brains for happiness.

New discoveries in the field of positive psychology show that physical health, psychological wellbeing, and physiological functioning are all improved by how we learn to “feel good” (Fredrickson, et al., 2000).

What Are The Patterns We Need To “Train Out” of Our Brains?

  • Perfectionism  – Often confused with conscientiousness, which involves appropriate and tangible expectations, perfectionism involves inappropriate levels of expectations and intangible goals. It often produces problems for adults, adolescents, and children.
  • Social comparison  – When we compare ourselves to others we often find ourselves lacking. Healthy social comparison is about finding what you admire in others and learning to strive for those qualities. However, the best comparisons we can make are with ourselves. How are you better than you were in the past?
  • Materialism – Attaching our happiness to external things and material wealth is dangerous, as we can lose our happiness if our material circumstances change (Carter & Gilovich, 2010).
  • Maximizing  – Maximizers search for better options even when they are satisfied. This leaves them little time to be present for the good moments in their lives and with very little gratitude (Schwartz et al., 2002).

Misconceptions About Mind Training

Some of the misconceptions about retraining your brain are simply untrue. Here are a few myths that need debunking:

1. We are products of our genetics so we cannot create change in our brains.

Our minds are malleable. Ten years ago we thought brain pathways were set in early childhood. In fact, we now know that there is huge potential for large changes through to your twenties, and neuroplasticity is still changing throughout one’s life.

The myelin sheath that covers your neural pathways gets thicker and stronger the more it is used (think of the plastic protective covering on wires); the more a pathway is used, the stronger the myelin and the faster the neural pathway. Simply put, when you practice feeling grateful, you notice more things to be grateful for.

2. Brain training is brainwashing.

Brainwashing is an involuntary change. If we focus on training our mind to see the glass half full instead of half empty, that is a choice.

3. If we are too happy we run the risk of becoming overly optimistic.

There is no such thing as overly optimistic, and science shows that brain training for positivity includes practices like  mindfulness and gratitude. No one has ever overdosed on these habits.

How Is The Brain Wired For Happiness?

Can You Train Your Mind for Happiness? - Brain scan

Our brains come already designed for happiness. We have caregiving systems in place for eye contact, touch, and vocalizations to let others know we are trustworthy and secure .

Our brains also regulate chemicals like oxytocin.

People who have more oxytocin trust more readily, have increased tendencies towards monogamy, and exhibit more caregiving behavior. These behaviors reduce stress which lowers production of hormones like cortisol and inhibits the cardiovascular response to stress (Kosfeld et al., 2005).

The following TED talk provides an insight into how we can overcome our negative mental patterns:

If happiness has little to do with having too many resources, then it is an inner state that we have the power to cultivate. The above video even offers specific exercises for you to try. Just by doing them, you are actively re-wiring your brain towards calm and happy sensations.

Meanwhile, this TED talk gives a better understanding of how to wire your brain to accept the positivity and happiness in your life:

The negativity bias that Dr. Rick Hanson discusses can help us understand how we can activate and “install” positive thinking as part of our core brain chemistry. If you don’t have a moment to watch either of these videos now, make time for it later—they are rich with relevant data and tips.

what makes you happy in your life essay

17 Exercises To Increase Happiness and Wellbeing

Add these 17 Happiness & Subjective Well-Being Exercises [PDF] to your toolkit and help others experience greater purpose, meaning, and positive emotions.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

Happiness is the overall subjective experience of our positive emotions. There are many factors which influence our happiness, and ongoing research continues to uncover what makes us happiest.

This global pursuit of happiness has resulted in measures such as the World Happiness Report, while the World Happiness Database is working to collaborate and consolidate the existing happiness pursuits of different nations.

We are living in a time when the conditions for happiness are known. This can be disheartening at times when there is much negativity in the world.

There is, however, good news in this situation: neuroplasticity.

The human brain is wired for happiness and positive connections with others. It is actually possible to experience and learn happiness despite what has been genetically hardwired.

In a world where the focus on happiness is growing and the mirror is turning back towards ourselves, the happiness of the world relies on the happiness within each one of us and how we act, share, and voice the importance of happiness for everyone.

What are the steps you are taking to make yourself and others happier? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Happiness Exercises for free .

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  • Fang, S., Galambos, N. L., Johnson, M. D., & Krahn, H. J. (2018). Happiness is the way: Paths to civic engagement between young adulthood and midlife.  International Journal of Behavioral Development, 42 (4), 425–433.
  • Fisher, C. D. (2010). Happiness at work.  International Journal of Management Reviews ,  12 (4), 384–412.
  • Florentine, E. (2016, July 1).  11 Scientific facts about happiness.  Bustle . Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/articles/169675-11-scientific-facts-about-happiness-that-youll-want-to-know.
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  • Happify Daily. (n.d.).  What is the science of happiness? Retrieved from https://www.happify.com/hd/what-is-the-science-of-happiness/.
  • Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research, and applications . Open University Press.
  • Helliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2013) . World happiness report 2013. United Nations.
  • Kahneman, D., & Deaton, A. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being.  Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences ,  107 (38), 16489–16493.
  • Kelly, A. (2012) Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world. The Guardian . Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/01/bhutan-wealth-happiness-counts?CMP=share_btn_link
  • Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in human s . Nature , 435 (7042), 673–676.
  • Krause, N., Ironson, G., & Hill, P. (2018). Religious involvement and happiness: Assessing the mediating role of compassion and helping others.  The Journal of Social Psychology ,  158 (2), 256–270.
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  • Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation . Psychological Review , 50 (4), 370.
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  • Mohun, J. (2012) The economics book . DK.
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  • Newman, K. M. (2015, July 28). Six ways happiness is good for your health . Greater Good Magazine .  Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/six_ways_happiness_is_good_for_your_health
  • Rodas, M. A., Ahluwalia, R., & Olson, N. J. (2018). A path to more enduring happiness: Take a detour from specific emotional goals.  Journal of Consumer Psychology, 28 (4), 673–681.
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  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Reviews Psychology, 52 , 141–66.
  • Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. H. (2006). Know Thyself and Become What You Are: A Eudemonic approach to psychological well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies 9:13 -39, 2008.
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  • Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, (2006). Achieving Sustainable Gains in Happiness: Change your actions, not your circumstances . Journal of Happiness Studies (2006) 7:55-86.
  • Uchida, Y., Takahashi, Y., & Kawahara, K. (2014). Changes in hedonic and eudaimonic well-being after a severe nationwide disaster: The case of the great east Japan earthquake . Journal of Happiness Studies, 15 , 207–221.
  • United Nations General Assembly. (2013).  Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development.  Sixty-seventh session Agenda item 14. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/67/697
  • Veenhoven, R. (2000). The four qualities of life: Ordering concepts and measures of the good life . Journal of Happiness Studies ,  1 , 1–39.
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  • Walsh, L. C., Boehm, J. K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2018). Does happiness promote career success? Revisiting the evidence.  Journal of Career Assessment, 26 (2), 199–219.

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Thank you for this beautiful well written article. I came across it during my research regarding the science of happiness. The beauty in writing this post is the power to influence souls in a positive manner many who you will not meet.

Sending some love and light to you and all those who get to read your blog.

Ajit Singh

Being in the field of Human Resource for four decades, coming across and dealing with millions of minds, after reading your article, gives a feeling that I have learnt something new today…

Thank you and congratulations for such a informative work.

God bless…


Thank you for your search light into one of the nerve center of our generation. i will like to use part of this in my upcoming book

Prabodh Sirur

Hello Katherine, Now reading https://positivepsychology.com/happiness/ Salute to you for enriching us. Nearly hundred of us relatives are creating an audio book for our blind uncle about life skills. Any quote from you that I can add in the document? Will be grateful. regards, Prabodh Sirur

Nicole Celestine

Hi Prabodh,

Wow, that sounds like a lovely gift for your uncle! We actually have a couple of posts containing quotes about happiness, so you may want to take a look at those for some inspiration. You can find those here and here .

Hope this helps, and good luck with the audiobook!

– Nicole | Community Manager

sareh pasha

Thanks for your article, I translated this article for a mental health lesson and I really enjoyed this article.


Thank you for this super helpful article!!

Srinivas Kandi

Thank You for such an Informative and Detailed Article on Science of Happiness. I am a Budding Happiness Life Coach and stumbled on this Article. This gives me more understanding of Happiness in Scientific way, with your permission, I would like to share my learning in my course. Thank You and looking forward for more such Articles. Thank You and God Bless You

Hi Srinivas, Thank you for your lovely feedback. We’re glad you liked the article. Feel free to share it with others by clicking ‘Yes’ on the ‘Was this article useful to you’ button. From there, a range of sharing options will appear. – Nicole | Community Manager

eirebi albogasim

Thanks, very nice lecture and informative But I wish to know more about role of religious effects on Happiness? another thing is it ok to translate lecture to other language and share it? Regards Dr Eirebi Albogasim

Hi Dr. Albogasim, Thanks for reading. There’s quite a bit of research showing that those who practice religion tend to be happier than the general population ( here’s an article on the topic). And yes, feel free to translate and share the lecture. – Nicole | Community Manager

Ramesh Thota

I stumbled on your article as I am researching on Happiness to publish my 3rd book. Thanks for sharing! A very elaborate and informative article. The “Take home message” is very encouraging. And I vouch for the neuroplasticity of the brain. We can train ourselves to be Happy. Once we change our attitude, it is easy to be Happy. I learnt how to be Happy at the age of 23. Few years back I posted an article sharing my findings on Happiness in this Linked-in forum. Please see the link for the same https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/easy-happy-ramesh-thota-pmp-cqa/ . Appreciate if you can share your views.

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what makes you happy in your life essay

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3 Happiness Exercises Pack [PDF]

What Is Happiness Essay

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
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What is happiness? We can ask hundreds of people, and each of them would probably give different answers. One would say that happiness is to be with a loved one, the second would say that happiness is the stability, and the third, on the contrary, would say that happiness is the unpredictability. For someone, to be happy is to have a lot of money while for others – to be popular. All in all, there are plenty of different understandings of happiness.

Personally, I consider happiness as simplicity and peace when my family and friends are healthy and happy as well. I recognize that they all are dear to me and able to understand what is going on inside me. I know that they will support me in any situation doing everything that depends on them. In return, I am also ready to do much for them. What we do for others, helping them when they need our help, advice, or support and obtaining appreciation, is happiness because helping others, we are doing something very significant and necessary.

What does it mean to be happy? I think it is, primarily, a state of mind, it means to have harmony with yourself and the people around. Happiness is multi-faceted. Perhaps, the word “love” is the most appropriate one to describe my happiness as love is driven by our world. People create wonderful things concerning their job, hobby, or family. Love is life, and I am happy when I realize that I live up to the hilt.

However, some people might be unhappy even though they should be. For example, teenagers who have everything to live a happy life, including healthy family, close friends, and enough money to satisfy basic needs, ask their parents to buy the latest model of IPhone. In the case, parents could not afford it, some teenagers tend to feel unhappy. After all, one can be a successful leader and have millions as well as prestige, but do not have a loving family and emotional harmony.

In my opinion, material values are not a true measure of happiness. Happiness is the ability to be optimistic in spite of difficulties and the ability to overcome them successfully. Finally, challenges should be taken as the lessons that life presents us. Even the negative things teach something, give a new experience, or refer to the correct direction.

I believe that happiness is not a gift and not a given right as every person has its own happiness inside. Moreover, it is never too late to become happy. We can inspire and motivate ourselves and others to be happy. A stranger’s passing smile, warm rays of the sun penetrating the window, or a cup of freshly brewed coffee – happiness is in detail. Everyone chooses and prefers different sources. It is of great importance for people to enjoy moments of life, even the most insignificant ones.

We need to appreciate every moment in our lives remembering that happiness is within us. After all, time passes, and we are getting hurt by the fact that we did not appreciate the time when we had a chance. Therefore, living in peace and harmony with others, helping those who need your help, and avoiding things that you would regret about in future are paramount ways to find happiness and make others happy.

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What Is Happiness? – My Essay On Defining Your Happiness

what makes you happy in your life essay

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Updated on July 11, 2023

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Happiness is probably the most pursued factor in life, above wealth, health, and good relationships. We all want to be happy, above everything else, right? Who cares about money when you’re not happy? Who cares about friends when you’re not happy with who you are? Who cares about good health if you’re lonely and depressed?

Happiness is the thing that most people want, yet it is one of the most difficult aspects of life to quantify. How do we measure happiness? How do we define happiness? What is happiness!? This is an essay that explores the many different faces of happiness. As you’ll learn, happiness doesn’t have a single universal definition. Its definition is unique for every single human being out there. Including you.

After reading this essay, you’ll know exactly what happiness is, how to define it for yourself, and even how to find it based on actionable advice.

Definition of happiness

Happiness synonyms, different kinds of happiness, a happy balance, why eternal happiness doesn’t exist, why eternal happiness can still be pursued, defining your own happiness, closing words, what is happiness.

Before starting this essay about happiness, we must at least have a broad idea of what happiness is. Let’s first have a look at how happiness is defined across the web.

Definitions of happiness vary quite a bit across multiple sources. Google thinks happiness is defined as follows:

The state of being happy

happiness definition google

You can see how Google is pretty vague about the definition of happiness. Furthermore, it quickly follows with a long list of synonyms.

Wikipedia has a much more interesting definition of what happiness is.

The feeling of an emotion such as pleasure or joy, the appraisal of life satisfaction or the quality of life, subjective well-being and eudaimonia.

happiness definition wikipedia

Lesson learned? It is really difficult to find a universally correct and agreed-upon definition of what happiness really is.

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Think of all the synonyms that we use to describe feelings that are similar to happiness.

What I like about Google is that it shows synonyms of happiness to people that are looking for its definition.

It’s like they’re saying: “Hey, we don’t know exactly how to define happiness, but here are a couple of concepts that we believe are very much similar!”

The list of synonyms is quite big:

  • Contentment
  • Satisfaction
  • Carefreeness

I think there is a lot we can learn just from the fact that happiness has so many synonyms.

Why? Because these synonyms are all specific variants of what happiness means to me. And I bet you feel the same.

All these different emotions are part of what happiness truly is. And that’s what makes happiness so incredibly difficult to define and measure. It’s a weighted average of all these different synonyms, and the equation of happiness truly changes per person . I’ll even go as far as to say that the happiness equation changes per person per day.

If pleasure makes me happy today, it doesn’t mean that that same amount of pleasure makes me happy tomorrow.

If short-term satisfaction made me happy yesterday, then it won’t necessarily make me happy next week.

happiness definitions and synonyms

What I want you to realize is that your personal definition of happiness is unique. What makes you happy doesn’t necessarily make another person happy. In fact, your definition of happiness is likely a combination of satisfaction, cheeriness, merriment, and jollity.

But the way you personally define happiness will likely change from day to day as well.

And that’s one of the most critical aspects of happiness. That’s also why it’s supposedly so hard to measure and quantify. Here’s an entire article I wrote recently about how difficult it is to define happiness, but you can still try for yourself !

Still with me? Good, because I’m going to add yet another reason why happiness is such a difficult thing to measure!

There are different kinds of happiness. Not just in the way we define happiness, but also in the way we experience it.

As part of this essay, I want to introduce the concepts of short-term and long-term happiness.

Short-term happiness

Short-term happiness is relatively easy to explain. It’s based on small and easy to obtain, yet rather unsustainable happiness. When looking at the list of happiness synonyms, I think the following concepts are clearly centered around short-term happiness:

You see, short-term happiness is based on the release of the chemical dopamine in our brain . This organic chemical is released whenever we are stimulated by things that please us. Some examples are sex, having a laugh with friends, finishing a race, watching a funny video online, or watching an exciting game of football. A more extreme example is drugs.

These things result in short-term happiness because dopamine is released based on a single event. When this event is over, the pleasure is gone. That’s why I consider this to be short-term happiness.

And then there is long-term happiness.

Long-term happiness

Long-term happiness is a little bit harder to explain because it revolves around other concepts of happiness. Instead of joy, pleasure, and ecstasy, the concepts that make up long-term happiness are:

I hope you can spot the difference here. Long-term happiness is created by feeling happy about your purpose in life, the successes that you’ve had and/or the satisfaction of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Long-term happiness is based on concepts that are not created by a single event. For example, I’m happy at the moment because I’m grateful for the life that I have right now. This happiness is not caused by something I’m doing at this very moment. No, I’m happy because I work hard and have achieved things that I am proud of. I have created a situation in which I am happy by default, without having to rely on single events.

happiness long-term vs short-term balance

Now that you are aware of these two different kinds of happiness, I want you to picture some scenarios.

  • Picture a life in which you spent your youth partying, doing whatever you want to do, using drugs and living without planning for a good future. Sure, you feel pretty happy when doing these things, but you can probably see how this lifestyle will eventually catch up with you, right?

You might have guessed it, but this scenario is focused exclusively on short-term happiness. And the simple fact is that pursuing nothing but short-term happiness does not lead to a sustainable happy life.

Now picture the following scenario:

  • You’re in your early twenties and want to become the next Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. You have great ambitions and are incredibly disciplined and inspired to become everything that you think you can become. You spend an incredible amount of time working on your projects, and you even make sacrifices just for the sake of your goals. You don’t have time for sleep, social activities or relationships. Hell, even your health starts to decline. It doesn’t matter though, because you eventually want to reach your goals, and then you’ll be happy right?

This is another extreme example of happiness. You can probably see how this person is very likely unhappy. He is spending the best years of his life making sacrifices in anticipation of what he eventually wants to become. For a lot of people, this sounds like a logical decision. But to me, this sounds like a huge mistake. You might feel satisfied with the progress you’re making, but are you truly happy? If you get in a fatal car crash tomorrow, would you have any regrets?

I want you to think about this for a moment since a lot of people in industrialized countries have the urge to constantly be planning for the future. And while this is not a bad thing in principle, we often take it too far. As a result, we are constantly sprinting from one deadline to the other. Sure, you want to plan for a happy future, but what’s the point of all of this when you’re not happy in the process itself?

The thing is, these extreme examples are not something that you should want. You can only lead a truly happy life when you actively pursue both short-term and long-term happiness.

It’s important to find out what your perfect balance is.

I’m not here to tell you that you should focus 50% of your attention on short-term happiness and the other 50% on long-term happiness. No. I’m here to tell you that you should be aware of your own happiness. Every single person on this planet has a different definition of happiness. You need to find out what happiness means to you, and how you want to pursue it.

They say happiness is a journey and not a destination. I think happiness can – and should – be both.

For me personally, I often notice how much short-term happiness I’m sacrificing in anticipation of long-term happiness. Some examples:

  • I go out for a long-distance training run in the pouring rain because I want to eventually finish another marathon in 3 months. I don’t even enjoy the long-distance run but I think that it will eventually lead to a great finish time, and thus long-term happiness.
  • Instead of just playing a videogame, I decide to write an essay about my understanding of happiness. Why? Because I think it will grow my website, which will make me happy in the long run.
  • I skip a nice snack because I want to maintain my weight

These are some real examples of how I’ve been sacrificing my short-term happiness for long-term happiness. I want you to think of a couple of examples for yourself. Have you ever made a bad decision that resulted in a decreased level of happiness?

Think about some real scenarios that you’ve experienced and whether you should have acted differently.

I’m not saying that sacrificing short-term happiness for long-term happiness is bad. I just want you to know that you need to find a balance. For example, I do actually want to finish my next marathon within a decent time, but I’m not going to make myself miserable by pushing myself to the limit in preparation. That’s not the balance that I’m after.

The thing is, realizing the difference between short-term and long-term happiness makes it easier for us to pursue happiness in our lives.

Pursue happiness, you ask?

Yes! I believe that happiness can actively be pursued and that you can steer your life in the best direction possible by doing this. However, there are a number of people that believe that pursuing happiness is a loser’s game. These people argue that by pursuing happiness , you’ll be more tempted to choose short-term happiness over long-term happiness. This is where the hedonic treadmill will quickly evaporate whatever happiness you’ve created for yourself.

The hedonic treadmill

Imagine something that you would really like to do right now.

What did you think of? Taking a long warm bath? Drinking wine with your friends? Going to an amusement park?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could do that right now? That would definitely have a positive influence on your happiness, right?

Now think about doing that exact thing every day, for the rest of your life, until the day you die.

Do you think you’d still be happy from doing that same thing after the 10th time? Or the 100th time? Or the 1000th time?

The answer is probably no. Even though this example is extreme, the theory of diminishing returns applies here. When repeated, the effect of the same event on your happiness will diminish to zero. That’s because the norms of what defines your happiness are constantly adapting. Your happiness equation transforms with your changing life, whether it’s for better or worse.

One of the best examples of this hedonic treadmill is the following:

Think of a big salary bump. You receive a raise of 50%! Congratulations, you now have money to spend on all kinds of things that make you and your family happy ! Will that happiness sustain into the future? Unfortunately not. Instead of appreciating the luxury of your raise, you will grow accustomed to this extra money and will slowly take it for granted. This adaptation is known as the hedonic treadmill , and it is generally conceived as the arch-enemy of happiness.

what is happiness essay hedonic treadmill

Now that you know what this hedonic treadmill is, it might seem like a waste of time to continue reading this essay, right?

NO! While the hedonic treadmill is very much real – I’ll never deny that – I don’t want you to think that greater happiness can’t be achieved. You just need to be willing to actively look for it in the right places.

See, nobody on the internet will be able to define happiness for you. What makes you happy is a constantly changing equation that is unique in every way. Why would you believe some scientist when he or she claims that happiness is impossible to pursue? What does that scientist know about you? Nothing!

It’s up to you to define what makes you happy.

How to find your own happiness

By now, you should know 3 things:

  • Your happiness equation is unique. Nobody can tell you what exactly to do in order to be happy.
  • You can pursue both short-term happiness and long-term happiness. The key is to find the perfect balance between the two. You can be happy on the journey towards a happy future.
  • The hedonic treadmill will diminish the effect events have on your happiness over time.

Let’s combine this knowledge. I want you to realize that you can learn more about your own happiness equation. You can find out what it is that makes you happy.

Got it? Good, because the next step is to define what the difference is between short-term and long-term happiness. You have to find out how much you value your happiness on the journey itself and how much of that happiness you want to sacrifice by investing in a potentially happier future.

Now, what if I told you that a perfect balance between long-term and short-term happiness can limit the effect that the hedonic treadmill has on you?

Yes, by consciously varying the pursuit of short-term and long-term happiness, you can vary the factors in your life in a way that leads to greater happiness. If you are aware of your own happiness equation, you’re able to pursue happiness in the areas where it matters the most.

What I want you to do is consider your personal happiness again for a moment.

Think back at the last week, and remember what things or events had a positive influence on your happiness. Think of the things that really made you smile or feel satisfied with where you were or how you acted.

What came to your mind? Was it work? Was it your relationship? Was it that silly movie you watched? Was it a nice sunny day spent outside? It could be literally anything! What I want most of all now is that you realize how you just measured a part of your happiness.

You see, even though happiness is claimed to be the factor of life that’s the most difficult to measure, you can still measure what is currently part of your happiness equation. It’s simple. For me personally, when I think back to yesterday, I remember that I really enjoyed spending time with my girlfriend, walking through the woods on a sunny day, and just relaxing (a.k.a. doing nothing!)

These are happiness factors that were a vital part of my happiness equation yesterday. It was a weekend day after a long and busy week at work, so I was really trying to find some short-term happiness. The things that I did yesterday were perfect, as it was a very happy day for me.

You should not be surprised if I told you that I was consciously trying to be happy by spending my day doing things that satisfied my short-term happiness.

You can do exactly the same. All you need to do is to define your own happiness.

And with that said, I want to conclude this essay about happiness. Happiness is different for every single human being on this planet. If you arrived at this essay without having a clear idea of what happiness is, I hope you now know that your personal happiness can be defined, measured, and quantified. But only YOU can do this, no one else will be able to tell you what happiness really is. If you are willing to actively pursue greater happiness, I believe you can steer your life in the best direction.

Now it’s time to hear from you! How do you define your own happiness right now? What has been your biggest happiness factor last week? Do you think you can learn from your own happiness?

I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!


Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

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How to Make Yourself Happy

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

what makes you happy in your life essay

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

what makes you happy in your life essay

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Identify What Makes You Happy

Factors that boost happiness.

  • How Attitude Affects Happiness

Finding Balance

Work toward your goals, daily happiness habits.

How can you make yourself happy? This question lies at the heart of many goals that people pursue. Happiness , often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction, can indeed be cultivated in several ways. In addition to adding happiness-inducing elements to your lifestyle, you can also work on your habitual thought patterns to foster a more optimistic outlook.

In order to make yourself happy, you should explore the current state of your life, assess your level of happiness, and find a direction to work toward that will likely bring greater joy and contentment. Keep in mind, however, that happiness means different things to different people.

The first step to making yourself happy is to figure out what things in life bring you joy and contentment. This means assessing the things that actually bring you joy and not what societal expectations tell you about joy.

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the idea of what you think will make you happy rather than what actually does. People strive for that perfect relationship, the perfect house, the beautiful body, the approval of others, all in an attempt to be happy.

Sometimes these things make us happy; other times, we stress over not having reached our goals, or we reach them and find that we’re still not happy. Other times, we focus so intensely on one goal that’s thought to bring happiness that we don’t have time for other things in our life that will make us truly happy.

Positive psychology experts—those who study human happiness and the factors that contribute to it—have identified several key areas of life that seem to be more related to personal happiness . Some factors include:

  • Living conditions
  • Neighborhood
  • Spirituality
  • Community involvement
  • Sense of meaning and purpose in life

Being dissatisfied with some of these areas is not necessarily a recipe for unhappiness and being satisfied in most of these areas is no guarantee for a life of bliss. However, if you’re more satisfied with these areas of your life, you tend to be happier in general.

Focusing on some of these key areas may help increase your levels of happiness in your daily life. Look for ways that you can make changes, even if they are just small changes at first, that will help you feel more content. Making healthy choices, getting involved in things you are passionate about, and developing a strong social support network may help.

Press Play for Mental Strength Tips

Hosted by Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares five mental strength exercises you can do right from your couch (like practicing gratitude). Click below to listen now.

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How Your Attitude Affects Happiness

Lifestyle, however, is only part of the happiness equation. Your attitude about life and the things that happen to you each day can also greatly impact your overall level of happiness and life satisfaction.

It’s probably no secret that optimists tend to be happier people, but you may not realize that there’s more to optimism than "putting on a happy face" or "looking on the bright side." There are specific traits that bring optimists more success, greater health, and increased life satisfaction.

Cultivating the mind of an optimist can not only mean cultivating happiness, regardless of your circumstance, but it can actually bring more things into your life to be happy about.

In addition to optimism , happy people tend to have an internal locus of control . Simply put, they tend to believe that they are the masters of their fate rather than the victims of circumstance.

When you view the stressors of your life as a challenge rather than a threat, you tend to come up with more effective solutions. You also feel more exhilarated (rather than drained) as you tackle these circumstances.

Many people pursue goals that they expect will make them happy, but happiness isn’t always the end result. We all know people who have put everything they have into their careers—at the expense of their personal lives—only to wonder why they’re successful and still unhappy.

It’s also all too common for people to be surrounded by a beautiful home, expensive cars, designer clothes (and sometimes mounds of debt) and still have less personal satisfaction with life than they had without all the “stuff.” So how can you know which goals will garner personal happiness and which won’t?

In order to make yourself happy, you need to find balance. A good job and financial stability can be important for happiness, but you must also balance those things with other factors that promote happiness including your health, your relationships, and other meaningful pursuits.

There's no happiness quick fix. It's a balancing act, so don't devote the lion’s share of energy to pursuing a single goal to the exclusion of other important lifestyle factors.

As you set your goals, remember all of the areas of life that are important to you. Map out a detailed description of how you would like your whole life to look, or set goals and develop healthy habits for a different area of your life each month.

Whether setting goals as New Year’s resolutions or as part of a quest for an improved life, many people sabotage themselves from the beginning by expecting too much and setting themselves up to fail.

For example, many people expect to immediately change their habits out of sheer willpower; any slip-ups are experienced as "failures" and too often contribute to an abandonment of the goal and feelings of defeat.

If you’re trying to make positive changes in your life, it’s important to set yourself up to succeed:

  • First, set small, attainable goals . Work your way into a new habit with baby steps, and you’ll feel more successful every step of the way, and be less likely to give up.
  • Next, reward your progress. For each small goal you reach, allow yourself to feel pride, and perhaps give yourself a small reward.
  • Don’t forget to enlist social support . Tell the supportive people in your life what you’re attempting to achieve, and tell them about your successes . This will give you added strength, and will make it less appealing to give up (and have to explain yourself to those close to you).

Like everything else, making yourself happier is a process, so give yourself time to make the changes and see the changes.

While it is important to pursue long-term solutions to promote your happiness, there are also small things you can do that can make you happier in the present moment. Some of these include:

  • Keep a gratitude journal . Research suggests that feeling a greater sense of gratitude may also promote more feelings of happiness. In one study, participants wrote a daily gratitude list for 14 days and later showed higher levels of positive feeling, greater subjective happiness, and an increase life satisfaction.
  • Go for a walk . Research has shown that walking can be a great way to boost mood. Exercise itself can have a positive impact on mood and mental well-being, but you can maximize the impact by going for a stroll outdoors if possible. Physical movement, spending time in nature, and getting some exposure to sunlight can all be great ways to boost your feelings of happiness in the present moment.
  • Seek wonder . Studies have found that people who experience a sense of awe tend to have lower stress and greater feelings of satisfaction. You can increase your chances of having awe-inspiring peak experiences by staying curious about the world around you. Work on learning new things, pay attention to your environment, and focus on living in the moment .

If you are struggling to find happiness and coping with feelings of low mood, consider talking to your doctor or mental health professional . Feelings of unhappiness may be a symptom of depression . Talking to a professional can help you get the treatment you need to feel better, which may involve psychotherapy , medication, or a combination of both.

A Word From Verywell

Finding ways to make yourself happy often starts with small steps that help you work toward long-term goals. So spend some time thinking about the things that will help you feel happy and satisfied in your life and consider some of the ways that you can work toward some of those goals. 

Just remember that happiness isn't a destination. It is a process of creating a life that brings you joy, purpose, and fulfillment. You don't need to wait to become happy; there are steps you can take each day to feel better and more content.

Cunha LF, Pellanda LC, Reppold CT. Positive psychology and gratitude interventions: a randomized clinical trial .  Front Psychol . 2019;10:584. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00584

Miller JC, Krizan Z. Walking facilitates positive affect (even when expecting the opposite) . Emotion . 2016;16(5):775-85. doi: 10.1037/a0040270

Stellar JE, John-Henderson N, Anderson CL, Gordon AM, McNeil GD, Keltner D. Positive affect and markers of inflammation: discrete positive emotions predict lower levels of inflammatory cytokines . Emotion . 2015;15(2):129-33. doi:10.1037/emo0000033

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

EssayBanyan.com – Collections of Essay for Students of all Class in English

Essay on What makes me Happy

What makes me Happy

The word happiness when comes to our mind displays the images of a smiling or a laughing face in front of us. Isn’t it true? This is the fact that no one in this world wants to be sad. We all are in search of happiness. The way of finding happiness is different in every person in this universe. There are many things in this world that bring smiles and satisfaction to the face of people.

Short and Long Essays on What makes me Happy in English

Find here some essays of your interest:

10 Lines Essay on What makes me Happy (100 – 120 Words)

1) The thing that gives people enjoyment and pleasure makes them happy.

2) Listening to music makes me happy.

3) I love music and also sing very well.

4) Music gives me peace and relaxation.

5) When I feel bored or alone, music becomes my partner.

6) Music soothes my mind and improves my mood.

7) I feel energetic on listening to my favorite music.

8) Music is a great way to keep me motivated.

9) Music makes me happy even when I am full of anger.

10) Music and musical instruments give me internal joy and happiness.

Short Essay – 300 Words


Happiness is referred to as a good state of mind and body. People often smile, sing, and dance when they are happy. The perspective of happiness is different for everyone in this world. We all must try to find out and note down the things that can make us happy. We can do those things for getting happiness whenever we are in a bad mood or sad.

Happiness lies in enjoying small things in life

It is presumed that happiness lies in doing big things. Many of us think that earning a lot of money and holding a nice position is necessary for getting happiness. It is true that success brings happiness but it does not mean that it is only the way to be happy. In reality, happiness lies in enjoying small-small things in our life. The happiness that we get by doing these things is a very beautiful experience. I feel happy when I help my mother in her kitchen work, water the plants, eat my favorite dish, go for a walk, listen to music, play with pets, spend time with family, gossip with friends, etc. We need to find ways of getting happy instead of waiting for it to come by itself.

The beauty of nature and melody of music enhances the feeling of happiness

We must try to listen to music or feel the beauty of nature when we are happy. Happiness is enhanced when enjoyed in nature with the melody of music. Music has the power to reduce the pain of sadness. We have often noticed that people listen to music when they are very sad or depressed. It helps them in ending the pain of their sorrow and makes them feel better.

The best way to keep ourselves stress-free is to be happy. Therefore we must try to find ways to be happy and make others happy too.

In the long essay, I will be sharing some important things in my life that provide happiness to me. I hope that you all would be having such experiences in your life too. This essay will be an aid to the students in getting an idea about writing an essay, assignment, or project on this topic.

Essay on Things that make me Happy – Long Essay (1000 Words)

Life involves both, sometimes happiness and sometimes sadness. One can never be always happy or sad in their life. Happiness is always followed by sadness. Becoming happy is not very difficult but depends totally upon our perceptions. We can be happy by a number of activities like traveling, reading, shopping, cooking, etc. Our mind is full of excitement and satisfaction when we are happy and this really gets depicted on our faces.

What is Happiness?

Happiness is about getting inner satisfaction and well being of body and mind. Happiness is certainly a great feeling. It is expressed in the form of joy, excitement, pride, gratitude, etc. We all are doing some or the other thing in our lives. Everything we do in our life is only to attain happiness. I think nobody ever does anything to be sad or unhappy. When we are happy everything around us seems to be happy with us. Nothing in this world can be as beautiful as we feel when we are happy. This happiness can be gained because of numerous things in our life.

Happiness makes us optimistic as the negativity in our mind is the exchange by positive thoughts. This positive attitude makes us more enthusiastic and determined for our goals in life. Happiness is also a key to good health and success in our life.

Things that make me Happy

I strongly believe in the idea of simple living and high thinking. When it comes to the question that what makes me feel happy I am really confused. It is because I find my happiness in very small-small things in life. It will be very difficult to enlist those entire things that make me happy but I will be enlisting few important things that provide greater happiness to me.

  • My Family – Our Parents are the most precious gift by god to us on the earth. According to me, I have never seen god and therefore my parents on this earth are the form of god for me. The quality time that I spend with my family members makes me feel most happy. The intense care and love they provide us are incomparable to anything in this world. Many of the time when my parents are facing some problems or are tensed, it is also depicted on my face too. The smiling faces of my parents make me happy.
  • Some Voluntary Deeds – I used to feed dogs when I was 5 years old. Since then it came into my habit to feed the dogs and cows roaming on the roads. The day I could not feed makes me sad and worried. I find great pleasure in feeding them. I also keep some grains and water in a small bowl on my roof every day to feed and quench the thirst of the birds. This deed makes me happy and I love doing this daily.

I along with some neighborhood friends teach the poor students living nearby our colony. We teach them free of cost. I have learned about this thing from my school. In my school, some of the teachers were said to take evening classes for the poor students without any fee and therefore I thought of starting this work near my house too. This work gives me inner satisfaction that I am going a good job. The happiness that I get in this work cannot be expressed in words.

  • The Beauty of Nature with Music – I love enjoying the beauty of nature with music. The trees, birds, small animals, and their activities make me happy. Music is something that heals my every pain of life. During the morning and evening walks, I feel very happy as I am connected with nature along with the music. It is a great joy to watch the activities in nature with the melodies music. As I am fond of singing so many times I sing because of joy and excitement in my garden. I have visited and love going to the places like waterfalls, wildlife parks, and sanctuaries, and to my village. These places make me closer and connected to Mother Nature and provide immense happiness to me.

Is it Necessary to Gain Wealth and Success to be Happy in Life?

Happiness is about the feeling or emotion of the mind. We can be happy with different things in our life. It is totally a misconception that wealth and success are necessary for being happy. If it would be true then the richest people in this world would only be the happiest ones. We can find happiness in our daily routine life with very small things. It totally depends upon us to search out reasons for becoming happy in our life. Happiness arises from the things that we love to do in our life. It can never be bought with money as many times we see that even after having everything in life people are not happy. It is because they are not having those things in life they love to do or far from things that provide them the happiness.

We can find happiness in every moment we live our life. We can say that when we are happy it is easy for us to be directed towards our goal and get success in life. As positive thoughts will make you more enthusiastic and determined for your aim. It will drag every type of negativity from your mind. Success and wealth are about what have we achieved in our life but happiness is something that is felt.

Happiness lies in accepting the truth of our life and living it most gracefully by enjoying every moment of life. There will be some moments created that will make us feel happy. We love and like to live our life by doing the things that make us happy or reside with ones that make our lives a happier one. It helps in getting a peaceful mind and a healthy body. We are also enriched with positive thoughts when we are happy. It is the most beautiful feeling in this universe.

FAQs: Frequently asked Questions

Ans . It simply means getting rid of sadness and gaining the satisfaction of mind and body.

Ans . The most powerful emotion is love that ultimately makes us happy.

Ans . According to the World Happiness Report 2020, Finland is the happiest country in the world.

Ans . The International Day of Happiness is celebrated on 20th March every year since 2013.

Ans . India is ranked at 144th happiest country among 156 countries in the World Happiness Report 2020.

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Thomas R. Verny M.D.

Are You Happy?

Couples that drink together are happier. so are cheese-eaters..

Posted July 5, 2024 | Reviewed by Hara Estroff Marano

  • Different people desire many different things in their life, but—more than anything else—they want happiness.
  • Good health increases happiness, and feeling happy benefits health
  • The happiness level of people increases with income level, but only slightly.
  • To be happy, set realistic goals and have true concern for the welfare of others.

According to a new Gallup poll published in The World Global Happiness Report, if you are a Canadian your happiness index is 6.9 out of 10 (maximum happiness), if American, 6.7. Canada placed 15th among countries and the U.S. 23rd.

The happiest countries are Finland (7.7), Denmark (7.6), and Iceland (7.5). Interestingly, in both the U.S. and Canada, as well as in northern Europe, the older generation is significantly happier than the younger one.


Happiness, much like love, is one of the emotions and experiences in human life that is highly valued yet, in some ways, the most elusive. Turning to the academic literature for assistance to address this riddle, it becomes quickly apparent that happiness is complex and cannot be defined or measured by just one dimension.

Subjective well-being is a very active area of research, with about 170,000 articles and books published on the topic in the past 15 years. The studies show that certain factors— personality , health, social relationships, religious belief and employment—are strongly and positively associated with happiness. The most reliable predictors of life satisfaction are the personality traits of extraversion , conscientiousness , and emotional stability .

In addition to these traits, largely inherited genetically, are childrearing, education , and culture; lifestyle choices including healthy diet and exercise on the positive side; and, on the negative side, spending too much time watching TV or on the computer, alcoholism , and substance addictions.

All studies agree that fostering one’s physical and mental health increases a person’s chances for a happy life. The positive relationship between health and happiness is likely reciprocal: Being healthy enhances happiness and being happy benefits your health.

One such study comes from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, which collected data on 2.4 million individuals. It found potential causal evidence that better mental well-being, measured by life satisfaction, mood, neuroticism, and depressive symptoms, promotes a longer and healthier life.

A surprising finding of happiness research is that, when it focussed on 33 individuals from the European datasets, those who reported eating more cheese registered 3.67 higher in self-rated health and longer lifespan. While high-fat foods are often considered detrimental to health, studies at University College Dublin suggest that in moderation, the consumption of dairy fat can lower cholesterol and reduce mortality from all causes including cancer. Findings from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China reinforce the above and assert that cheese consumption has neutral to moderate benefits for human health.

Yew-Kwang Ng, Distinguished Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, suggests that happiness hinges on level of need satisfaction beyond the self-actualization that Abraham Maslow posited as the topmost need—beyond oneself, a concern for the welfare of others including animals.

Actions or activities that an individual undertakes to benefit or protect the environment have been shown to dramatically boost human happiness. “There is mounting evidence, from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human well¬being,” says Lisa Nisbet, a psychologist at Trent University in Ontario, who studies connectedness to nature. “You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature. And the sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature.”

The evidence does not preclude important instrumental values of happiness, including success in one’s career and productivity or work performance. In fact, Charles Henri DiMaria from the Laboratoire d’Economie d’Orléans in Paris proposes that promoting subjective well-being is not only desirable on its own but leads to higher productivity and the economic prosperity of the country.

A word about perfectionism . While it is important in life to apply oneself fully and professionally to any enterprise, striving to be the perfect son or perfect father or writing the perfect column is a sure-fire recipe for grief and disappointment. In fact, there is now research to show that, as Tzuhsuan Ma has written, "As soon as you release yourself from being perfect, you would be surprised just how many ways there are to solve a problem." Have realistic expectations and aim for very good rather than perfect, and you will enjoy life a lot more.

what makes you happy in your life essay

Does money buy happiness? The answer is, yes and no. At any given time, those with higher incomes are generally happier, both within and across nations, but over time, happiness does not increase as incomes rise. A key reason for this paradox is that our satisfaction with our income depends much on how it compares to the incomes of others.

And I cannot let you go before I tell you about a recent study by Kira Birditt, research professor at the University of Michigan who found that couples who drink together live longer. This is not advocating for increased consumption of alcohol. Rather, the study emphasizes the importance of shared lifestyle habits for both health and relationship satisfaction.

Remember, most people derive happiness by helping others in need, animals or humans. So, be prepared to sacrifice a little of your own happiness if it will increase the happiness of others.

The World Happiness Report (2024). http://doi.org/10.18724/whr-kk3m-b5862

Diener, Ed & Tay, Louis (2017). A scientific review of the remarkable benefits of happiness for successful and healthy living. In Happiness Transforming the Development Landscape (pp. 90–117). The Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH.

Amato, P. R., & James, S. L. (2018). Changes in spousal relationships over the marital life course, In: AlwinD., FelmleeD., Kreager D. (eds). Social Networks and the Life Course, Frontiers in Sociology and Social Research, vol 2. Springer, Cham, pp. 139–158.

Leng, X., Han, J., Zheng,Y. et al. (2020). The Role of a “Happy Personality” in the Relationship of Subjective Social Status and Domain-Specific Satisfaction in China

Maslow, A. H. (1954/1970a/1987). Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper & Row.

Yew-Kwang Ng (2022). Happiness, Concept, Measurement and Promotion. Springer Singapore.

Easterlin, R. A. (1973). Does money buy happiness?

Zhang, M., Dong, X., Wang, Y., ... & Giovannucci, E. L. (2023). Cheese consumption and multiple health outcomes: an umbrella review and updated meta-analysis of prospective studies. Advances in Nutrition, 14(5), 1170-1186

Thomas R. Verny M.D.

Thomas R. Verny, M.D. , the author of eight books, including The Embodied Mind , has taught at Harvard University, University of Toronto, York University, and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. His podcast, Pushing Boundaries , may be viewed on Youtube or listened to on Spotify and many other platforms.

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July 2024 magazine cover

Sticking up for yourself is no easy task. But there are concrete skills you can use to hone your assertiveness and advocate for yourself.

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Opinion: Americans are getting our ‘pursuit of happiness’ all wrong. There’s a simple fix

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When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that our unalienable rights include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, he had a very specific definition of happiness in mind. He believed that happiness was the result of living virtuously — that becoming a fully happy human required devoting yourself to service to your fellow beings.

His words galvanized generations of Americans to seek out their own personal well-being. Yet the happiness we pursue today is a far cry from that which Jefferson envisioned. It’s putting us in conflict with ourselves, and with others.

Modern Americans have been conditioned to believe that happiness is something that we get for ourselves, by ourselves, through achieving material wealth, personal success and individual gratification. I call this belief Old Happy. It is powered by systems of individualism, capitalism and domination that have fueled our culture for generations.

Senior couple driving convertible car at sunrise on rural highway

Opinion: American happiness just hit a new low. Don’t blame your parents.

The United States dropped out of the top 20 happiest nations. It’s the under 30s that are dragging us down.

March 28, 2024

Growing up in this individualistic culture, we are taught to see ourselves as separate from other people . We’re taught that happiness comes from focusing more and more on ourselves and that we can perfect and grow this happiness through personal achievement. This does not work. In one 2015 study , researchers tried to understand why Americans who aggressively pursued happiness were, in fact, more likely to be lonely and depressed. It was because they believed that focusing on themselves was the secret to finding happiness.

This belief is further amplified by the difficulties of living in our Old Happy culture. We have no social safety net and are the only developed nation that does not offer a paid family leave policy, even though years of research has found that the happiest countries are the more equal ones. We have the highest number of billionaires and millionaires of any country, who collectively could use their power and resources to permanently end the struggles of millions of Americans. We ignore decades of research that shows that the conditions people are born, grow up, live, work and age in influence up to 80% of their well-being, all the while telling people to “think their way” to happiness. In a culture like this, it can seem as if we have no choice but to retreat even deeper into our own self-interest.

MONTEREY, CA---A woman walks on a trail adjacent to the scenic Monterey harbor. The state of California has acquired many homes throughout the state through eminent domain or has received them as gifts. Many of the properties are in regions that have very high property values or are located in very desirable places to live. Some of these residences are in Monterey and Carmel. Many are offered to state employees at a highly subsidized rate or aren't utilized at all.

California politicians are exploring ways to make you happy

A newly formed state Assembly committee wants to explore what generates happiness — and how government action could help Californians be happier.

March 20, 2024

The data speak to Old Happy’s devastating impact. In March, according to Gallup data in the “World Happiness Report,” America fell out of the top 20 rankings for the first time. One in four Americans are struggling with their mental health . Fifty percent of Americans say they are lonely . Powered by the unshakable feeling that something is deeply wrong with our society, we look for something to blame it on, be it technology or generational differences or any number of other moral panics, all the while ignoring the root cause of our misery.

Believing that we are separate is what separates us from happiness. True happiness is collective. It is the experience of being connected to others, of participating in relationships of mutuality, of knowing yourself to be a needed and useful part of a greater whole. The road to true well-being is not about elevating the self, but about using the self to do good for others. Changing our perception of happiness to this interconnected one will help.

While we have tentatively started to recognize the effects that our relationships have on our physical and mental health, we haven’t used this awareness to change our culture. To do so, we must affirm and act on the fact that our relationships sustain us and that most moments of our lives demonstrate our dependence upon one another.

People celebrate the New Year on the roof of a building in Berlin, as fireworks explode in the air on January 1, 2024. (Photo by Barbara SAX / AFP) (Photo by BARBARA SAX/AFP via Getty Images)

Opinion: Resolutions aren’t the key to a happier new year. Here’s where to start

The first step to creating successful goals for 2024 is to reflect on 2023.

Jan. 2, 2024

The ice cream that you savored last night was made possible by those who crafted the flavor, tested the recipe, maintained food safety, designed the packaging, marketed the brand and shipped it to your store.

The good professional day you had yesterday was the result of supportive feedback from your boss, an interesting project that benefited your clients and a fun happy hour with colleagues.

Even if you think about something that you did on your own — for example, facing one of your fears — there was someone else who helped to make that moment possible: the parents who instilled a certain value within you, the friend who checked in beforehand, the therapist who helped you process your emotions.

Treating reliance on others like a flaw leads us to miss out on one of the most reliable sources of happiness: contributing to interconnectedness.

Several adults gather around a playground swing set. One pushes the happy child on the swing.

Op-Comic: In a year of darkness, strangers helping a family in need brought light

When the U.S. created a new path to legal immigration for Haitians fleeing a humanitarian crisis, I heard from an old friend.

Dec. 30, 2023

Many studies have demonstrated the profound ways that helping other people benefits us, affecting our physical health , longevity and happiness . Even those who are suffering benefit. In one recent study , researchers took people with depression and anxiety and split them into three groups for a five-week program. The first group was taught how to challenge their automatic negative thoughts. The second group was told to plan social activities every week. The third group was instructed to do three acts of kindness a day, twice a week. It was the third group that saw the greatest improvement in well-being, both five weeks and 10 weeks later.

If we contribute our knowledge, talents and humanity to our collective happiness rather than the pursuit of personal wealth, power and fame, personal happiness would likely also be achieved.

Our Old Happy culture did not appear out of nowhere. Human beings, operating under this flawed understanding of happiness, made it this way. This has contributed to some of the biggest problems that we collectively face, including climate change, inequality and injustice. But all is not lost. We have the power to reorient ourselves toward the promise that Jefferson wrote about: a country where everyone can be happy.

Stephanie Harrison is the founder of The New Happy, and author of “ New Happy: Getting Happiness Right in a World That’s Got It Wrong .”

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Today it seems like Americans all hate one another. But our country was founded on friendship

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FILE - The Amazon logo is seen in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020. In August 2022, Amazon has said it will spend billions of dollars in two gigantic acquisitions that, if approved, will broaden its ever growing presence in the lives of consumers. This time, the company is targeting two areas: health care and the "smart home." (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

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Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July? Everything to know about Independence Day 2024

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America will turn 248 years old this Independence Day, with all the fanfare you would expects – fireworks, cookouts, beach days, ceremonies, and more.

But sometimes reminders are needed, such as why do we all celebrate Independence Day on July 4 every year?

The immediate answer is simple, but the events leading up to America's freedom are much more complicated and involved.

Why does America celebrate the Fourth of July?

The easy answer is that July 4 is celebrated because that's the day in 1776 when the country declared its freedom from British rule by signing the Declaration of Independence .

True history buffs will know that only John Hancock penned his signature on July 4th. When the other 56 delegates of the the Continental Congress , the governing body of what were 13 U.S. colonies, signed is unclear. The document declared that the colonists in America were thereby free from British rule, even though the Revolutionary War was still raging.

There was an argument that July 4 was the wrong date to pick for the holiday.

See, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from on July 2, 1776. On that day, they voted on a resolutions that said "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

More: Are fireworks legal in RI? Here's an explanation of the laws for home use

Because of that, Massachusetts's John Adams "believed that July 2 was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4 events in protest," according to the History Channel.

For what it's worth, a month earlier Rhode Island was the first colony to renounce allegiance to Great Britain , declaring Independence by a legislative act on May 4, 1776.

How long has the Fourth of July been a federal holiday?

The U.S. Congress initially made it a federal holiday in 1870, but "in 1941, the provision was expanded to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees," according to the History Channel.

When were fireworks first used in July 4 celebrations?

That tradition began in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777, according to the History Channel .

Local Fireworks: When are the fireworks? Check our listing of July 4th fireworks and parades by date

The History Channel noted, "The  Pennsylvania Evening Post  reported: 'at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with 13 rockets) on the Commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.' That same night, the  Sons of Liberty  set off fireworks over Boston Common.'"

Celebrations were also happening in Rhode Island. Mary Gould Almy, a Tory (British sympathizer) of Newport wrote in her diary, which is at Roger Williams University Librar y, the gun salutes were fired across the state.

More: Here's a look at how RI started celebrating the Fourth of July all the way back in 1777

"This being the first anniversary of the Declaration of the Independency of the Rebel Colonies, they ushered in the morning at [Bristol] by firing 13 cannons, one for each colony, we suppose. At 12 o’clock the three Rebel Frigates that lie at and near Providence fired 13 guns, and at one [o’clock] 13 guns were fired from their fort at Howland’s Ferry [Tiverton]. At sunset, the Rebel Frigates fired another round of 13 guns each, one after the other. As the evening was very still and fine, the echo of the guns down the bay had a very grand effect…”

When was the first Bristol Fourth of July parade?

Bristol holds the distinction of oldest Independence Day Celebration in the country.

More: Going to Bristol's famous July Fourth parade? Here's all you need to know to have a blast

In 1785 Rev. Henry Wight of the First Congregational Church and soldier in the Revolution organized "Patriotic Exercises" in Bristol. He asked the town to remember the veterans and show appreciation for the new nation.

This marked the first Bristol Fourth of July Celebration, which has continued to this day.

This article originally appeared on wickedlocal.com: Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July? What to know about the history


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  2. Essays About Happiness: 5 Essay Examples and 6 Writing Prompts

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  17. What Is Happiness Essay

    One would say that happiness is to be with a loved one, the second would say that happiness is the stability, and the third, on the contrary, would say that happiness is the unpredictability. For someone, to be happy is to have a lot of money while for others - to be popular. All in all, there are plenty of different understandings of happiness.

  18. What Is Happiness?

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  19. How to Make Yourself Happy

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  21. What is better

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  22. Are You Happy 'In' Your Life or 'With' Your Life?

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  23. Essay on What makes me Happy

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  24. Are You Happy?

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  25. Daily Mass

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