What does it mean to be happy?


We often ask ourselves or wonder if we are actually living a happy life. Happiness seems to be what everybody is looking for, but how do we know where to look for or what does it even look like?. Perhaps we shall start by finding out what does it mean to be happy? and how do we become happy people?

After lots of research about happiness, the meaning of happiness seems to be as elusive as trying to achieve it, but in the mean time I found some interesting information that might help us out in this quest. First of all, let’s look at the so called definition of happiness.

Happiness: A state or an experience to be happy, a state of well being and contentment, a pleasurable experience, a satisfying emotion. 

Well, I’m sure we all wish for a little of that…or a lot, but how do we get it? Some people can assure that we are already born with a certain happiness level, meaning that happiness might be something we may inherit from our parents and grandparents as part of our DNA. Does that mean that if we are born with low happiness levels, we are already screwed?.

Psychologist Ed Diener, author of Happiness: Unlocking the Mystery of Psychological Wealth, describes what psychologists call “subjective well-being” as a combination of life satisfaction and having more positive emotions that negative emotions.

According to Dr. Diener, we should just combine more life satisfactions along with a bunch of positive emotions and we might have this down, this doesn’t sound that hard after all.

Let’s look at the definition of emotions, perhaps after understanding what we need to combine we can actually comprehend the experience we are really looking for.

Emotions: A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.

So we combine satisfactions with positive emotions, positive circumstances, positive mood and positive relationships with others. Yikes! This sounds very simple yet complicated. Can we actually control the amount of positive circumstances we encounter?

I’m not sure if we can actually control the amount of positive circumstances we encounter, some may say we can, according to the power of intention, but it all boils down to trying to balance and combine good moments in our lives.

It seems to me that happiness is more of a practice, a state of mind we can choose to practice every single day of our lives. We can choose to practice happines even when we find ourselves in that morning traffic jam, we can choose to be happy if it’s raining and we happened to lock our keys inside the car, and we can choose to practice happiness even if we wake up feeling not so happy.

Practicing happiness is a decision we make, and like all decisions they all have consequences. In this case the consequence of experiencing the pleasurable emotion that means to be happy. Combining positive emotions is the result of having a balance in every aspect of our lives. If we do our best to nurture our body, mind and spirit we may encounter that balance that leads us to having a happy life.

These are some tips about nurturing our mind, body and spirit so that we can have a better balance and therefore happier moments, happier relationships and happier life.

Nurturing our body is a combination of a good healthy diet, some exercise or physical activity and also some good old pampering is never a bad thing, specially for women this is a must. Watching what you put in your mouth and how it makes you feel will definitely help you keep those happiness levels up. Exercising is proven to release a cocktail of hormones that certainly makes you feel merrier, so the more you exercise the more energy and contentment you will collect.

Nurturing our mind means a lot of different things, we can nurture our mind by nurturing our creativity, getting a little crafty at times may help you pump up your happiness levels. Meditation is also a Buddhist psychology method that is proven to reduce stress and anxiety (negative emotions) by teaching you the practice of living in the moment, living in the now. Reading is also another way to nurture your mind through education and keeping the mind busy so it doesn’t engage in any negative thoughts.

Finally nurturing our spirit, it is incredible to think how many of us forget that we are spiritual beings living in a physical world, meaning that nurturing our spirit is definitely crucial to complete our balance in our way to happiness. Nurturing our spirit can be done by knowing and remembering our intention in life, many of us believe that we are in this world to serve something higher than ourselves, but we can only know that if we really listen to that higher power. In this case meditation can also helps us clear our minds from thoughts, allowing us to listen to our intuition which is always connected to our highest power. Practicing a hobby or a passion also drives us to feed our spirit with joy. Taking vacations or down time is another way to feed nurture our spirit with some good relaxation time, and last but not least, do not underestimate the impact that making someone else happy can have in your spirit.

So just like riding a bike, happiness is a practice of a combination of good moments lead by the balance of nurturing our body, mind and spirits. I now hope that this will serve you as helpful information and that after reading this we all make a bigger effort to practice happiness everyday.