If the definition of happiness is a state of mind you enjoy, then happiness for you could be a sense of peace and contentment, a sense of hope or excitement, a feeling of achievement, relief or relaxation, appreciation or sharing closeness with a person you love. There is transitory happiness for example from food or a drug, or more sustainable happiness from a lifelong friendship or the appreciation of the role your child has in your life. Many things could make you happy but the real question is; what is healthy and sustainable happiness?
When a form of happiness is destructive and causes all sorts of other problems in your life, does it lead to true well being? A person may get happiness from dominating other people, but how sustainable is that happiness? What happens when that domination is lost and the resentments and pain of the other person has to be faced? Similarly drug abuse gives only transitory good feelings as it destroys future happiness, like causing health and potential financial problems. Is this the type of happiness that really generates wellbeing?
What if, instead of taking drugs, a person got involved in a recreational pursuit that enhanced and built physical health and well being? What if, instead of dominating in a relationship, the relationship was based on appreciation of the other person? Appreciation generates happiness and also enhances the goodwill in the relationship. The outcome is then a dynamic, healthy relationship that continues to generate happiness and therefore has built-in sustainable well being.
The Happiness Life Marker is one of the three essential markers which make up the MindMe Health H. E. S. test – that is, your Happiness, Energy and Stress levels interacting with each other.
Happiness comes first because it generates Energy. People are often not aware of the connection between the two, but ask yourself the question- how many happy people do you know who lack energy and how many unhappy people do you know who lack energy and vitality? Happiness is empowering. Happy people generally have more vitality and this in turn often means they are more creative in their personal endeavours. When we have good feelings we are also more likely to find life meaningful and generate positivity in our lives.
The latest medical research shows that your body works better when you have good feelings; it digests better, has better blood pressure, better sleep and regeneration, plus you can think more clearly and plan better as well as respond more thoughtfully and react less stressfully. All these factors have the potential to further enhance the quality of life including relationships, self esteem and achievement of goals.
Of course, a meaningful life makes us happy; having meaning and purpose is an anchor for our state of mind.