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What is meant by happiness?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Eric "Herbie" Watson, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    What is meant by happiness? The ancient Greeks were guided by the term eudaimonia, which translates to “human flourishing.” Eastern traditions, such as the philosophies of Buddhism and Yoga, speak of happiness as the “cessation of suffering.” From these perspectives, what is sought in happiness is not
    transient pleasure but rather a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment. So, where can we find it? How do we get it?
    “Happiness is a skill,” says the happiest man in the world, Matthieu Ricard. A Buddhist monk and close associate of the Dalai Lama, Ricard was pronounced “happiest man in the world” when extensive neuroimaging of his brain at the University of Wisconsin registered the highest level ever recorded (off the scale) in the area of the brain associated with positive emotions. The science bears out Ricard’s understanding of happiness with its findings that 50 percent of our happiness is genetic, 10 percent circumstantial, and 40 percent in our hands to skillfully cultivate. "Studies have also identified a variety of intentional activities that boost our well-being: nurturing social connections; expressing gratitude; positive thinking; forgiveness; acts of kindness; living in the present as well as working to achieve meaningful goals that put us in the flow, physical activities to nurture the body; mind training, or meditation (the skill Ricard has mastered and recommends); and belief in a higher power or purpose.
    Money, however, doesn't buy true happiness; this is no longer just an adage but the empirical outcome of researchers’ studies. Once our security needs (food, shelter, and safety) have been met, more material wealth doesn’t guarantee more happiness. In fact, studies show that materialistic values are a strong predictor of unhappiness.
    Similarly, studies show that physical beauty also does not ensure greater happiness. Researchers have also observed something they've named “hedonic adaptation.” Human beings adapt to favorable changes; for example, getting married, more wealth, a better job, good health, and beautiful housing only temporarily boost happiness levels. The familiar example of this phenomenon is the lottery winner. Studies show that winners’ levels of happiness jump up when the money is first won but return to baseline less than a year later. Hedonic adaptation often works the other way, as well. Although most people’s baseline levels of happiness drop when they experience a debilitating accident or illness, with time most people recover the baseline levels they had before the event. “We cannot and will not adapt to everything,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at University of California, Riverside, “but the evidence for hedonic
    adaptation, especially with regard to positive events, is very strong.” The implication is that positive changes in our circumstances cannot be counted on to lead to enduring happiness. Like Ricard, Lyubomirsky emphasizes that it’s ongoing intentional activities that
    make a sustainable difference.

    by Vesela Simic
  2. angelic333

    angelic333 Peer Supporter

    Happiness arises when we connect to the inner peace that resides in our heart. We all have it, we just have to train our minds to access it. Call it God, Source, Spirit, Love, whatever you like. The best way to access this inner peace is through meditation. In effective meditation we become in touch with a clear heart. Meditation does not happen in our heads, that is relaxation. When I am able to reach inner peace in my meditation, I have no symptoms. Happiness is a practice. It has nothing to do with our external conditions.
    Thank you for sharing this article.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Happiness, to me, is having the bills paid for the month.

    And thinking about my loved ones, visualizing I am with them.
    The Lord is included.
    I love to be hugged, so I am imagining Jesus hugging me.
    That makes me very happy.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Happiness also is the mail delivery not having any bills in it.

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