Learn from other people’s happiness and see what reflects your own happiness.

What’s your definition of happiness? Research in the field of positive psychology often defines a happy person as someone who experiences frequent positive emotions, such as joy, interest, and pride, and infrequent (though not absent) negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and anger (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Happiness has also been said to relate to life satisfaction, appreciation of life, and moments of pleasure, but overall it has to do with the positive experience of emotions.

The key to these definitions is that positive emotions do not indicate the absence of negative emotions. A “happy person” experiences the spectrum of emotions just like anybody else, but the frequency with which they experience the negative ones may differ. It could be that “happy people” don’t experience as much negative emotion because they process it differently or they may find meaning in a way others have not. In fact, using the phrase “happy person” is probably misleading because it implies that certain people are naturally happy or that positive things happen to them more often. Nobody is immune to life’s stressors. The question is whether you see those stressors as moments of opposition or moments of opportunity.

Regardless of where you are on the happiness spectrum, each person has their own way of defining happiness. Philosophers, actors, politicians, and everybody in between have weighed in on their own view of happiness. Read some of our favorite definitions below and let us know what resonated with you. 

Read the original article and the remainder of the post at Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-addiction-connection/201506/whats-your-definition-happiness