What is Happiness? Happiness Definition & Its Six Components

Happiness is a universal pursuit, but many people find happiness to be elusive. For one reason or another, it’s just hard to feel happy and maintain this feeling in the long-term.

Some people believe that this is because different people have different happiness definitions. It’s almost as if all 7.9 billion of us have a different happiness definition because happiness is subjective and unique to each and every one of us. However, it is my personal belief that there is only 1 overarching happiness definition, which contains in itself all 7.9 billion happiness definitions, which we can learn, apply, and optimize in our lives (hence Optimal Happiness). 

The failure to properly define happiness leads to much of the unhappiness that we see in the world today. People are just doing all the wrong things or not enough of the right things, which, in turn, prevents them from being happy. With this evidence, I propose that we revisit the happiness definition.

Happiness Definition: Short & Simple

Happiness is a positive emotion connected to our overall sense of well-being. It is the difference between what we have and want to have, and strongly connected to our long-term emotional well-being, rather than short-term pleasure. All-in-all, our happiness is proportional to how well we can satisfy the Six Pillars of Happiness (Money, Health, Wealth, Transcendence, Productivity, and Emotional Intelligence). 

This definition is not random, but it is based on the six components of happiness, which we will now discuss individually in more detail.

Happiness definition, Silhouette Of People By The Seashore

The Six Components of Happiness Definition

1. Emotion vs. Rational Thought

Happiness is an emotion, which is a contrast to logical and rational thoughts. It has everything to do with how we feel and it is only partially guided by our rational thought. Sure, there is always a two way relationship between how we think and how we feel, as our thoughts dictate how we feel, while our emotions will affect how we think. Still, often we think about things that are unrelated to our happiness, such as the latest celebrity gossip. Yet, how we feel is always either positive or negative (never truly neutral) which is why we are either happy or unhappy on an emotional level. 

2. Positive vs. Negative Emotions

Happiness is a positive emotion, which is the opposite to a negative feeling. Here, we can define happiness in terms of a range of positive experiences (such as excitement and tranquility). Conversely, all of the negative emotions (such as boredom and hatred) are part of this thing we call “unhappiness.” 

This often confuses people, since they believe that happiness is somehow different from all of the other positive emotions, but it’s not. When we say “I want to be happy” we refer to the fact that we want to experience different positive emotions and avoid the negative ones. Here three levels of happiness are possible:

  • Not to feel bad – reduce negative emotions
  • To feel happier – increase positive emotions
  • Optimal Happiness – to feel as happy as we can feel for as long as possible. 

Unfortunately, our desire of “not to feel bad” can have similar results to “feeling happier” as it can be infinite, inconcrete, and can get us into a lot of trouble. It may make us feel like we aren’t enough or don’t have enough, meaning that the quest for the Optimal Happiness experience is often the most reliable way to give us exactly what we want in life—ultimate life satisfaction. It doesn’t hurt that we want to be the happiest we can be from the start. So why not optimize? 

Happiness definition, Woman Carrying Tote Bags

3. It is the Difference Between What We Have and Want We Have 

In this modern consumption driven world, we are often told to aspire towards certain materialistic achievements. However, our desire to have “more” can get us into trouble, as “more” is limitless, inconcrete, and often unrealistic. As such, when we want to have something that we don’t have we create a gap in desire, which translates into a subtle negative feeling. Respectfully, when we buy what they want, we close this gap in desire, which makes us, by this happiness definition, happy. 

However, the problem continues when we realize that we don’t just want one thing in life, but a range of things. We also want an improvement in virtually every area of our lives, which is again limitless, inconcrete, and unrealistic. By having all these desires, we doom ourselves to feel unhappy, which we can clearly see in the growing global unhappiness levels, which only seem to get worse by the year. 

The cure to this unhappiness can also be found in the definition of happiness. Simply, we need to stop wanting more things and become satisfied with whatever we already have today, which would also make us, by this happiness definition, happy. After all, we already live in the most technologically advanced society the world has ever seen and chances are that most of us already have too much.

4. Short-term Pleasures vs. Long-term Happiness

Would you rather have broccoli or a chocolate cake? Researchers who study this question concluded that while a single piece of broccoli or a chocolate cake will not make us healthy or unhealthy, in the short-term, most people will prefer to eat a piece of cake over broccoli as it will provide more short-term emotional pleasure. 

However, in the long-term, eating a lot of cake is likely to make us fat and unhealthy, which will affect our self-esteem and health. As such, in the long-term is it better to eat broccoli, as temporary pleasures are fleeting and shortly forgotten, while having a healthy and lean body will provide us with more lasting happiness (and less unhappiness). Altogether, this means that long-term happiness is superior to short-term pleasure towards our overall sense of well-being.

Happiness definition, Woman Spreading Both Her Arms

5. How Definitions of Happiness and Well-Being are Connected

When talking about happiness, we often refer to “well-being.” By this we mean that our sense of happiness or unhappiness is respectfully connected to how good or bad we feel about our lives today overall. We can even generalize our happiness by the number of such happy or unhappy moments we have in our lives, which on a side note, respectfully, connects to the definition of optimism and pessimism. 

As such, when we teach happiness, what we are really teaching is to have more positive moments and less negative moments, with the happiest individuals able to feel happy 99% of the time. Yes, this figure is realistic and we teach how you too can achieve these levels of happiness in our happiness courses

6. The Six Pillars of Happiness

Lastly, the six components of happiness definition are different from the Six Pillars of Happiness. However, the discussion of the Six Pillars of Happiness is unique to Optimal Happiness and it is at the core of our happiness optimization teaching. 

You can learn all about these Six Pillars of Happiness in our book Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way to Reach Your Happiest Potential or by attending one of the already mentioned online coaching programs

Stay happy!

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No more excuses. Here is your ultimate formula for happiness today and forever. Discover it today in our book: Optimal Happiness: The Fastest & Surest Way To Reach Your Happiest Potential (www.amazon.com/dp/9083101010). 

This book presents the quickest and surest way to go from whatever state of happiness or unhappiness you have today to your Optimal Happiness. Stop suffering and start living. Stop unnecessary negative emotions and reach your potential. Happiness guaranteed! 

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