To get detailed insights about your personality, you can take a free personality test at the end of this article. The test uses the latest advancements in artificial intelligence to give you deep insights into your personality.
We all desire to live happy lives. When we are happy, we feel better, and our mind is sharper. A great way to find out what your happiness levels are is to take a free AI-powered happiness test.
Artificial intelligence is now so smart, it can help you to better understand yourself, achieve your goals, have healthy relationships, and live a happier, fulfilling life.
The Pursuit of Happiness
The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud once said that people ‘strive after happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so.’ This is so true, but while we all pursue happiness, life challenges, setbacks, and negativity can make happiness elusive and harder to maintain.
But happiness is achievable, and when you are happy, you will be equipped to tackle challenges, see that the glass is half full instead of half empty, and live your best life.
What Is Happiness?
The most common way to define happiness is by the range of positive feelings or emotional responses we experience when we are happy, such as a feeling of contentment, satisfaction, peace, joy, and optimism.
Happiness can also be defined as being able to live the type of life we want and engage in physical, mental, and socially stimulating activities that we like to do such as:
- Spending quality time with family and friends
- Having good health
- Career satisfaction
- Financial security
- Using and developing a skill or talent
- Belonging to a religious group
- Volunteering and helping others
- Having a pet
- Watching television or reading a book
- Listening to music
- Engaging in sporting activities
- Hiking and exploring the outdoors
The Philosophy of Happiness
Over the centuries, philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aristippus, have endeavored to define the nature of happiness and how it can shape the human experience.
Socrates and Plato
Socrates and Plato believed that happiness can be reached by pursuing a virtuous life that includes temperance (self-control), courage, wisdom, and justice. These philosophers also believed that when an individual is functioning well, then the whole community and society will be happy and functioning well.
Aristotle on happiness
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle developed his concept of happiness, called Eudaimonia, which is similar to the views of Socrates and Plato.
Eudaimonia comes from the Greek word for welfare, flourishing, and wellbeing. For Aristotle, happiness is not about the pursuit of wealth or power or pleasure, but it can be achieved by living a virtuous life.
Aristotle takes the pursuit of happiness to another level and urges us to not only pursue virtue, which is not a means to an end but a reward in itself, and to pursue excellence in everything we do.
Aristippus and Hedonism
According to Aristippus, Hedonism is the belief that happiness can be achieved through the pursuit of pleasure and by avoiding any painful experiences. Living a hedonistic lifestyle involves accumulating wealth, buying goods, physical pleasure, and having a good time, which will lead to the ‘good life’.
The problem associated with living a life that is only dedicated to a hedonistic lifestyle without the pursuit of virtue, is that it only supplies momentary pleasure. It cannot contribute to a person’s overall well-being and can result in risky behavior.
Psychology’s Definition of Happiness
In psychological terms, happiness is defined as an overall state of emotional wellbeing. We have a deep sense of life satisfaction that things are going well and that we are living the life we want.
Instead of experiencing negative emotions like sadness or fear which causes stress, anxiety, depression, and anger, happiness produces positive emotions such as excitement, joy, and contentment.
Positive emotions can improve our physical and mental health, help us to work smarter, manage stress, and improve our decision-making skills.
Happiness is also a state of mind. Sitting on a psychologist’s couch, reading about good mental health, or watching a self-help video helps us learn how emotions affect our minds, bodies, and daily lives. The way we think can either cause us to fall into depression or empower us to thrive.
PERMA Model of Well-Being
Dr. Seligman is a psychologist who developed the PERMA Model of Well-Being. To create this model, Dr. Seligman selected five key building blocks: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments.
These five building blocks were selected because people find them motivating, they lead to positive wellbeing, help a person to develop greater resilience to challenges, and ultimately enable a person to flourish and thrive.
Interestingly, the PERMA Model of Well-Being includes both eudemonic and hedonic components, which tells us that a balanced life is not only about making ourselves happy but making others happy too.
Sociologists and psychologists have dedicated countless hours to conducting research and publishing their findings on happiness.
In particular, the Journal of Happiness Studies publishes a wide range of ‘happiness-related’ articles. Research includes studies on optimal psychological functioning, the measurement of happiness and well-being dimensions, and how socio-economic-cultural factors can affect an individual’s happiness.
The Science of Measuring Happiness
Neuroscience plays an important role in understanding the impact that emotions have on the brain, nervous system, hormones, and other organs.
Happiness is a state of mind
Many neuroscientists believe that happiness is a state of mind. Doctors conduct MRI tests to scan the pre-frontal cortex to gauge how positive emotions affect the brain.
There are even some ground-breaking MRI scanning treatments that may make a person feel better.
Neurotransmitters and happy hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins not only influence our brain function but also heart rate and digestion.
Happy hormones boost and balance signals in the brain, which means these chemicals are extremely important in managing our mood, wellbeing, and overall state of happiness.
Behavioral measurement markers include facial expressions like smiling and emotional responses like laughing. This system of measurement can also include using emojis to gauge a person’s emotional state.
Other report is when a psychologist asks other people to rate a person’s happiness such as asking a parent to rate their child’s happiness. While this method of happiness is helpful, it can’t determine a person’s overall inner emotional state or accurately measure their happiness levels.
Self-reporting is a very good tool for measuring a person’s social, mental, and emotional functions. This test asks a person to agree or disagree to specific questions and statements about happiness such as:
- How satisfied are you with your life overall?
- Did you feel joy today?
- I feel I can take anything on
- I am always committed and involved
While there are a variety of ways to measure our happiness levels, taking a test that uses the power of artificial intelligence is the most effective method for helping you see how happy you are.
Being happy is crucial to living a successful life. It is beneficial for the soul, body, and mind.
Happiness motivates us to find joy and to seek satisfaction in life. It is not only good for us, but it helps us to cultivate better relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, and to be productive members of society.