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The source of happiness is completely subjective and has been widely debated among mental healthcare professionals for many years.
True happiness comes from within an individual, and ultimately happiness is a choice. There are external factors that come into play like relationships, genetics, and economic stability that contribute to a person’s happiness. But people still need to have the internal motivation to find happiness.
Sources that happiness comes from
A person’s biology or genetics play a major part in what level of happiness they are able to find. Physical and mental health are a large part of how happy you are, which is why it’s important to look at your family’s medical history.
If someone has a family history involving depression, they’re likely to find it harder to reach the level of happiness as someone without this history. This doesn’t mean it is impossible for them to find happiness. Mental illness just impacts the effort needed and the difficulty of gaining happiness. But this is an achievable state for those who are willing to find it.
Economic stability is not a source of happiness, but it does offer a certain level of comfort that makes happiness seem more attainable. It’s a lot easier to find happiness when you can afford to hire a therapist, for example. Money is something we can use to find actual sustainable sources of happiness. Not only can it pay for professional help in guiding someone towards happiness, but it covers the cost of experiences. Having economic stability relieves stress from the cost of living and can also offer joyful experiences through activities. These activities include trips and visits to adventure parks. These experiences release dopamine that boosts the happiness of a person.
Many activities that link to happiness involve exercising, which is why maintaining your physical health is really important. Investing your time into a 2km run is worth it for your happiness. Maybe running isn’t for you, but you can create a schedule of walking days in a week. Getting involved in some form of exercise to boost your physical health will increase your ability to devote your energy to finding happiness.
Does happiness come from relationships?
It’s not just romantic relationships that influence our happiness. Platonic and familial relationships play a very large part in our happiness. As a matter of fact, a study was done in 2007 that concluded friendships were responsible for 58% of the variances in happiness. This means that over half of our happiness could possibly come from our friendships. It’s important to keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how many friendships you have. But it’s important to have a few, close friendships that you get value from.
When it comes to romantic relationships, you actually might be surprised at what some studies have found. In 2020 a study showed that elderly couples who were married to the same person for the majority of their lives were just slightly happier than people who weren’t in a relationship and people who had been in multiple different relationships.
A 2020 study found that elderly married couples were just slightly happier than people who weren’t in a relationship. Married couples who have been with the same person for most of their lives were slightly happier than those who had been in multiple relationships. But the level of happiness, as we’ve said, was only slightly higher. Not the major difference that you might expect!
It’s not that romantic relationships don’t contribute to our happiness, it’s that they contribute a smaller amount than a lot of people say they do. We should be valuing our romantic relationships equally to how we value our familial and platonic relationships. They all contribute to our happiness in different ways.
With this being said, relationships, economic stability, and a person’s genetics are all just contributing factors to a person’s happiness. The ultimate source of happiness is from within an individual.
Are we responsible for our own happiness?
There are factors outside of our control that impact our level of happiness, such as a family history of mental illness. But it is ultimately our own responsibility to find happiness. It is our responsibility to identify what we need in order to live a fulfilling life and find happiness. A romantic partner, friends, or even family cannot be responsible for our happiness if we want to find a sustainable and healthy amount of happiness.
It is up to you, as an individual, to learn what makes you happy. Then you need to make the conscious decisions and efforts to include these things in your lifestyle. Nothing is ever really just handed to us in life, which is why it is important to know what you need for yourself.
Is happiness a choice or a result?
Happiness is a result of your choices. You can have access to therapy, a stable income, a stunning home, and supportive relationships in your life and still not be happy. You need to make the choice of being in a headspace where you actively search for happiness. And you need to choose to figure out what things specifically make you happy. Otherwise, you won’t find happiness.
You can participate in productive and healthy activities and still not find sustainable long-term happiness unless you actually make the choice to be happy. So, ultimately, happiness is a result of your choice to work for it.
It’s just like how we get headaches from staying inside all day. Without choosing to go outside and enjoying daylight, your health will be impacted by the indoors. If you don’t choose to do the healthy things that can make you happy, you’re risking emotional headaches in your life.
Is happiness the same thing as contentment?
Happiness is a part of being content, but they are different feelings. Being content means that you are satisfied and grateful for where you are in life. This is a long-term feeling. Happiness means that you feel joy and positive thoughts, however, it wavers. It’s not as long-term as being content because happiness wavers so drastically throughout a person’s life. No one can be happy every single hour of the day. However, a person can be content long-term.
Why is it better to be content than it is to be happy?
Striving to be happy is a wonderful goal. So is striving to be content. It’s not that it’s better to be content than happy but it is more realistic, especially in the long term. Happiness offers you instant gratification, but contentment allows you to feel fulfilled and satisfied even while experiencing life’s challenges. We mostly hear about how we should strive to find and maintain happiness. But it’s safe to say that striving for contentment is a more realistic goal and can increase your quality of life.
Does contentment lead to happiness?
Contentment can definitely lead to happiness. When you are content, you learn to find peace and have a mindset where you are constantly satisfied with your day, even when inconveniences occur. This peaceful mindset can make you more susceptible to finding the positive moments in your everyday life. This is because you’re less likely to be in a negative headspace. It’s not guaranteed that a person who is content will also be happy, but it’s a great possibility and goal for your life.
The true source of happiness is within yourself, but external factors can influence how easy or difficult it is to find happiness. Even though it is a great goal to strive to find happiness, a person cannot possibly be happy every second of the day. That’s why it’s more realistic and healthier in the long term to strive for contentment as a long-term everyday goal.
Looking to improve your health to boost happiness? Check out our article on the health benefits of indoor plants. We also have the benefits of decluttering you won’t want to miss! Vidar Living has the best facemasks in Australia and hand sanitiser to keep you safe and healthy.