Happiness essay for college students
A complete essay on the joyful state of happiness
Happiness is a pleasant state of well-being wherein a person feels joyful and amply satisfied. Further, this well-being is related to the physical as well as the mental state of a person. While happiness is an emotional feeling people witness gushing inside them, joyfulness is an element of a person’s attitude that is born out of happiness. Also, happiness is subjective and it may mean different things to different people. For instance, for a mother happiness can be found in an act as simple as feeding her children. On the other hand, for an employee, happiness may mean a monetary appraisal rewarded to him for his diligent work. Therefore, it is evident that different people have different reasons for feeling happy and delighted.
Further, for some people happiness lies in their career goals while for some it lies in their family. While for some it may lie in traveling, others may be happier to collect stamps. It is hard to find a common definition of happiness as different people are going to define it differently as per what makes them happy. But this is what makes happiness a fascinating phenomenon, the subjectivity of it.
Emotions make every human being look more beautiful and attractive as emotions are alluring. Besides, amid the wide spectrum of emotions that humans feel, happiness is the most beautiful one. Happy people look pretty or handsome irrespective of their race, class, or physical appearance. Furthermore, happiness is a very strong emotion, and people who have a positive mindset in life find happiness in little things or deeds. On the other hand, people who are pessimists often ignore the little joys of life.
Moreover, although happiness is a feeling, it is quantifiable and various organizations actually measure happiness based on certain indicators. The United Nations measures happiness and ranks countries in its annual World Happiness Report. This report classifies nations on the basis of the happiness of their citizens. Also, the United Arab Emirates has a Ministry of Happiness that measures happiness and works to create a happy society. Thus, happiness is a state of well being that is both qualitative and quantitative.
("World Happiness Report 2020", 2020)
To continue, people should not confuse happiness with satisfaction. Not all individuals who are content with life are happy. Satisfaction is a long term feeling that an individual develops over a period of time and with certain achievements. On the contrary, happiness is a momentary feeling of delight that a person enjoys in a given moment. Happiness is a spontaneous emotion while satisfaction is a prolonged state of mind. This difference between the two terms is the reason why all corporate workers who are satisfied with their jobs are not happy with their jobs. Further, this essay underlines the psychology of happiness to create a better understanding of it.
The psychology of happiness
Talking of happiness, it is a concept that is much deeper than people usually realize. While most people look at happiness as a mere emotion, there is an extensive application of science involved in understanding it. Further, because happiness is also a mental state, there is a psychological definition of it as well. The science of happiness basically deals with finding answers to what makes people happy. Even here the subjective nature of happiness makes it complex to define or measure happiness.
Psychologists all over the world usually refer to the subjective well-being theory given by Kesiber and Diener (2008). According to this explanation, people’s happiness is their evaluation of life based on their cognitive judgments of satisfaction and changes in mood and emotions. Therefore, in psychological terms, happiness goes much beyond merely the experience of a positive mood. Moreover, what makes the psychological study of happiness important is the fact that is a priority for human beings. It is rated as the most fundamental thing by people in order to lead a meaningful life.
Moreover, the debate on the definition of happiness in a scientific manner has existed for decades. Ever Since the era of Aristotle’s scientific research, happiness has been defined as a concept comprising the following two elements
- Hedonia: The feeling of pleasure or the pursuit of pleasure
- Eudaimonia: A sense of well-being in life
So, these two components correlate to create an understanding of happiness in coherence with psychology. To substantiate, contemporary scientific research also closely associates happiness with pleasure. As one of the disciplines of psychology, pleasure is seen as deeply linked with happiness. Furthermore, Kringelbach and Berridge stated via their research compiled in 2010 that the neuroscience of both happiness and pleasure can be analyzed by studying hedonic brain circuits. Therefore, time and again most researchers who worked in the field of happiness have agreed that pleasure is a very vital component of happiness.
Probing further, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis also laid down a scientific explanation of happiness. In his analysis of happiness, he stated that people strive for happiness as they want to become happy and also to retain their happiness. He added that on one hand, people want an absence of pain or displeasure in their lives, and on the other hand, they wish to experience strong feelings of pleasure.
("The Psychology, Theory, and Science of Happiness (+ 16 Best Articles)", 2020)
Next, it is interesting to note that different psychologists study happiness through different psychological implications or methodologies. Primarily, there are three theories that psychologists use to analyze the concept of happiness. The different ways in which psychology researchers study happiness include the following
The theories of need and goal satisfaction
These theories are suggestive of the fact that happiness is attained through striving for the accomplishment of goals and an individual’s human needs. For instance, Deci and Ryan proposed the self-determination theory in 2000. As per this theory, humans achieve a sense of well-being when they meet their most fundamental needs like competence, relatedness, and autonomy.
Theories of genetic and personality predispositions
This is yet another theory that is widely used by psychologists to study well being or happiness. According to this theory, happiness is influenced by genes and is also associated with the personality traits of an individual. These personality traits relate to extraversion or neuroticism. Moreover, these theories suggest that happiness or well being does not change much over time
Theories of process or activity
These theories recommend that happiness can be enhanced if people participate in activities or processes that are engaging or require effort.
The happiness set point
The happiness set point is an important psychological discipline to study or measure happiness in people. It is defined as the general level of happiness in people and it is unique to all individuals. Besides, the happiness point explains that the levels of happiness in people are constant over time. The happiness point does not change often subject to changes in the circumstances. In fact, many psychologists argue that it is a futile effort to attempt enhancing happiness. Their assertion is consistent with the happiness set point as there is a common consensus about the fact that the levels of happiness stay stable over time.
("Happiness Set Point - WiseSOVA", 2020)
Next, the PERMA model of flourishing given by Seligman (2011) explains psychological well being as a notion cumulative of 5 different domains. These domains together ascertain well being or happiness in a person. These 5 elements include the subsequent
- P: Positive emotions
- E: Engagement
- R: Relationships
- M: Meaning
- A: Accomplishment
Hence, there has been ample psychological research to study, analyze, and explain well being or happiness. There are multifarious theories and assumptions that different psychologists, neurologists, and psychoanalysts have given over the years. The scientific research on happiness began in orthodox times and it still continues to flourish to unfurl new horizons that define a refined understanding of psychological well being. Furthermore, in terms of psychology, happiness is often explained as a state that is constant over time or is predetermined in individuals. Psychology associates pleasure with happiness as an imperative fundamental of well-being and there is ongoing research to establish a deeper connection. Next, the subsequent section talks about the ways in which an individual can achieve happiness.
How to be happy
As stated above, because of the subjective nature of happiness, this question may find different answers in different individuals. In a general sense, different people are likely to have different paths to happiness influenced by different domains of their personal and professional lives. These domains may include relationships, career goals, personality development, competence, achievements, monetary gains, and so on. Furthermore, the phase of life is also going to influence the idea of happiness in people. For instance, for an infant, happiness is going to be all about little things. Further, for an adolescent or a school kid happiness is going to have a different meaning and there are going to be different paths to achieve it. Next, for a working adult, the definition and the road to happiness are going to be completely different. So, in this case, happiness goalposts are changing by the virtue of age or the phase of life. Hence, to determine universal paths of happiness that relate to all is complex and such attempts have little chance of succeeding.
However, going back to the psychological aspects of happiness, psychologists argue that there are at least three clear paths that lead to well being or happiness. These definitive paths have been suggested by psychologists Seligman, Steen, Park, and Peterson. These three ways include
- Positive emotions and pleasure
Talking about the first path of positive emotions and pleasure, it suggests that happiness inspires by the dominance of positive emotions over the negative ones. Further, positive and enjoyable experiences lead to happiness in an individual. Thus, it suggests that it is important that individuals have an optimistic view of life and this optimism should constantly influence their outlook in life. When an individual attains a sense of positivity in his approach to life, he can look beyond the negative elements of life and attain happiness. A lot of people in this world battle pessimism and strive for positivity as they know that optimism is the key to leading a happy life. Moreover, when people have a positive outlook in life, they radiate the same onto others and are able to create an indulging and highly positive aura around them. Thus, it is vital to refine the mindset or the thinking process to maximize positivity and eradicate negative thoughts. Optimism can lead to positive outcomes and instigate a feeling of happiness in joy in people.
Moving further, as per psychological assertions, being fully engaged and absorbed in a given task is also one of the ways to attain happiness. A happy life can be an outcome of the contentment that a person finds in displaying his strengths or qualities in managing his time, work, relationships, or other activities. Needless to say, such an exhibition of qualities requires dedication, diligence, and high engagement. This is how individuals by performing every task to their best potentials can procure a sense of happiness. In most cases, people relate happiness to their success in various domains of life while failures are linked to depression. Therefore, by showing great commitment to work, people can enhance their success and negate their failures. As an outcome of this and as per the happiness theories of goal accomplishment, people are highly likely to find their happiness and retain it for long. Also, increased levels of success due to high engagement also enable individuals to have better control of their lives.
Next, the third well-defined path illustrated by psychological researchers is that of finding meaning. By meaning, psychologists suggest that it is important to have a purpose in life and then work towards achieving that purpose in life so as to be happy. With a clear purpose in life, individuals are able to set clear goals and are also able to define clear paths to accomplish the same. Therefore, despite the subjectivity of happiness, these three paths can be seen as universal approaches to happiness that are relatable to most people. The fundamentals of success, engagement, purpose, and outlook are important to every individual. Besides, people should have faith in their abilities and should believe in themselves as that can help them to be happier people. People often compare themselves to others, ignore their individuality, and lose their happiness over unnecessary inferiority complexes that people develop. To sustain happiness, happiness should not only be seen as a mood but it should be an outlook that people adopt in life.
Happiness is a subject very close to the heart of every teacher. This is one gift that every teacher wants to give to their students. Therefore, to become aware of the reasons of happiness and the ways to attain happiness, they give you- the students to write essays on happiness. You must be thinking, happiness is a very general topic, on which I can write quickly. However, writing an essay on happiness is not as easy as it seems. This section provides you two sample essays on essay, both long and short. This is an effort by Assignmenthelp4me, to introduce you with the format of writing college essays.
Sample essay 1- HOW TO BE HAPPY IN A WORLD FULL OF WORRIES
Nothing in the world today is constant, not even happiness. We are struggling every minute to fight off the worries from our life. This results in creating a negative environment around us, which blocks the route of happiness. In fact, the negativities, drive our mind to a very hypnotic state, where we no longer even aim to look for happiness. But, we should never forget, being happy is directly related to being healthy. If you are not happy, you can not lead a healthy lifestyle. From affecting your immune system, stress and worries are known to eat up your body like a slow poison. However, the only person who can help you come out of this depressing state, is YOU.
You yourself have to find a source of happiness within you. Self motivation is the biggest tool to obtain happiness and contentment in life. Though, there can be various other sources around you, which can yield happiness for you. But, when you push yourself to bring a change in your habits and your life routine, then you can witness the real change. It is because self motivation is no less than a wake up call for you, to stand up and take the action. Further, self- motivation is an omnipresent source of motivation for you. Your mind is always there with you, to constantly remind you of the pledge you took and the changes you aim for. Thus, it always stops you from starting to rethink your worries.
Moving on, to strengthen your mind stability,you can opt for the meditation technique. This time boosts your thinking power as well as gives you the ultimate space to disburden your worries. Most importantly, meditation helps you in self reflection and welcomes a lot of positivity in your life. It can be more advantageous when you meditate in the open, in a natural environment. The fresh air fills you with fresh thoughts and wades off all the negativity and causes of stress from your mind. This exercise becomes even more important in the present world as it gives you ‘me time’ and the freedom from the chaotic life. Thus, you should make it a routine to meditate every day. Though, you can carry this out, during any hour of the day, but morning time is said to be the best.
Thus, you must control your thought process in order to motivate yourself. This will help you to sustain a positive outlook in life and therefore develop the habit of ignoring negativities. In fact, it is very important for you to stop yourself from thinking negative. However, it is very tough to maintain an ignorant attitude towards things happening around. But, if you want happiness in your life, you need to take a break from constant thinking habits. This is one certain way, which helps you to attract positivity and allows you to self control your inspiration levels. Therefore, to stay happy in this stressful world, you need to regularly keep motivating yourself.
Sample essay 2 - "The complete guide on happiness"
Happiness is the essence of life. It is this state, which fulfills your ultimate purpose of working so hard every moment of the day. The constant grilling at the office, seems to pay off, when you spend some happy moments relishing the high soaring results of your project. On the other hand for a student, happiness is attaining high scores in college exams or an appreciation from the teacher. In short, you can even achieve happiness in the smallest of the accomplishments of your daily life, whereas sometimes, even the biggest of the achievements do not bring a smile to your face. More than the news, it is your perception on the importance of the same, which makes the difference. However, staying happy is a prerequisite of a healthy life. Thus, you need to adopt various practises to ensure you attain contentment in every phase of your life. This essay details few factors, which majorly accounts for happiness in our lives.
First, the easiest way to stay happy is to think happy. When you welcome every change in your life positively, then you refrain from any sort of tension. This is however not as easy to do as it is easy to say. For this, you need to give a constant reminder to your mind, about your purpose in life. Also, every morning before getting up from bed and every night before going to bed, you need to remind your mind of your motto of happiness. You need to reassure yourself that all you need in life, is to be happy and you should not get involved in any negative argument. Further, there can be many situations and people during the course of your day, who will try to ruin your day. But, you should stand intact and reaffirm your take on being happy. Moreover, as per psychological bulletin, “ Smiling really can make people feel happier”. This proves the fact that happiness resides in you only, you just have to unleash the cover of happiness.
("Psychologists find smiling really can make people happier", 2020)
Further, spending time with your family and friends is the simple formula of sustaining your happy state. The tight schedules, you have throughout the day, blocks your way from meeting your dear ones. Still, it depends entirely on you, how keen you are to meet the people you enjoy being with. Thus, your wish is the command that directs your mind to finish off the work quickly and move towards your source of happiness. This even works as the motivation to help you complete your tasks on time and with high finesse. The earlier you finish the tasks in hand, the quicker you can go and spend quality time with them. Moreover, these hours of happiness stay in your heart forever as you always cherish these memories. In fact, the flashbacks of the happy moments have the power to suddenly bring a smile on your face, when you are deeply involved in your work. As per Robert Waldinger, social connections form one of the most important reasons for the people to stay happy in their lives. According to him, “Those who kept warm relationships got to live longer and happier, and the loners often died earlier”.
("Are we happier when we spend more time with others?", 2020)
Moving on, a very quick and absolute source of happiness is good food. You must have noticed, when you are sad and stressed, then good food acts as the medicine to bring you out from the sad state of mind. Thus, you can always take the support of healthy, fresh and delicious food to help you to soothe the senses of your mind. Moreover, having your favourite burger or even your favourite shake or coffee, can fill you with immense satisfaction. This ultimately makes you feel happy and content. Elizabeth Somer, an eminent writer of the book’ Food & Mood , also seconds the thought. According to her, “There has been a growing body of evidence, both animal studies and human studies, to support that we really are what we eat, physically and mentally,” This clearly highlights the fact that food plays an imperative role in making or breaking the mood of a person. Thus, whenever, you are feeling low, you can head towards your favourite snack corner to munch something healthy and nice.
Adding on, one imperative factor that surely adds stars to everyone's happiness is break from work or the hectic schedules of life. Taking a break from work is undoubtedly one of the most constructive ways to freshen your mind and invite happiness in your life. This break can be short or long, depending on your feasibility. The longer the break, the better it proves to your mind and body. A break not only rejuvenates your mind, but also fills in your mind with positivity and energy, so that when you are back, you can devote your cent percent to work. This further helps you to be highly productive and creative in your work field. As per a research done by researchers from the Netherlands, even the simple act of planning out for the vacation brings a huge boost in the happiness of a person. They conducted the study on 1,530 Dutch adults, on the basis of which they brought out the respective results. This proves that vacation and happiness are directly proportional to each other. You can always depend on a calm and cozy break to take you away from the daily tensions of life.
Thus, it can be concluded that happiness is a state of mind. It is the feeling that we feel from within ourselves, when we are elated or excited about something. As discussed, various factors add to the emotion of happiness in a human’s life. These include family, friends, vacations, food and optimism in your life, among many other commanding factors. Also, staying happy brings a lot of peace and tranquility in our lives, so we should always try to avoid situations of tension and hatred, during the life journey.
To wrap up, it can be encapsulated that there is widespread subjectivity associated with the definition and the measure of happiness. Based on choices, interests, and experiences, different individuals have a different understanding of well being or happiness. Further, there is paramount scientific and psychological research that leads to the analysis and explanation of happiness as an in-depth concept. Over decades of research, there has been an emergence of a wide spectrum of theories and models on psychological well being. Moreover, one key finding of psychological analysis of happiness argues that the level of happiness stays consistent over time and is not susceptible to momentary changes. At last, talking about the various ways in which people can attain happiness, pleasure, engagement, and meaning are the commonly endorsed paths to attain a sense of happiness.
Related essays samples
World Happiness Report 2020. (2020). Retrieved 25 November 2020, from https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2020/#read
The Psychology, Theory, and Science of Happiness (+ 16 Best Articles). (2020). Retrieved 26 November 2020, from https://positivepsychology.com/psychology-of-happiness/
Happiness Set Point - WiseSOVA. (2020). Retrieved 26 November 2020, from https://wisesova.pitt.edu/happiness-set-point/
Dempsey, B. (2020). PERMA - the 5 Elements of Flourishing in Life - The Good Men Project. Retrieved 26 November 2020, from https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/perma-the-5-elements-of-flourishing-in-life-dg/
Psychologists find smiling really can make people happier. (2020). Retrieved 25 November 2020, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190412094728.htm
Are we happier when we spend more time with others?. (2020). Retrieved 25 November 2020, from https://ourworldindata.org/happiness-and-friends
Sweeney, J. (2020). Understanding the Science of Eating and Happiness. Retrieved 25 November 2020, from https://firstwefeast.com/eat/2014/06/science-of-food-and-happiness
Parker-Pope, T. (2020). How Vacations Affect Your Happiness. Retrieved 26 November 2020, from https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/how-vacations-affect-your-happiness/