For Aristotle human function is to reason, since it is that alone which humans uniquely do. And performing one's function well, or excellently, is good.
According to Aristotle, the life of excellent rational activity is the happy life. Aristotle argued a second best life for those incapable of excellent rational activity was the life of moral virtue. Western ethicists have made arguments for how humans should behave, either individually or collectively, based on the resulting happiness of such behavior. Utilitarians , such as John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham , advocated the greatest happiness principle as a guide for ethical behavior. Friedrich Nietzsche critiqued the English Utilitarians' focus on attaining the greatest happiness, stating that "Man does not strive for happiness, only the Englishman does.
Nietzsche instead wants us to consider the value of what is difficult, what can only be earned through struggle, difficulty, pain and thus to come to see the affirmative value suffering and unhappiness truly play in creating everything of great worth in life, including all the highest achievements of human culture, not least of all philosophy. In Darrin McMahon claimed, that over time the emphasis shifted from the happiness of virtue to the virtue of happiness. Not all cultures seek to maximise happiness,    and some cultures are averse to happiness.
Happiness forms a central theme of Buddhist teachings. Ultimate happiness is only achieved by overcoming craving in all forms. More mundane forms of happiness, such as acquiring wealth and maintaining good friendships, are also recognized as worthy goals for lay people see sukha.
Buddhism also encourages the generation of loving kindness and compassion , the desire for the happiness and welfare of all beings. In Advaita Vedanta , the ultimate goal of life is happiness, in the sense that duality between Atman and Brahman is transcended and one realizes oneself to be the Self in all.
Patanjali , author of the Yoga Sutras , wrote quite exhaustively on the psychological and ontological roots of bliss. The Chinese Confucian thinker Mencius , who had sought to give advice to ruthless political leaders during China's Warring States period, was convinced that the mind played a mediating role between the "lesser self" the physiological self and the "greater self" the moral self , and that getting the priorities right between these two would lead to sage-hood. He argued that if one did not feel satisfaction or pleasure in nourishing one's "vital force" with "righteous deeds", then that force would shrivel up Mencius, 6A 2A More specifically, he mentions the experience of intoxicating joy if one celebrates the practice of the great virtues, especially through music.
When a person is happy they are much more capable of serving God and going about their daily activities than when depressed or upset. The primary meaning of "happiness" in various European languages involves good fortune, chance or happening. The meaning in Greek philosophy, however, refers primarily to ethics. In Catholicism , the ultimate end of human existence consists in felicity, Latin equivalent to the Greek eudaimonia , or "blessed happiness", described by the 13th-century philosopher-theologian Thomas Aquinas as a Beatific Vision of God's essence in the next life.
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According to St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas , man's last end is happiness: "all men agree in desiring the last end, which is happiness. These laws, in turn, were according to Aquinas caused by a first cause, or God. According to Aquinas, happiness consists in an "operation of the speculative intellect": "Consequently happiness consists principally in such an operation, viz. But imperfect happiness, such as can be had here, consists first and principally in contemplation, but secondarily, in an operation of the practical intellect directing human actions and passions.
Human complexities, like reason and cognition, can produce well-being or happiness, but such form is limited and transitory. In temporal life, the contemplation of God, the infinitely Beautiful, is the supreme delight of the will. Beatitudo , or perfect happiness, as complete well-being, is to be attained not in this life, but the next.
Al-Ghazali — , the Muslim Sufi thinker, wrote " The Alchemy of Happiness ", a manual of spiritual instruction throughout the Muslim world and widely practiced today. Happiness in its broad sense is the label for a family of pleasant emotional states, such as joy , amusement , satisfaction , gratification , euphoria , and triumph.
Happiness can be examined in experiential and evaluative contexts. Experiential well-being, or "objective happiness", is happiness measured in the moment via questions such as "How good or bad is your experience now? In contrast, evaluative well-being asks questions such as "How good was your vacation? Experiential well-being is less prone to errors in reconstructive memory , but the majority of literature on happiness refers to evaluative well-being. The two measures of happiness can be related by heuristics such as the peak-end rule.
Some commentators focus on the difference between the hedonistic tradition of seeking pleasant and avoiding unpleasant experiences, and the eudaimonic tradition of living life in a full and deeply satisfying way. Theories on how to achieve happiness include "encountering unexpected positive events",  "seeing a significant other",  and "basking in the acceptance and praise of others".
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological, and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid, he reaches self-actualization. Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Maslow envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as peak experiences , profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient, and yet a part of the world. Self-determination theory relates intrinsic motivation to three needs: competence , autonomy , and relatedness.
THE HAPPINESS HABIT - Choose The Path To A Better Life
Ronald Inglehart has traced cross-national differences in the level of happiness based on data from the World Values Survey. He finds that the extent to which a society allows free choice has a major impact on happiness. When basic needs are satisfied, the degree of happiness depends on economic and cultural factors that enable free choice in how people live their lives. Happiness also depends on religion in countries where free choice is constrained.
Since the field of positive psychology has expanded drastically in terms of scientific publications, and has produced many different views on causes of happiness, and on factors that correlate with happiness. People have been trying to measure happiness for centuries. In , the English utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed that as happiness was the primary goal of humans it should be measured as a way of determining how well the government was performing. Since , a World Happiness Report has been published.
Using these measures, the report identifies the countries with the highest levels of happiness. In subjective well-being measures, the primary distinction is between cognitive life evaluations and emotional reports. The UK began to measure national well being in ,  following Bhutan , which had already been measuring gross national happiness. Happiness has been found to be quite stable over time. As of , no evidence of happiness causing improved physical health has been found; the topic is being researched at the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard T.
Chan School of Public Health. As of June Gruber a psychologist at University of Colorado has suggested that seeking happiness can also have negative effects, such as failure to meet over-high expectations,  and has advocated a more open stance to all emotions. Not all cultures seek to maximise happiness. Sigmund Freud said that all humans strive after happiness, but that the possibilities of achieving it are restricted because we "are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment only from a contrast and very little from the state of things.
In politics, happiness as a guiding ideal is expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence of , written by Thomas Jefferson , as the universal right to "the pursuit of happiness. It has to be kept in mind that the word happiness meant "prosperity, thriving, wellbeing" in the 18th century and not the same thing as it does today. In fact, happiness.
- Noun Valency.
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On average richer nations tend to be happier than poorer nations, but this effect seems to diminish with wealth. Work by Paul Anand and colleagues helps to highlight the fact that there many different contributors to adult wellbeing, that happiness judgement reflect, in part, the presence of salient constraints, and that fairness, autonomy, community and engagement are key aspects of happiness and wellbeing throughout the life course.
Libertarian think tank Cato Institute claims that economic freedom correlates strongly with happiness  preferably within the context of a western mixed economy, with free press and a democracy. According to certain standards, East European countries when ruled by Communist parties were less happy than Western ones, even less happy than other equally poor countries.
Since , empirical research in the field of happiness economics , such as that by Benjamin Radcliff , professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, supported the contention that in democratic countries life satisfaction is strongly and positively related to the social democratic model of a generous social safety net, pro-worker labor market regulations, and strong labor unions. It has been argued that happiness measures could be used not as a replacement for more traditional measures, but as a supplement. Therefore, government should not decrease the alternatives available for the citizen by patronizing them but let the citizen keep a maximal freedom of choice.
Good mental health and good relationships contribute more than income to happiness and governments should take these into account. Research on positive psychology, well-being, eudaimonia and happiness, and the theories of Diener, Ryff, Keyes, and Seligmann covers a broad range of levels and topics, including "the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Several terms redirect here. For other uses, see Happiness disambiguation , Happy disambiguation , Gladness disambiguation and Jolly disambiguation.
For the album, see Rejoicing album. For the concept in pragmatics, see Felicity conditions.
Main article: Philosophy of happiness. See also: Religious studies. Main article: Happiness in Judaism. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. October Main article: Happiness economics. Main article: Well-being contributing factors. Wolfram Alpha.
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Archived from the original on Retrieved Happiness Explained. Oxford University Press. What is This Thing Called Happiness? Journal of Philosophy of Education. Call it emotional well-being. Happiness as emotional well-being concerns your emotions and moods, more broadly your emotional condition as a whole.
To be happy is to inhabit a favorable emotional state On this view, we can think of happiness, loosely, as the opposite of anxiety and depression. Being in good spirits, quick to laugh and slow to anger, at peace and untroubled, confident and comfortable in your own skin, engaged, energetic and full of life. Facts of Life: ten issues of contentment. Outskirts Press. Philosophically, its scope is more often wider, encompassing a whole life. The point is that some good things in their life made it a happy one, even though they lacked contentment.
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