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HAPPINESS Happiness  is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. [1]  A variety of  biological  psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including positive psychology endeavor to apply the scientific method to answer questions about what "happiness" is, and how it might be attained.

Definition :

Definition Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this sense was used to translate the Greek  Eudaimonia , and is still used in virtue ethics. Happiness is a fuzzy concet  and can mean many different things to many people. Part of the challenge of a science of happiness is to identify different concepts of happiness, and where applicable, split them into their components. Related concepts are well-being, quality of life and flourishing. At least one author defines happiness as contentment . [] 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 . [ The 2012 World Happiness RepoRt  stated that in subjective well-being measures, the primary distinction is between cognitive life evaluations and emotional reports. [ 4  Happiness is used in both life evaluation, as in “How happy are you with your life as a whole?”, and in emotional reports, as in “How happy are you now?,” and people seem able to use happiness as appropriate in these verbal contexts. Using these measures, the World Happiness Report identifies the countries with the highest levels of happiness .

Religious perspeCTIVE :

Religious perspeCTIVE Happiness forms a central theme of  Buddhist teachings . [ dubious  –  discuss ]  For ultimate freedom from  suffering , the  Noble Eightfold Path  leads its practitioner to  Nirvana , a state of everlasting peace. 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. [13] [14] [ unreliable source? 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. [15] 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.


ECONOMIC VIEWS Common market health measures such as GDP and GNP have been used as a measure of successful policy. On average richer nations tend to be happier than poorer nations, but this effect seems to diminish with wealth . ]  This has been explained by the fact that the dependency is not linear but logarithmic, i.e., the same percentual increase in the GNP produces the same increase in happiness for wealthy countries as for poor countries . Libertarian think tank Cato Institute  claim that   economicfreedom  correlates strongly with happiness [29]  preferably within the context of a western mixed economy, with free press and a democracy. According to certain standards, East European countries (ruled by Communist parties) were less happy than Western ones, even less happy than other equally poor countries . ] It has been argued that happiness measures could be used not as a replacement for more traditional measures, but as a supplement. [31] According to professor Edward Glaeser , people constantly make choices that decrease their happiness, because they have also more important aims. Therefore, the government should not decrease the alternatives available for the citizen by patronizing them but let the citizen keep a maximal freedom of choice

Measures :

Measures Several scales have been used to measure happiness: The Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) is a four-item scale, measuring global subjective happiness. The scale requires participants to use absolute ratings to characterize themselves as happy or unhappy individuals, as well as it asks to what extent they identify themselves with descriptions of happy and unhappy individuals . The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) is used to detect the relation between personality traits and positive or negative affects at this moment, today, the past few days, the past week, the past few weeks, the past year, and generally (on average). PANAS is a 20-item questionnaire, which uses a five-point Likert scale (1 = very slightly or not at all, 5 = extremely). [36] [37]  A longer version with additional affect scales is available in a manual. [38] The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) is a global cognitive assessment of life satisfaction. The SWLS requires a person to use a seven-item scale to state their agreement or disagreement (1 = strongly disagree, 4 = neither agree nor disagree, 7 = strongly agree) with five statements about their life.

Health :

Health Richard Davidson's 2012 bestseller  The Emotional Life of Your Brain  argues that positive emotion and happiness benefit your long-term health. From a study conducted in 2005 by Andrew Steptow and Michael Marmot, findings have found that happiness is clearly related to biological markers that play an important role in health. At University College London, Steptow and Marmot collected health and well-being data from 116 men and 100 women. All 216 participants were middle-aged, British civil servants between the ages of 45 and 59. The researchers aimed to analyze whether there was any association between well-being and three biological markers: heart rate, cortisol levels, and plasma fibrinogen levels. Interestingly, the participants who rated themselves the least happy had cortisol levels that were 48% higher than those who rated themselves as the most happy. The least happy subjects also had a large plasma fibrinogen response to two stress-inducing tasks: the Stroop test, and tracing a star seen in a mirror image.

At work :

At work Despite a large body of positive psychological research into the relationship between happiness and productivity, [43] [44] [45]  happiness at work has traditionally been seen as a potential by-product of positive outcomes at work, rather than a pathway to success in business. However a growing number of scholars, including Boehm and Lyubomirsky , argue that it should be viewed as one of the major sources of positive outcomes in the workplace. [



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