Happiness is characterised by the experience of more frequent positive affective states than negative ones as well as a perception that one is progressing toward important life goals. Certain kinds of environmental factors or conditions have been found to be associated with happiness and include such things as individual income, health, family, social relationships, moral values and many others. Ultimately, in the pursuit of understanding happiness, there are two main perspectives which focus on addressing the question of what makes people feel good and happy. These are the hedonic and eudaimonic approaches to be Happy.
Hedonic wellbeing is based on the notion that increased pleasure and decreased pain leads to Happy. The pleasure that comes with, say, a good meal, an entertaining movie or an important win for one’s sports team falls in this category and tends to be short-term and fleeting.
Eudaimonic happiness is based on the premise that people feel happy if they experience life purpose, challenges and growth. Raising children, volunteering or going to medical school may be less pleasurable day to day. But these pursuits give a sense of fulfilment, of being the best one can be, particularly in the long run and hence us happy.
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