The Happiness Theory — Art and Science of being happy

Legacy Network

25 Jun, 2024

Happiness — that calm, sober emotion we’re all seeking everywhere in our lives. It’s desired, envied if someone else has it, and it’s certainly fascinating. The ancient Greeks were fascinated and so are the modern psychologists. One common question they were and are all trying to answer, What is happiness, and how can we be happy?

Numerous studies and theories, from Hedonia to Eudaimonia, we explore the insights of psychology and the age-old fascination about The Happiness Theory.

The Psychology of Happiness:

Psychologists don’t only study happiness; they analyze it, categorize it to understand that exact thing which makes us truly happy. For us happiness is a great feeling, to them, it’s about subjective well-being. This consists of both cognitive satisfaction and emotional swings of moods.

Three theories of Happiness:

Goal and Needs satisfaction:

Such theories convey that our happiness comes from going after our goals and fulfilling human needs like autonomy, relatedness and competence.

Personality Predisposition theory:

The other argument is that our happiness is influenced by our genes and depends on the personality traits.

Activity and Process Theory:

Engaging in meaningful activities that require effort is believed to have a positive impact on well-being.

Now we call back to the two unfamiliar terms you read in the first paragraph-

Hedonia vs. Eudaimonia:

The Greeks get their rightful credit of being smart because they were onto something with these two types of Happiness.

Hedonia is the pursuit of pleasure, which is an immediate satisfaction. For instance, some we know ate a full tub of ice cream last night and watched Peaky Blinders. Believe us, that was pure bliss.

Eudaimonia is happiness from virtue and meaning in life. The fulfillment of responsibilities, pursuing long-term goals and making an impact.

Pleasure and Meaning:

Modern psychology did not disregard the wisdom of the ancient Greeks. Instead, it has redefined it in a more contemporary context. In this modern interpretation, hedonic happiness has come to represent pleasure, while eudaemonic happiness now signifies a profound sense of meaning.

Engagement has been introduced as a third element. This is simply dedication and commitment to the participation in various aspects of life. In simpler terms, these are the ‘It’s the journey not the goal’ people.

Research has shown that happy people score high in eudaimonic life satisfaction and barely above average in hedonic life satisfaction.

The Many Shades of Happiness:

Happiness comes in different sizes; it isn’t a universal size. It also comes in different ways, like excitement, pride, optimism and joy. All of these fall under the umbrella of hedonia, eudaimonia and engagement.

Joy is a very vague emotion. It is usually short-lived and stays for that pleasurable moment, while doing something for a good cause gives you meaning. Many shades of happiness, different flavors of the same feeling.

The Happiness Set Point:

What are the chances of increasing happiness? As you can imagine, that’s a very common question. Some psychologists say that happiness is destined and unchangeable, like a set point.

The baseline of your happiness remains the same, and you’ll always return to it regardless of external occurrences. A hedonic treadmill, if you will.

Positive Psychology and the Pursuit of Happiness:

Positive psychology is a field just to understand the meaning of a flourishing and fulfilling life. It takes a left turn from pathology to the development of positive qualities in individuals and communities. It believes that personal development can bring a better change and the end product is happiness.

Speaking of personal development…

We, at Legacy Academy, are also very firm believers in positive psychology and personal development. As a person’s skills thrive, so does their personal development. However, it’s only natural to want that growth to be an exciting and enjoyable journey.

So, instead of giving you bitter tablets of growth, we made a gummy for you. A game-based learning platform that helps you grow your personal and professional skills in order to achieve your goals successfully.

If rewards make you happy (everyone likes gifts), we have taken care of that too. Stay motivated and fuel your positive reinforcement by earning exciting collectibles and Legacy Tokens upon completing each module.

A modern take on Happiness:

The PERMA Model: Psychologist Martin Seligman introduced the PERMA model of happiness:

  1. Positive Emotions: The moments that fill our faces with smiles and feel very important. That’s the foundation of our seeking, positive emotions.
  2. Engagement: Being fully absorbed in activities that challenge and fulfill us.
  3. Relationships: Meaningful connections, trust and being with others is vital for our existence.
  4. Meaning: Discovering purpose and meaning in our actions and contributions.
  5. Accomplishment: We strive to reach our objectives and unlock our fullest potential.

Positive psychology is all about harnessing these elements to help individuals and societies flourish. It teaches us that happiness isn’t just feeling good; it’s about living a meaningful, filled with positive emotions and authentic connections.

Positive psychology is happiness and happiness is positive psychology. From the Ancient Greeks to modern psychologists, we have been taught an invaluable lesson: happiness encompasses more than just feeling good. It lies in the pursuit of a purposeful existence, cultivating loving relationships, and embracing positive emotions.

The search for happiness is a journey worth pursuing. No matter if it involves relishing in joyful moments, seeking significance and purpose, or actively facing life’s challenges.