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What is the difference between Happiness and Well-being?

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The dictionary defines Happiness as the state of being happy. It is like getting complete fulfillment. Well-being is defined as a satisfactory condition of existence. It is characterized by good health, happiness, and prosperity. It is a feeling of general contentment. The terms Well-being and Happiness are used a lot these days. Everybody wishes to be happy, it has been the case since the beginning of humanity. These words seem to be interchangeable and they are often used in the same context. However, there are differences that are worth a read.

What is happiness?

If we are talking in terms of state of mind, there are three kinds of happiness:

– Hedonism which is related to pleasure

– Positive emotional state

– Feeling of satisfaction

Happiness could be as simple as a cheerful emotion that makes you feel happy. Happiness is important, but it is definitely not all there is to well-being. Happiness is a central component to well-being, but only one component. It isn’t the only thing we ought to value. We must consider what we value the most and this is what ultimately makes us feel good. Happiness doesn’t have one single definition, there are actually a few and one of them is Subjective Well-being.

What about Subjective Well-being?

Generally, Subjective Well-being is defined as a combination of life satisfaction and Positive Thinking while we are trying to maximize our pleasures and minimize our pains. Nobel Prize winning researcher, Daniel Kahneman has discovered that there is an easy way to feel good. His concept of objective happiness involves the « live in-the-moment experience ». There are many books about the laws of Happiness, and maximizing your happiness to greater levels, is the main purpose.

A recent sociological perspective has created a « Happiness Agenda » this way the pursuit of happiness is fully legitimized and ingrained in society as the appropriate and ultimate goal. Some people strongly value leading fully achieved lives, pursuing worthwhile but challenging goals. Which can be pleasant and fulfilling. Others prefer a laid-back pace, focusing on the enjoyment of life such as sharing good food, good wine and good company. It is possible to defend both lifestyles but nobody can expect to be in a state of constant bliss.

In conclusion:

Finding a good balance seems to be the key to Happiness and Well-being.

It means:

– Living in the moment

– Using Positive Thinking

– Having a purpose in life and a constructive attitude

– Choosing a healthy life style

– Surrounding oneself by positive and supportive people, as these are the main ingredients of the Happiness recipe!


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