Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.
While direct measurement of happiness presents challenges, tools have been developed by researchers. Positive psychology researchers use theoretical models that include describing happiness as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities, or that describe three kinds of happiness: pleasure (positive sensory experience), engagement (involvement with one’s family, work, romance and hobbies), and meaning (using personal strengths to serve some larger end).
Research has identified a number of attributes that correlate with happiness: relationships and social interaction, extraversion, marital status, employment, health, democratic freedom, optimism, endorphins released through physical exercise and eating chocolate, religious involvement, income and proximity to other happy people. Happiness is mediated through the release of so-called happiness hormones.
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 older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics]]
Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.
- More information on this topic is available at [ Wikipedia:Happiness ]
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