Happiness is an emotional state in which we experience joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction. Did you know that there are several types of happiness? Yes, this feeling is not one-dimensional at all. Moreover, there are not only different types, but also stages and levels of happiness. But first things first.

What are the types of happiness

Understanding what kind of happiness you experience helps you truly enjoy life, appreciate loved ones and everything that surrounds you here and now.

1. Pride

Have you ever completed a difficult project? Or worked as a volunteer in a charitable organization whose principles are very close to you? Such an experience must have filled you with a sense of pride.

Very often we associate it with negative emotions that appear during rivalry. However, pride in one’s accomplishments is a form of happiness. You can be proud of your job, family, or any other area of ​​your life that gives you a sense of accomplishment.

2. Good relationships with others

Conducted at Harvard University study with the participation of 268 students. The scientists followed the fate of the participants for 75 years, observing all aspects of their lives: relationships with others, political and religious views, coping strategies, alcohol consumption.

Here is what psychiatrist and Harvard Medical School professor Robert Waldinger had to say about the results of the study: “Our relationships with others and how happy we are in them affect our health. Sure, it’s important to take care of your body, but taking care of your relationships is also part of taking care of yourself.” In his speech at a TED conference, he noted that people who have strong ties to family, friends, and community feel happier. They are also healthier physically and live longer.

In a book on the study, its leader from 1972 to 2004, psychiatrist George Vaillant writes: “There are two pillars of happiness – love and the ability to live in such a way as not to repel it.” According to him, many people’s beliefs about happiness turned out to be false. For example, the belief that without money and high social status it is impossible to be successful. In fact, these things are at the very bottom of the list of things that bring us happiness.

3. Satisfaction

It is the ability to enjoy who you are with what you have. This is respect for your present day and gratitude for the period that you are living right now. At the same time, satisfaction does not mean the absence of desires. To be satisfied means to be satisfied with your present and to believe in a better future.

In today’s world, many see life as a race to be the best at everything. We should have the most luxurious car, the biggest house, the highest paying job, and a lot of money. And as soon as we achieve one goal, we instantly begin to chase another. Few take the time to relax and appreciate the value of what they have already achieved.

Satisfaction gives us inner peace and positivity, with which it is much easier to develop. It makes life more joyful and promotes happiness.

4. Fun

Adult life doesn’t have to be all about work. We are so focused on professional tasks and family problems that we do not find time for fun at all. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we give it up.

When we have a free moment, we relax in front of the TV or computer, instead of really having fun. But having fun adds joy to life, reduces stress, speeds up the learning process, and helps you “connect” to other people and the outside world. It evokes positive feelings in us – inspiration, pride, hope and, of course, happiness.

Most of us have favorite hobbies. They are often the source of the fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s cooking, collecting, painting or traveling. The main thing is that your hobby brings a joyful revival into your life every day or at least every week and allows you to escape from everyday problems.

5. Gratitude

“I insist that thanksgiving is the highest form of consciousness and that gratitude is happiness redoubled by a miracle.” Exactly spoke English writer, poet and philosopher Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Choosing to be grateful is an affordable and easy way to boost your happiness. This practice improves self-esteem, evokes positive emotions and turns us into optimists.

Amy Keller, PhD notesthat happiness can be built purposefully. When we feel that our lives have meaning and experience joy, we appreciate all that we have much more.

Amy Keller

Doctor of Psychology.

When I talk about happiness with my clients, I emphasize the importance of cultivating a sense of purpose, a sense of fulfillment, and self-worth. And just having fun is also a significant factor! Gratitude supports happiness in a myriad of ways that are associated with all of these emotions.

What are the stages of happiness

The main sources of happiness change depending on what stage of life we ​​are in. Something that made us happy at the age of 5 is unlikely to cause the same delight at 25. And what made us happy at 25 will no longer work at 35. Therefore, it is important to understand at what stage of happiness you are and why habitual in the past, pleasures no longer please.

Stage One: Early Happiness

We first experience happiness as children. At an early age, our joy is natural and expressive.

Of course, few remember their experiences before the moment when they learned to speak. But when we look at young children, the first thing we notice is their joyful nature. For them, the manifestation of inspiration, love and happiness is a natural state.

Second Stage: Socialized Happiness

From the moment we have learned to speak and understand the word “no”, the stage of socialization begins. We learn the rules that come from our parents, school, society, and the world around us. We learn to accept the emotional punishments and rewards associated with these rules.

When we do what is required of us, we receive emotional acceptance in the form of encouragement or approval. And when we break the rules, we get emotional feedback in the form of criticism and reprimands.

As a result, we learn to form an opinion about ourselves based on what others think of us. And we even independently generate emotions that others gave us when rewarded or punished. For example, if we were constantly criticized by our parents, we begin to scold ourselves and experience already well-known emotions.

Stage Three: Conditional Happiness

When we are fully socialized, we no longer need to rely on other people’s opinions about what we should and shouldn’t do. We have made our own set of rules and gained enough verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical experience of rewards and punishments to independently evaluate ourselves and our actions. We follow the “must” list and strictly avoid things from the “should not” list – this is the condition of our subjective happiness.

At this stage, we are still enjoying approval. We get a powerful emotional charge when someone is really interested in us, and we react violently to negative feedback. Our happiness literally depends on these two conditions.

Fourth stage: transition to happiness

Here we rebel against social beliefs and norms of behavior. We don’t question what others say, we rebel against the thought patterns our own brain generates. This is a conscious rebellion in which our emotions turn into reactions.

At the same time, most of the settings that our consciousness offers us are really useful and necessary, so we need to leave them in our “piggy bank”. We seek to rid ourselves solely of the judgmental thoughts that prevent us from expressing love.

At this stage, we try meditation and yoga, read helpful books, or practice mindfulness to eliminate unwanted thoughts and change key negative attitudes.

Fifth Stage: True Happiness

A person who has passed to this stage can express himself freely and feel real happiness. It is similar to the joy that small children experience.

Here the feeling of gratitude, love and respect does not depend on external factors. Happiness becomes a personal view of the world and an emotional state that is maintained from within.

How to be happy

1. Develop

Focus on creating the life you love. The main thing is to believe that you will achieve everything you want and overcome any obstacles if you are patient. To develop, you need to be sure that over time you will only get better.

2. Do volunteer work

This is a great way to find purpose and become more joyful. Volunteering also gives a pleasant feeling of fulfillment and does us happier.

3. Find a reason to be happy every day

Sometimes happiness is hidden in the smallest and most mundane things. Try to pay more attention to them: inhale the aroma of morning coffee, read your favorite book, or work on an interesting project.

4. Be grateful

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to cultivate happiness from within. Set aside at least 5 minutes every day for this. Even such a short practice will have a positive effect on health and internal state.

5. Less use of gadgets

When we disconnect from emails and social media, we connect to the people around us. And this being in the real world makes us much happier.

6. Try new things

People who participate in new bold initiatives and get unique experience, much more often keep the positives in mind, not the negatives. And the more pleasant memories in our “piggy bank”, the more lightness and fun in our lives. Therefore, stop doubting and finally sign up for drawing or playing the guitar lessons, or go on a trip to Altai. For your own happiness.

7. Love yourself

Self-criticism destroys us. Self-compassion, on the other hand, increases productivity, makes you stronger, and relaxes you. The next time you think badly of yourself, write that thought down. Once you see how terrible a statement looks on paper, you will stop repeating it over and over again in your head.

8. Stop apologizing

The science claimsthat people who avoid apologies are much happier than others. It turns out that when we refuse to apologize for everything, it gives us an inner feeling of strength and self-confidence.

9. Spend time with loved ones

Make time for relationships with others. Lack of communication with family and friends is one of the most important regretswhich people confess before they die.

10. Have fun

Start living in the present and stop waiting for the perfect moment – be spontaneous and have fun. Take a break right now, not when you tidy up your apartment or walk your dog. We tend to think that the only real fun is at big parties or big holidays. It is this mindset that keeps us from enjoying small pleasures in the here and now.

The recipe for a happy life is simple – you need to fill it with what you really like. Take action today and let joy be your legacy.