Happiness: Why it relates to your mental health
By: Alexa Greenbaum
Humans have always pursued happiness and positive psychology has taken this concept into the realm of scientific research in hopes of gaining a better understanding of global well-being and meaningful living. Positive psychology studies the satisfaction of one’s life. This satisfaction can refer to happiness, reward, pursuit, impact, pleasure; overall being their best selves. Positive psychology focuses on the well-being of individuals and uses tools to guide someone to be more satisfied. Physical objects play an interesting role in positive psychology. Different objects, values, or the way one identifies themselves can be correlated to that person’s level of satisfaction in the present or future.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of what goes right in life – how people respond to difficult things, what people do to be there best selves, and how they do it. Studying happiness is important to people. Most people put happiness at the top of their list when asked what they want most in life.
Happiness is understood as the positive emotion humans have regarding pleasurable activities; we take part in our daily lives. Pleasure, comfort, gratitude, and hope are examples of positive emotions that increase happiness and allow us to flourish.
Why happiness is important as it is related to:
- Good interpersonal relationships
- Cognitive flexibility and creativity
- Job performance
- Resilience and health
Four potential routes to happiness:
- Hedonism – Reduction of tension or satisfaction of needs leads to happiness, maximizes pleasure, and minimizes pain.
- Eudaimonia – Identifying one’s virtues, cultivating them, and living in accord with them. Doing things that are important make your life worth living.
- Engagement – Engagement in particular life activities generated happiness. The process of engaging in the pursuit of happiness.
- Victory – Winning at whatever matters most (it can be a competition against yourself or others) can increase life satisfaction and life improvement.
If you or someone you know is struggling with life satisfaction, finding happiness in life, or another crisis, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .