I’ve read many articles/books about happiness through the years. And this one was packed with great info. It’s kind of long, so I dropped in some highlights below.

The only person that can say whether you’re feeling happy or not is you.

When it comes to happiness, it can be broken down into four conceptual domains to clarify what kind of happiness is being examined. For example:

Well-being: “Overall my life is going well.”
Traits: “I am an enthusiastic and positive person.”
Emotions: “I feel gratitude and appreciation.”
Sensations: “It feels good to sit in this hot tub.”

Happiness is not:
Having all your personal needs met
Always feeling satisfied with life
Feeling pleasure all the time
Never feeling negative emotions

Happiness isn’t about wanting more, always feeling “good,” or even being satisfied with every aspect of your life. Happiness is not the absence of negative feelings.

One of the misconceptions about happiness is that happiness is being cheerful, joyous, and content all the time; always having a smile on your face. It’s not—being happy and leading rich lives is about taking the good with the bad, and learning how to reframe the bad.

Instead of trying to force yourself to be happy, simply reflect on the moments and activities that give you joy.

Happiness and contentment isn’t a single thing. It’s a culmination of genetics, feelings, personality, emotions, and other life variables and circumstances.

The Common Factors of the Happiest People:

Getting plenty of exercise (especially with a set goal in mind), getting plenty of sleep, developing emotional intelligence, and buying experiences over material goods are good places to start.

Five key elements that comprise well-being:

Positive Emotion: Peace, gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, and love fall into this category.

Engagement: Losing ourselves to a task or project that provides us with a sense of “disappeared time” because we are so highly engaged.

Relationships: People who have meaningful, positive relationships with others are happier than those who do not.

Meaning: Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves. Whether a religion or a cause that helps humanity in some way, we all need meaning in our lives.

Accomplishment/Achievement: To feel significant life satisfaction, we must strive to better ourselves in some way.

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