Is happiness or subjective well-being just an occurrence, or does this observable circumstance have accountabilities beyond what is experienced by the person who perceives feeling happy? We all desire to be happy, but how is this achieved and sustained? Are there predetermining factors that play a role, such as our genetic make-up? The following essay will explore subjective well-being in general, as this is considered to be synonymous with happiness. An explanation will be given of both the model of architecture of sustainable happiness, and a clear definition of the biopsychosocial model. Throughout the essay, examples from the SKD228 module will be given as evidence of support with possible links to biological factors. The essay will conclude on whether or not the architecture of sustainable happiness is compatible with the biopsychosocial model or not. (133)
Our time spent is made up of 5% individual circumstantial contributions such as relationships, financial status, employment etc. Life experiences contribute 10% to our well-being levels. Human beings adapt to circumstances and to life events. (Boniwell and Rostron, 2010, 134) Subjective report on well being is not only about how one feels as regards to life satisfaction, but also self perception. (Boniwell and Rostron, 2010, p134) During our lifetime we have both positive and negative life experiences that effect our happiness and the hedonic adaptation theory of life satisfaction suggests that we will return to our baseline very shortly after one of these events. Huppert suggested that good health and over all subjective well-being is associated with positive emotions, by limiting and restraining negative emotions. (Huppert et al, cited in Datta, 2010, p64)
Architecture of sustainable happiness
The model of architecture of sustainable happiness was created and designed when Lyubomirsky studied various papers and came to the realisation that well-being was determined by multiple influences. (Lyubomirsky et al, cited in Boniwell & Rostron, 2010, p134) The basis is that we have a genetically determined level of happiness and although these significant life events play a role in affecting this, it will return to its original point quite soon after the event. In this model, the variation in happiness is made up of approximately 50%, whilst life circumstances represent 10% in well-being. The difference consists of effort on behalf of the person who chooses to enhance their well-being by intentional activity. It is suggested that despite what is biologically set and what life events happen, one can improve mental health and over all well-being with intentional activity. An example of the architecture of sustainable happiness model would be that of Henry, who has combined his love for the outdoors with his job. He reports that his good health is down to his genes, stating that there is never any melancholy in their lives. He is part of a cohesive...