The search for happiness has been one of the greatest driving forces over the ages. Defined as an active or passive sense of pleasure or satisfaction, happiness drives individuals to accomplish a number of fulfilling activities in their lives. Thus an evaluation of meanings attached to happiness provides insight on how an individual maximizes their pleasure. Concepts of positive-psychology provide an explanation of what is happiness and show a number of activities that enhance contentment.
Najemy (89) argues that the theory of authentic happiness provides an approach for explaining happiness since it employs positive emotions, engagement, and meaning to describe such emotion. The theory states that happiness is the feeling that accompanies other positive emotions such pleasure, comfort and ecstasy. Subsequently, engagement involves flowing with aspects that enhance pleasure. Some of the aspects that initiate flows include listening to favorite music and loss of self-consciousness during involving activities. This aspect of happiness enables individuals to merge with an object of interest. In addition, the aspect of flow requires an individual to utilize their strengths and talents to sustain cheerfulness. The theory of authentic happiness also argues that the third element of happiness is purpose. This element results to happiness since human beings pursue meaning in their activities. According to Ahmed (169), a meaningful life involves belonging to and serving a course that is bigger than self and humanity. This aspect has facilitated the creation of positive institutions that enable individuals to pursue happiness. Some of these institutions include religion, political parties, and hobby groups.
On the other hand, the well-being theory provides an alternative approach of explaining happiness. This theory posits that happiness is a real thing that is directly measurable and can be operationalized through a number of measures. Positive emotions and engagement provide unique scales for the evaluation of happiness. This is because the previously mentioned aspects meet the criteria of contributing to an individual’s wellbeing and happiness. The well-being theory contends that those aspects are important in evaluating happiness since they contribute to an individual’s well-being, individuals for their own sake pursue them, and they are evaluated differently. The theory also discussed the significance of utilizing meaning in explaining happiness. According to Ahmed (124), attaching meaning to an individual’s activities draws higher pleasures since individuals derive purpose from their activities.
Concepts of positive psychology argue that happiness in life entails participating in activities that result to the greatest benefit without obligation. Most of these activities involve the creation of meaningful relationships that promote emotional stability hence attracting enjoyment.
Diener, Kahneman, and Schwarz (359) argue that different...