March 20, 2023
People yearn to achieve happiness, as we have a natural tendency to seek experiences that generate a sense of well-being. Furthermore, since it is a relative condition, there is a wide variety of factors that actually determine it.
Probably one of the most discussed concepts throughout history is happiness. For example, in ancient philosophy, it was considered a supreme goal and was the result of a virtuous and wise life, both Aristotle and Plato described it as a state of personal completeness and fulfillment. While, at the time of the renaissance, it was conceived as a welfare state, thus becoming a highly reflected theme in literature and art.
Currently, happiness is increasingly important in popular culture and in positive psychology, as it is a fairly broad field of study, which aims to understand how we can achieve and maintain it through various strategies and practices. It is for this reason that happiness is considered a natural and essential motivation for human beings, since in a certain way it helps us to survive, prosper and enjoy life.
What is the true meaning of happiness?
Happiness is a sense of subjective well-being, but not an ideal state of permanent search, since we usually go through difficult moments that require time to recover and perceive a light in the darkness that encourages us to feel good about ourselves again and have that desire to live fully.
Antonella Galli, psychologist and psychotherapist at Clinica Ricardo Palma and author of the book Be happy again, told Bienestar of El Comercio that, as it is a subjective experience associated with feelings of well-being, satisfaction and joy, not necessarily two people will be happy for the same reasons. In short, it depends on a series of internal factors, such as attitude, emotions and personal beliefs, but also on external circumstances that significantly influence our happiness, such as health, interpersonal relationships and a series of aspects of life that They are often out of our control.
“For some people, happiness represents a psychological well-being that facilitates personal development, as well as enjoying good overall health, that is, having a balance between physical and mental health. On the other hand, some attribute it to a positive sense of humor, which encourages them to be more optimistic and resilient when facing adversity. While, for other individuals, happiness depends on harmony and affective ties with their partners, pets, families and the environment in general. Likewise, for many it is related to spirituality and religion, as it guides them in their connection with the meaning of life. In many cases, especially in young people, it is linked to self-esteem, since it is related to feeling good about oneself and achieving different personal goals”, stated the author.
The road to happiness
No doubt, how we perceive life influences our ability to feel happy, since on many occasions we tend to see the glass half full or half empty, that is, we focus solely on saying: “I am happy or unhappy” not realizing that happiness is not constant, so we have to learn to find a middle ground where we can enjoy life, despite the challenges, bad times, bereavements and illnesses, because suffering is temporary, it does not last forever; however, it depends a lot on what we are doing to face and reverse this situation, on our actions and thoughts, which determine how we want to live.
For this reason, the psychologist highlighted the importance of adopting a more positive approach on life, since adversities eventually become excellent lessons and teachings that help us in our personal growth and continuous improvement. Likewise, it is essential to be more human and understanding with life and with ourselves, acknowledging that it is okay not to feel happy all the time and that we are always going to experience difficulties and emotions that, although they will be temporary, is up to us seeking our well-being and be able to overcome all of this and feel better every time.
It should be noted that, in order to find happiness, besides everything mentioned above, it is also key to focus on and prioritize ourselves, that is, give ourselves the time to take care of our health and all the elements that influence our own well-being. For this reason, if we feel that our irrational thoughts have an impact on our ability to relate to others and ourselves, it is essential to go to a specialist so that we can find that intrinsic motivation that is so important to enjoy our environment and those moments that fill us with happiness.
Dr. Antonella Galli
Psychologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma