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The Happiness Blog - Psychology & Philosophy of Happiness

Let’s talk about mental well-being!

Psychology of Wellbeing

Happiness or subjective well-being (SWB) can be of two types:

  1. First is the mental state of experiencing positive or pleasant emotions, ranging from contentment to pleasure. This present-moment happiness is called hedonia or hedonic well-being.
  2. Second is the feeling of life satisfaction and flourishing, that is the joy we get from having meaning and purpose in our lives, fulfilling our potential, and being a part of something bigger than ourselves. We call this eudaimonia or eudaimonic well-being.

Well-being is a state of having good physical and mental health. It includes having high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose in life, and the ability to cope with stress.

Positive Psychology is the science of optimal human functioning. It studies what makes life worth living. It aims to uncover how people can flourish and live happier lives. We consider Martin Seligman as the Father of Modern Positive Psychology.

Some major topics of positive psychology are Character Strengths, Virtues, Empathy and Compassion, Self-Esteem, Flow, Gratitude, Hope and Optimism, Mindfulness, Relationships, and Resilience.

Remember that positive psychology is more than just positive thinking. Of course, it does not promote toxic positivity.


Philosophy of Happiness

Stoicism is a school of philosophy that originated in Greece in the 3rd century BCE. It offered a system for living a virtuous life, embracing both positive and negative emotions, and being mindful of the present moment without fear of death.

The Stoic strategies to become happier in life remain as relevant today as they did then. Being a modern Stoic in these chaotic times does not require mastering new philosophical terms or meditating for hours on end.

You may practice Stoicism right where you are. It offers a quick and useful strategy to find inner peace and develop character strengths.

Epicureanism is another school of thought that deals with how to live a happy life.

Epicurean philosophy proposes that beliefs such as the gods punishing us for our misdeeds and death being terrifying are false and can cause needless suffering. Getting rid of such beliefs can make us happier.

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