What is Happiness?
What is happiness? How do we get it? Where does it come from? These questions have been debated throughout history. Each question is viewed and answered differently by every person. The first people who began questioning the true definition of happiness were Greek Philosophers. Some philosophers believed that it came from hedonism. Hedonism is the pursuit of sensual pleasure. Others believed happiness was a goal to be achieved, a final destination that made the injustices of life worthy of something. These ideas are still prevalent today. Aristotle, a famous philosopher believed in the idea of eudaimonic happiness.
Those beliefs are that happiness is not a state of pleasure of well being but instead living in a way that fulfills your purpose. People find happiness in many different ways. I think a person’s happiness is based upon three things self esteem, atmosphere, and relationships. I truly believe how someone views themselves affects their happiness. Self image is the way you define yourself or view yourself through your perspective. Self image is very important, as well as having a positive one. In the writing Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment by Nathaniel Hawthorne it talks about elderly people who are unhappy due to their aged appearance. Give us more of this wondrous water! cried they, eagerly. We are young- but we are still too old!
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Quick- give us more! (Hawthorne 4). This quote shows how unhappy they were until they began becoming younger looking again, and they were happier, more content and pleased with themselves and their appearance, and craved to continue looking that way. Your atmosphere affects your happiness. Happiness is a global pursuit. It is carved and experienced by many. I think that the people you are around or feel the absence of them effects how happy and pleased you feel. In the article by The New Yorker A better kind of Happiness it talks about the physical aspects of happiness.
In a small study, since repeated in larger trials, they compared blood samples from six people who felt socially isolated with samples from eight who didn’t. Among the lonely participants, the function of the genome had changed in such a way that the risk of inflammatory diseases increased and antiviral response diminished. It appeared that the brains of these subjects were wired to equate loneliness with danger, and to switch the body into a defensive state (The New Yorker 2). This quote explains how people who have a more secluded atmosphere become more physically uncomfortable and their bodies also becomes somewhat unhappy.