Happiness is a long-term emotional contentment and well-being that emanate from within an individual. Researchers of happiness including Jonathan Freeman affirm “people agree about what they stand for by happiness. Certainly, it is a positive, enduring state that consist of positive feeling including both peace of mind and active pleasures or joy” (Franklin 3). Additionally, Ruut Veenhoven describes happiness as “degree in which individual judges the overall quality of his life as a whole favorably” (Argyle 5). Psychologists consider happiness as the fundamental way of evaluating the wellness of life and thus vital in examining the life of an individual.
Noteworthy, a leading positive psychologist, Seligman Martin defines happiness as composed of three parts, which include engagement, pleasure and meaning. Pleasure defines feeling good; engagement defines living a good life in family, work, friends and hobbies while meaning defines the use of strengths as a contribution to the wider purpose (Argyle 45). Happiness is a necessity and not an option. This is because happiness makes an individual to love others, appreciate them, be generous, be optimistic, open to learning and have an abundant life. Additionally, happiness is the trick to having the cycle of positive living and co-existence with other people. Therefore, individuals should know that happiness comes from within, is affordable and attainable.
Consequently, lack of happiness denies individuals the virtue of being most fulfilled self. This is because unhappiness results to people concentrating much on what they have not achieved or what they lack than concentrate and maximize on what they have. Such individuals have collision with others because they take life as a competition and, therefore, strain to be like others (Csikszentmihalyi 89). This leads to lack of contentment which makes people to be unkind, ungrateful and stingy. Furthermore, unhappiness affects self-esteem because unhappy people tend to blame others for their emotions, which leads to, low-self-esteem
Vital to note, happiness is linked to good health as indicated from the researchers’ findings. According to (Csikszentmihalyi), “happiness is related to health issues”. General conclusions from these studies indicate that happy individuals experience better health and live longer than unhappy people. This is because happiness is a positive feeling about life which implies that an individual is not depressed and stressed (Gilbert 46). Research shows that happiness reduces hormones related to stress, promotes speed recovery, and boosts immune function. Happy people have healthy levels of vital chemicals in the body which makes them have a healthy cardiovascular system and heart. This possible cuts their risk of illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes
Additionally, researchers have affirmed that happy individuals have normal blood pressure, cope well with pain, have a speedy recovery from surgery and have a life expectancy longer than unhappy individuals. Furthermore, studies suggest that happy individuals enjoy stronger immune systems and thus have fewer chances of getting flu viruses and colds than their unhappy peers (Franklin 103). They also tend to have mild symptoms when ill. In conclusion, happy individuals look at their health in a better way. This is because happiness is associated with healthy behaviors such as exercise, healthy eating and regular checkups.
Notably, negative emotions such as unhappiness have been linked to poor health. This is because unhappiness alters the biological systems eventually leading to diseases such as stroke, diabetes and heart diseases. Unhappiness can disrupt the function of cardiac through the change of the electrical stability of the heart which may result to increased systemic inflammation and atherosclerosis. Additionally, unhappiness is related to slow healing of the wound and poor immune response.
Argyle, Michael. The psychology of happiness. London: Methuen, 1987. Print.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row, 1990. Print.
Franklin, Samuel S.. The psychology of happiness: a good human life. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.
Gilbert, Daniel Todd. Stumbling on happiness. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2006. Print