It’s in the constitution. It’s right up there with life and liberty.
I tried to read an article about this at Harvard Health, but I would have had to pay… and that didn’t make me happy.
Some may view happiness mainly as pleasurable engagement with their personal environment—having a career, hobby or pastime that is engaging, meaningful, rewarding, and exciting. Happiness may be illustrated as a Venn Diagram:
Whoever made that diagram apparently never found happiness from watching a funny movie.
Several years ago, I read a book by the Dalai Lama titled, “The Art of Happiness”. In that book it is explained that happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events. For example, if you wake up in the morning with the thought that you need to go to work so you can help your friends, you are likely to have a happier state of mind.
Family and other social relationships appear to be key factors correlated with happiness. Happy people also report that their marriages are fulfilling. Some have suggested that satisfaction with marriage and family life is the strongest predictor of happiness. Home is where you are supposed to recharge, after all. Happy people tend to have more friends, more high-quality social relationships, and stronger social support networks than less happy people. Happy people also have a high frequency of contact with friends (same source).
You’ve heard the term, “to look at the world through rose-colored glasses”? Many years ago, I worked with an engineer who was said to look at the world through shit-colored glasses. Nothing was ever good, fun or right for him. He had a shitty outlook.
Maybe looking at the world through rose-colored glasses isn’t the healthiest choice, but it sure beat the alternative of the shit-colored glasses.
Happiness is largely a state of mind. A choice. Not entirely, but largely.
Or is it, as the title suggests, a pursuit?
Don’t worry. Be happy. Happiness is a choice. Close your eyes. Breathe. Let the good get into you.