Happiness is such a simple, yet complex subject. You know what it is, and yet you may not know everything that goes into it. What makes one happy? Is it a smile on their face, or just contentment? The answer is different for everyone. This reason alone makes it difficult for world happiness to occur, as everyone has their own source of happiness. These articles examine the concepts of happiness. You’ll learn how the great philosophers looked at happiness and what you can learn from them. You’ll learn about the happiest places to live, how mental illnesses can impact happiness, and what you can do to fix your unhappiness.
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Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Happiness is often considered a sense of well-being and contentment. It can happen as a passing feeling or become a state of being in your life. When you feel happy, you may positively embrace challenges and experience a sense of acceptance.
Happiness isn’t about smiling all the time or living in denial. Instead, it can be about accepting yourself, embracing the unknown, and being open to what life brings you. Part of being happy means being honest about your flaws and embracing your skills.
Why Do I Fear Happiness?
Some people are afraid of happiness. It may not mean they don’t want to be happy, but it’s an unfamiliar concept, and they don’t know how to achieve it.
Cherophobia is “the fear of happiness.” It’s a relatively new term and isn’t in the DSM. However, medical experts, including psychiatrists, are starting to use the term to describe people who have an aversion to being happy. “Chero” means “to rejoice” in Greek.
When someone is afraid of being happy, they are less likely to pursue interests they enjoy, keeping themselves in an unhappy cycle. They might be fearful of happiness because they’re used to a routine of being sad. They don’t know themselves as happy and may be used to keeping a pessimistic outlook. Some individuals might believe they don’t deserve happiness because of low self-esteem. These beliefs are false but keep people in a feedback loop of sadness.
Happiness Can Improve Your Physical Health
Research suggests that when you are happy, your physical health improves. Happiness may regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, cardiovascular health, and the autoimmune system. In addition, happy people tend to live longer lives than unhappy people. When you’re a happy person, you have an incentive to keep going. Happiness can mean having people or ideas to live for and a sense of optimism.
How Social Support Contributes To Happiness
Human beings are wired to be social. In addition, social support systems promote happiness and well-being. When you spend time with healthy people who love and support you, your mood may reflect it. People are also often happy when involved in activities that make them content. Spending time practicing your hobbies with loved ones may improve your mood over time. Speaking to a therapist may be beneficial if you don’t have a support system.
Exercise And Happiness
Studies show that exercise can significantly improve one’s mood, releasing “happy chemicals,” endorphins in the brain that cause euphoria, relaxation, and happiness. Endorphins cause the release of norepinephrine (a sexual hormone), which boosts your mood and energy.
Exercise decreases stress levels, which can contribute to happiness. Cortisol is a stress hormone that interferes with the body’s ability to be happy. When stressed, your cortisol levels are high, and your immune system is compromised. When you exercise, cortisol levels drop, and you may simultaneously improve your physical and mental health.
If you’re struggling to find happiness or don’t know what it looks like, you might be living with an underlying mental health challenge. Although it can be normal not to feel happy 100% of the time, not experiencing happiness for months or years can be a warning sign for conditions like depression.
Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp allow individuals to receive support from home, which may benefit those who find it difficult to get out of bed due to prolonged sadness or other symptoms. In addition, online therapy is more cost-effective, and studies show that these interventions can be more effective than in-person options in treating conditions like depression.
Happiness is an emotion and an emotional state of mind. To learn more about happiness, consider reading the above articles. If you struggle to find happiness in your life or want to find motivation to meet your goals, consider contacting a therapist online or in your area to get started. You’re not alone, and happiness is possible.