Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction.
When most people talk about happiness, they might be talking about how they feel in the present moment, or they might be referring to a more general sense of how they feel about life overall.
Because happiness tends to be such a broadly defined term, psychologists and other social scientists typically use the term 'subjective well-being' when they talk about this emotional state. Just as it sounds, subjective well-being tends to focus on an individual's overall personal feelings about their life in the present.
Two key components of happiness (or subjective well-being) are:
- The balance of emotions: Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. Happiness is generally linked to experiencing more positive feelings than negative.
- Life satisfaction: This relates to how satisfied you feel with different areas of your life including your relationships, work, achievements, and other things that you consider important.