Baby’s wonderful arrival is going to be a time of purest joy! By welcoming a new little one to your life, you’ll be experiencing the unbridled happiness that comes with meeting and nurturing a new soul. Baby girl, boy, and gender-neutral names meaning “happy” are selections that can serve as a multi-purpose reminder. Happiness in life is a choice; it is not homeostasis that is always easily maintained. Learning to develop habits and make choices that will encourage lifelong happiness is essential in life, and choosing a name that means “happy” will remind both you and baby of this vital journey.
What exactly is happiness?
Happiness is often synonymous with joy, but joy can be a fleeting thing, whereas happiness is a state of being. Happiness is the term used to describe an overall state of well-being while still experiencing the very human flux of emotions and hardships and high places. Happiness can encompass a variety of feelings, but generally and in psychology spheres, it’s understood most definitively as synonymous with “subjective well-being.” Achieving a high standard of subjective well-being is done by evaluating all social, societal, and personal living situations and taking the steps needed. Long story short, happiness is a relative experience.
How is happiness studied?
Throughout the centuries—as long as there has been critical thought—there has been critical thought about happiness, with the purposes of life being closely tied to that. Nowadays, the study of happiness looks a little different! There are neurological studies and psychological experimentation to identify the root causes and the implications of happiness. But even after the studies achieved the modern-day scientific standard, generally, it’s agreed that happiness is subjective and highly relative. It’s dependent on specific factors, usually to do with work, personal relationships, and health; this area of studied factors is identified within the “self-determination theory.” So, while hormone levels and neurological responses can be studied, happiness is not a thing that can be synthesized, leaving the studies to be largely reactive rather than preemptive.
What did ancient philosophers say about happiness?
In Aristotle’s journey to discover the ultimate purpose of human life, he concluded that exercising the entire internal self was the answer. That exercise was ultimately seeking happiness. Summarized, his theory—activity expressing virtue—was, essentially, if a person acted in accordance with good conscience and “appropriate excellence” was achieved with that conscientiousness. Even more basically, being a good person would equate to being a happy person. Across the centuries, of course, this theory has been disparaged inadvertently with human cynicism—think “no good deed goes unpunished” kind of thing. But besides Aristotle, there were other Greek thinkers, like Democritus—who questioned the idea of happiness resulting from good or ill fate—Socrates, and Plato. The latter two’s understanding of happiness was perhaps most similar to today’s methodology of “secure enjoyment of what is good and beautiful.” Theirs was the ancient version of “live your best life” to produce happiness.