Most of us Probably do not Believe we need a formal definition of Happiness; we know it when we feel it, and we often use the term to Describe a range of positive emotions, including joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude.
But to Understand the causes and effects of Happiness, Researchers first need to define it. Many of them use the term Interchangeably with “Subjective Well-Being” which they measure by simply asking people to report how satisfied they feel with their own lives and how much positive and negative emotion they’re experiencing. In her 2009 book The How of Happiness, positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky Elaborates, describing happiness as “The Experience of Joy, Contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”
The research Suggests that Happiness is a Combination of how satisfied you are with your life (for example, finding meaning in your work) and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis. Both of these are Relatively stable—that is, our life changes, and our mood fluctuates, but our general happiness is more genetically determined than anything else. The good news is, with consistent effort, this can be offset. Think of it like you think about weight: if you eat how you want to and are as active as you want to be, your body will settle at a certain weight. But if you eat less than you'd like or exercise more, your weight will adjust accordingly. If that new diet or exercise regimen becomes part of your everyday life, then you will stay at this new weight. If you go back to eating and exercising the way you used to, your weight will return to where it started. So it goes, too, with happiness.