So just what exactly is “happiness”? The most useful definition – and it’s one agreed upon by neuroscientists, psychiatrist, behavioral economists, positive psychologists, and Buddhist monks – is more like satisfied or content than “happy” in its strict bursting-with-glee sense. It has depth and deliberation to it. It encompasses living a meaningful life, utilizing your gifts and your time, living with thought and purpose.
It’s maximized when you also feel part of a community. And when you confront annoyances and crisis with grace. It involves a willingness to learn and stretch and grow, which sometimes involves discomfort. It requires acting on life, not merely taking it in.
There has been real progress in understanding happiness and how to get it that jumps out from the research.