The Pros And Cons Of Happiness

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“People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all life for happiness.” It seems everyone has a view on happiness; John Lennon, the Dalai Lama and hundreds of others but what exactly is happiness and how can psychological science help cultivate it? Defining happiness is often as elusive as achieving it but some positive psychologists have defined happiness as “the good life, freedom from suffering, flourishing, well-being, joy, prosperity, and pleasure.” Up until 1999 the study of happiness was relatively non-existent until the pioneer of positive psychology; Martin Seligman made a famous speech acknowledging that more psychologists need to study what makes happy people happy. In many ways this opened the field for positive psychology and over recent year’s positive psychology has been gaining more recognition and credibility for its contribution to the field of psychology. It is even being used by policymakers and economists in predicting patterns of social behaviour. Positive psychology allows us to study what actions and pursuits contribute to the good life as well as the effects of positive emotions and the ways in which they affect performance, health, and overall life satisfaction. It utilizes the scientific method (hypothesis, prediction, study, and research, analysis) to understand the positive and emotionally fulfilling aspects of human behaviour. Although there are many different theories on how to cultivate happiness for everyone, there is a vast
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