What is Happiness?

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Virginia discuss different concepts and the individuality of
happiness and if there is one-sentence answer to the question “What is


Just a few minutes ago I was asked what happiness is for me.

Normally I am the great question master… always ahead
with the next question, the next concept in mind. I sometimes ask hard-hitting
questions and the ones that take us down a spiral: the kind where the more you
answer, the more questions arise.

To be confronted with such a question here at this table of
the Night Art Club is difficult for me. Surprising when, with my aspirations in
psychology counselling, and as a self-proclaimed happiness researcher, I should
have the smart-aleck answer in the first second. The truth is, however, that
although happiness can be statistically processed (the Happiness institute in
Copenhagen is actively conducting research on the subject), I can’t squeeze
anything clever into a sentence.

I can tell you about concepts like mindsight and the
triangle of well being and the keypoints of short-term or long-term happiness.
I can tell you about personal experiences and those close to me.  I can present phrases like “Everyone is
the architect of his own happiness” on my virtual paper and yet … At the
end of the day, I am a person who cannot resist the fast influences of the
world, one experience and proof I am evolving.

The consequence for me is that I will always give you dear
questioner a different answer, always true and yet never the same. 

And if I think about it a step or two further, then maybe
that’s exactly what it is for me: 
Happiness, being happy, happy moments etc. are changeable and
individual. A very good friend and I were talking about her buying a new TV –
it was definitely a happy moment for her. I do not have a TV and finds them
kind of ugly and would never have said that about buying one. But let me tell
you about my latest acquisition … the dishwasher! Happy never washing by hand
again!  Can happy moments only be bought?
Absolutely not, because although a television, dishwasher or rocket can bring
joy to the heart, it has been scientifically proven that purchased things fill
up the barometer for short-term happiness.

However, in the long term, it is rather the memories and
experiences. Accordingly, investments in the happiness fund are more likely to
be made in activities and simply being.
Does this mean that Chanel number one can never be bought again and instead the
money for the next bungee jump flies away? No, in fact, it is happiness-promoting
to link investments with moments – meaning I should rather have scrubbed by
hand for a while and bought my new Schnuggy at the next big publication. 

One thing I see as a fact from personal experience:
happiness is not a fixed permanent state. For me, happiness is like a garden.
You enjoy the fragrant flowers, the lush grass and sizzling in the sun. But
even the most beautiful garden goes to waste if you don’t get out your rake and
spade every now and then and finish off the weeds.  This care manifests itself in a thousand and
one ways – starting with self-care, deep talks with friends and professional
conversations – for me it is part of the usual repertoire of being healthy,
just like dental care.  Profilaxe of the
psyche. That is why it is important to ask not only what happiness is, but also
how we can develop it, maintain it and pass it on to others.  And since I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask:
What is happiness in your eyes?

Find out more:

I am a former exchange student in UK, who loves to write.
Every topic in any way. As I came a lot in touch with questions like this
during my distance learningship as a psychology counselor, I want to explore
the concepts of happiness.

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