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Lauren Prince

NBC News


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What is happiness?

What is happiness? We all feel it, but what IS it? Is it an experience? A manifestation of hard work? OR is it a state of being?


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  • Mar 5 2012: Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or contentment. It therefore is an elevated state of personal satisfaction. Whether it arrives from murdering someone or saving a life the resultant effect is the same, therefore it would have to be a variation in your own self programming that discerns what makes an individual happy.

    People undergo therapy to change how they program themselves and they may even undergo a paradigm change, so that the model they desire for happiness can match their existence.

    Physical exercise has been often quoted as a method to generate desirable feelings of self worth. The body is an intensely complicated construction and there are many drugs synthesised directly within the body that direct balance and aid living a healthy life. Exercise releases endorphins which are powerful, but safe drugs.

    No doubt happiness is a feeling that results from another such release of a chemical or electrical impulse. We have pleasure as a shortcut to immediate happiness, and our lifestyles more and more abuse this shortcut. We also have drugs that affect the state of mind and perhaps relieve anxiety etc. They may well work towards a goal, but they are no match for the fine balance that the body already incorporates.

    If natural selection was truly natural then some combinations of genes would be extinct by now, but medical science is challenged to try and solve problems for kudos, interest, money and the mere challenge. And here the debate becomes moral.

    Happiness therefore should remain a state that your external environment and the choices you make in life allow you to feel internally and perhaps express externally. It should not become something to manufacture and ingest like a protein shake. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own happiness and learn how to be self reliant to give themselves this critical feeling.

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