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What Makes You Happy? 10 Different Answers With Examples

by Madel

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Key points

  • Appreciating simple joys can spark instant happiness.
  • Engaging in activities we love provides mental health benefits.
  • Finding contentment in what we have leads to genuine happiness.

Have you ever been asked the question, “What makes you happy?” When you put some thought into it, I’m sure that you’ll come up with a wide range of answers. Having your favorite meal might come to mind, or getting that dream job might be at the top of the list.

Happiness is something that every person seeks, yet it can be elusive and difficult to define. What brings happiness to one person may not necessarily bring happiness to another. However, understanding the factors that contribute to happiness can help us to live more fulfilling lives. 

In this article, we will explore different answers to the question, “What makes you happy?” By examining the different sources of happiness, I hope to provide insights for individuals seeking to cultivate greater happiness and well-being in their lives!

Sources of happiness

We all have various sources of happiness. But to help you reflect on what truly makes you happy, breaking them down into categories can make the process easier.

According to a book entitled Happiness: A Very Short Introduction by philosophy professor Dr. Haybron, there are 5 key sources of happiness which are as follows:

  1. Security: Experiencing a sense of stability and predictability in our lives can lead to feelings of calmness, contentment, and happiness.
  2. Relationships: Spending time with family and friends, building strong social connections, and having a supportive partner are all sources of happiness for many people.
  3. Outlook: Practicing gratitude and focusing on the positive aspects of life can increase happiness levels and reduce stress and anxiety.
  4. Autonomy: Making independent choices and having control over one’s life, has been found to be a significant source of happiness and fulfillment.
  5. Skilled and meaningful activity: Engaging in activities that allow us to find a sense of purpose can increase overall life satisfaction and happiness.

These are just a few examples of the many sources of happiness, and what brings happiness to one person may not necessarily bring happiness to another. Ultimately, happiness is a subjective experience that can be influenced by a variety of factors, both internal and external.

My own answer to happiness

When I think about what makes me happy, I’d like to go for things that don’t take too much effort or cost me a lot.

For example, being happy in a relationship doesn’t have to mean grand expressions of love. It can be cooking our favorite meal together on a Tuesday night, or receiving a compliment at a random moment.

When I think about happiness in my everyday life, it can be as simple as feeling the warm sun on my skin or seeing a baby smile at me on the bus. It’s those tiny encounters that instantly lift my mood.

When I find joy in humble and innocent moments like these, it creates a positive change in my perspective on life. I realize that life can be pure bliss when we know the value of contentment!

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10 answers to the question “What makes you happy?”

If you’re exploring the ways to respond to this question, here are some examples worth reflecting on:

1. Appreciating the small things

Enjoying simple pleasures, such as reading a good book, basking in the morning sun, or looking out at a nice view, can instantly spark our happiness.

Appreciating the simple joys that life brings can help us to be fully present in the moment and enjoy the experience to its fullest. Most of the time, finding happiness doesn’t have to cost us anything at all!

2. Spending time with our loved ones

Loved ones can provide emotional and social support, which can help us cope with stress and adversity. This sense of social support can lead to greater happiness and well-being.

When we share experiences with the people we care about, it can also create good memories and strengthen our relationships. Whether it’s special occasions or pure quality time, making time for our loved ones can surely give us a good dose of positivity.

3. Expressing love and feeling loved

When we show our love to someone and we know that we’ve made them happy, it can give us a sense of fulfillment. In the same way, feeling their love in return can certainly provide the kind of joy that’s priceless.

Knowing that the people we love feel the same way can also boost our self-esteem and sense of self-worth, which can lead to greater confidence and happiness!

4. Doing our favorite activities

Whether it’s enjoying our hobbies or pursuing the work that we love, doing what makes us happy can do wonders for our mental health and overall life satisfaction.

Engaging in activities that we enjoy can also act as a form of stress relief, helping us to relax and live an easy-going life. Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of reasons to do something but to make yourself happy!

5. Experiencing new things

Ever had one of those “bucket lists” of things you want to try before you reach a certain age? Surely, ticking things off this list can bring adventure and excitement to your life.

Oftentimes, we can get lost in the grind of our daily lives, and one way to break such monotony is by immersing ourselves in new experiences. So, step out of your comfort zone and enjoy all the excitement and happiness that the world has to offer!

6. Achieving our goals

Most of us find happiness through a sense of accomplishment. By setting goals and working towards achieving them, we attain positive feelings such as pride, satisfaction, and growth.

While it’s great to be goal-driven, it’s also important to note that true happiness is not a destination. Rather, paying close attention to our journey can help us find more meaning in everything that we choose to do.

7. Taking care of ourselves

Self-care is fundamental to our happiness and overall well-being. When we take care of ourselves, we are more capable of doing the things we love, spending time with the people we care about, and pursuing our passions in life.

Health, in all aspects, can help us experience happiness to our maximum potential. So, make sure to rest and recharge before you go back to chasing that adrenaline rush!

8. Giving back

For some of us who have already achieved all sorts of happiness in life, contributing to other people’s happiness and welfare can further fuel our sense of purpose.

Whether it’s getting involved in charitable work or dedicating ourselves to helping our communities, knowing that we’ve made a positive impact on other people’s lives can bring us incomparable joy.

9. Living our purpose

Discovering our purpose is essential to finding our own happiness. When we know what we’re most passionate about and we pursue it, we gain a sense of direction and fulfillment.

Living with purpose can also make us feel like we’re needed and that we have a place in the world. These positive beliefs can ultimately lead us to live a happy and healthy life.

10. Feeling content

Contentment is often associated with a sense of acceptance and gratitude for what one has, rather than a focus on what one lacks or desires.

People can sometimes have the tendency to keep wanting more and never feel satisfied with what they have. But, to be truly happy, we must learn a valuable lesson: that good enough is good enough. Only when we find contentment will we achieve genuine happiness.

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Wrapping up

Happiness can feel different for everyone. From spending time with loved ones to achieving our goals, experiencing new things, and living our purpose, there are many factors that can contribute to our overall sense of well-being and fulfillment.

By exploring and embracing what brings us joy and contentment, we can create a life that is truly filled with happiness and meaning.

When someone asks you what makes you happy, how would you answer? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Madel Asuncion AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Writer and advocate for young people’s mental health. Firm believer of validating one’s feelings, prioritizing the inner-self, and finding happiness in a plate of chicken curry.

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