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Measuring Happiness

A smile is happiness you'll find right under your nose.

What determines your happiness? Is it a moment in time? An event? Are you able to replicate time and time again? When you think about happiness, it is highly unlikely that you measure your degree of joy in the world. You are instead quantifying or measuring your happiness by life experiences and overall fulfillment.

What is Happiness?

What defines your happiness may be the result of multiple factors and core values.  Happiness occurs as the result of needs that are met. It is an individualized state of positive emotions including satisfaction, pride, joy, and well-being. Things are just the way they should be.

Psychologists say that our personal outlook drives at least 40 percent of our happiness. It is what we say it is. Only 10 percent is due to life circumstances, and our genetics predetermine the remaining 50 percent.

If you are happy, the frequency in which you encounter negative emotions such as anger, fear, sadness or frustration is low.  Your happiness is what you decide it to be, but it may require you to create a plan of action.

You have to identify what it is that brings you joy, and look for ways to incorporate these experiences more often into your life.  Additionally, you must choose to be a happy person consciously.

Quantifying Happiness 

Quantifying your happiness should be the result of an entirely personal set of metrics.  Daring to compare your happiness with what produces happiness for someone else is dangerous.  When it comes to happiness, there is no standard for this metric.  Yes, there is a standard of living that we might consider, and quality of life.   But, what equates to quality for one person may not be the same for someone else.

Experts say that it is hard to quantify happiness. Unlike diabetes or high blood pressure where you are able to show a core set of measurable values to assign a diagnosis, happiness is subjective.

So, How Do We Measure Happiness?

According to Psychology Today, there are a few methods you can use to measure your happiness:With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.

Physical Health:  Some people have biological markers, including neurotransmitters and hormones that indicate happiness.  People with lower levels of serotonin may be at risk or actively experiencing depression.

Behavioral Health:  How we respond in a variety of situations might be another sign of how happy we are or are not.  Happy people are likely to laugh, smile and indulge in helping others more often than those who are not full of joy.

Positivity over Negativity:  Happy people are also more likely to avoid negative behaviors and activities than those who are unhappy.  They will purposefully surround themselves with happy people and keep those with negative energy out of their circle.

Freedom of Choices:  Happy people often have a unique degree of freedom to make decisions that favor themselves or others in their lives.

Visible to Others:  Happy people are not hiding their happiness. It is clear to others, and for those who might be susceptible, this emotion can be contagious.

Self-Reported Happiness: Finally, happy people are quick to share their happiness. Studies show that happy people often talk about their happiness.


In summary, happiness is what you decide it to be.  It is a lifelong commitment that requires a consistent investment of your energy and focus.  Your satisfaction should not be driven by the things that make other people happy.  Instead, your happiness should be a product of those things that trigger positive emotions for you.

This positive emotion is subjective by many standards, but there are multiple key indicators that we can assess to decide if happiness exists.  We have the power to make a real change to acquire happiness where it currently may not live.