Happiness? Wellbeing? Wellness? What’s the difference?
Well, there’s a reason why this site is called the “Wellbeing” hacker.
There’s a ton of information out there that uses all of these terms, but it’s important to know the difference… and why hacking your wellbeing is the way to go.
So, first, about happiness.
This is a sticky one because who doesn’t like to talk about happiness right?
So let me shed some light on why you actually should STOP trying to be happy.
Happiness is a fleeting emotion. It comes and goes. We experience it in the moment - when your boyfriend shows up with flowers, when your daughter gets an A on that exam, when you’re watching your favorite scene in the Rom-Com. But you aren’t really ever continuously happy.
And when you think you always should be happy, you can fall into the trap of preventing yourself from valuing the other emotions of life that are vital.
In general, as a species, we’re not so great at just “feeling” things and being okay with it. Sometimes sadness, empathy, homesickness, melancholy, and loneliness are authentic and these feelings lead us to new discoveries.
In summary, of course, it’s great to have feelings of happiness in your life but happiness as an end goal is not achievable.
So what is?
Wellbeing or a sense of deep fulfillment.
Your wellbeing is a compilation of all the factors that contribute to the quality of your life.
If you think about people who have achieved extraordinary things in life, whose lives had significant meaning and purpose - they weren’t always happy. Some of the most respected leaders in history - Mandela, Mother Theresa, Oprah - they aren’t or weren’t always happy. But they have led extremely fulfilling lives.
Wellbeing is a more significant metric than happiness.
It’s a metric in which you can truly measure your life overall. Measuring your life according to how much happiness you experienced is not significant. Simply measuring happiness doesn’t include the richness of those experiences that changed your life for the better - times where you weren’t necessarily happy…. the loss of a loved one, that eye-opening trip to Kenya, the illness you overcame.
Wellbeing is a way to evaluate your life that is all inclusive of your emotions, your experiences, and your overall perception of your life.
And when you’re at the end of your life, you want to be able to say that you lived a full, rich, and authentic life. A high-quality life. A life in which you maximized your wellbeing.
Use the comments below to recognize someone in your life, or someone you look up to who you feel is living a meaningful life. OR mention a time where you were feeling fulfilled, or content even if you weren't necessarily 'happy'. We'd love to hear from you!
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