Happiness and Fun

What is Happiness?

Happiness is defined as the quality or state of being happy. Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Synonyms for happiness: bliss contentment elation glee jubilation cheer pleasure optimism blessedness gladness felicity mirth joy

Happiness most often is associated with meaningfulness.

How do you have FUN?

Fun is defined as something that provides mirth or amusement. Enjoyment or playfulness.

Synonyms for fun: amusing enjoyable entertaining lively pleasant boisterous diverting merry witty joy pleasure festivity frolic gaiety

Having fun is a distinct pleasure that we recognize while engaged in behaviors or activities across broad experiences. 'A sense of liberation' is often used by individuals asked to describe FUN.

Having fun is usually associated with an experience that is a specific amount of time and activity. During the experience we feel carefree, our tensions and worries are set aside as we engage in fun pursuits. When the time set aside for ‘fun’ is ended we resume our routine. Happiness may be part of our ‘fun time’ but we should also seek ways to find happiness in our daily lives. Contentment, pleasure, optimism, feelings of blessedness and felicity are emotions we can cultivate through lifestyle shifts that help us focus on aspects of our life that remind us of positivity and goodness.

How to cultivate happiness? 

  1. Gratitude journal - jot down things you are grateful for each day. Look beyond the big stuff like family and shelter (though this is a great place to start your journal habit). Try to find the small things that bring you joy.
  2. Mindfulness - take a walk and focus on the sounds of nature; birds, frogs and wind in the trees. We live on an incredibly beautiful planet. Take a few moments to relish in its beauty and the wonder of it.
  3. Choice - Make the choice everyday to choose happiness; contentment, optimism. When you begin to focus on the positives it gets easier to recognize meaningful elements of daily life.

Please understand, I am not implying there will not be days of sadness, grief or unpleasantness in our life. Going through days of grief or loss are meaningful experiences and part of everyone’s life journey at some time. Loss of a job, death of someone we love, starting a new career, are all examples of change that often includes feelings of sadness, grief or uncertainty. Allowing ourselves to acknowledge the emotions associated with change of any kind is healthy and part of mental and emotional wellness.

I encourage individuals struggling with depression to seek professional medical care and follow the advice of your health care professional. This article is not intended to discourage or in any way imply that you can ‘decide to be happy’. This is disrespectful to people with depression and it is never my intention to disrespect or trivialize clinical depression. If you suspect your sadness is more than a temporary feeling please visit the NIMH link for more information. Need immediate help or someone to talk to about your feelings? Connect with a crisis counselor here.

 It’s my hope this short article has given you some tips to find optimism for each day and enjoy the carefree pursuits that bring you joy.