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LostInParadise's avatar

What are the different types of happiness?

Asked by LostInParadise (18190 points ) June 19th, 2014

I was wondering if it is possible to categorize all the types of things that make us happy and started to list some items. I limited myself to short term feeling of happiness. I also did a Google search to see what others came up with. This and this
are what I was able to find.

It was a revelation that different neurochemicals have been associated with different types of happiness. While this is impressive, I don’t think it is the last word on the subject. For example, one article lists four chemicals and the other has seven.

Here are different types of happiness that I don’t think are covered in either of the articles.

1. The gratification from the cessation of suffering, like coming into an air conditioned room on a hot and muggy day.

2. Sensual pleasure (kind of obvious, I think)

3. The joy of experiencing beauty in a work of art or a part of nature.

4. The feeling you get from an effective communication – being able to understand someone and knowing that you are being understood.

5. Helping or being helped by someone. The person being helped obviously derives satisfaction just from being helped, but there is added pleasure on both sides from the interaction.

6. The enhancement of pleasure by being able to share it. Part of the enjoyment of watching a movie in a theater is sharing the experience with whoever you bring with you and also with a bunch of strangers.

7. Empathic pleasure.

8. Happiness in learning something new.

I am sure there are others that I have left out. I have put this in the general section to filter frivolous comments, but feel free to say anything that you feel is related.

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10 Answers

GloPro's avatar

The pleasure derived from watching the success or happiness of others. An example is celebrating when your son gets accepted to the college of his choice or the girl he likes accepts a date.

LostInParadise's avatar

That is what I was trying to get at by empathic pleasure. Maybe I should have elaborated.

Mimishu1995's avatar

The pleasure of achieving something.

The pleasure of meeting some basic requirement like having a good meal or a good sleep.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

The pleasure of not having anything terribly ‘wrong’ at a current moment in time—no pressing emails to answer from work, no serious responsibilities at home that day, no ongoing conflicts with others. I always try to savor those moments, all too rare they are!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

The pleasure of being at peace with yourself leaves you free to enjoy other pleasures. Without that, nothing around you can be a source of pleasure.

Coloma's avatar

Agreed with @ZEPHYRA
Inner peace and contentment are the only sustainable forms of happiness, all the rest is but fleeting gratifications in the moment.

LostInParadise's avatar

For this question, I am specifically interested in those fleeting moments because they are easier to categorize.

If you had to choose between inner peace and all those fleeing moments of happiness, which would you choose? Those fleeting moments include the taste of food, the smell of flowers, the joy of sex, the thrills of all those small moments of victory and the pleasure derived from listening to music. You can keep your kumbaya. I would stick with all of life’s small pleasures.

Coloma's avatar

@LostInParadise Well…all of those are just sort of a given, fleeting but repetitively fleeting. haha
Ideally we have both, fleeting moments but inner peace and overall contentment are much harder for most to obtain/sustain than an ice cream cone or great sex.

antimatter's avatar

O yes there are quite a few of them. Some are based on material things and others are based on material things. I always feel a sense of happiness when I know it’s Friday five minutes before knock off time and knowing it’s weekend. I feel happy when I can buy something new. I feel happy after my girlfriend and I made love. I feel happy when my favorite sports team wins a league.

longgone's avatar

Pleasure of being well inside your comfort zone – but also, the pleasure at having stepped outside of it.

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