As I sat down today to start writing the first podcast episode for Happy Humans on "What is Happiness Anyway?" - it occurred to me that an over-simplification of the dichotomy of the two core aspects of happiness - experiencing primarily a positive emotional state and living a well-lived life - would need to really be broken out into more detailed components. Yes, they are the two main factors; but within each there is a lot more going on than the simplified statement would suggest.
Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, has provided a good overview of not only the fleeting positive emotional side; but the deeper aspect of having meaning and a sense of purpose in life that contribute to being "truly happy." Positive Psychology researcher, Sonja Lyumbomirsky, really brings the idea together stating, "...having a sense of satisfaction with your life and being content with the way you are progressing towards your life goals..." in conjunction with experiencing more positive emotional outcomes than negative ones really adds to the definition.
The concept of being content with one's life reminded me of "hygge" which is a Scandinavian way of "being" that actually encompasses many of the finer details of "living a well lived life." This is evident by both Denmark and Norway consistently showing up in the top slots of the global statistics for the "happiest" places to live in the world. Both of these countries practice "hygge" as a way of life. Not only is it a way of making others feel comfortable and welcome; it also engages self-care and nurturing. The practice of hygge brings contentment and inner peace in one's life. An idea and practice that I think we could all use more of in this world.