Dr. Forshee spoke with Brit + Co about the meaning of happiness.
That’s a big question, but science is taking it on. “Positive psychology defines happiness as a state of mind characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy,” says Dr. Danielle Forshee, PsyD, New Jersey-based psychologist and licensed social worker. “Happiness is being aware not only of positive thoughts but also the fact that you are the cause of those events and that you can create them, control their occurrence, and play a significant role in the good things that happen to you.” Taking a broad view, happiness is not just those feelings we get when good things happen to us; it’s also feeling like we have agency in our own lives and that we have the ability to make those things happen for ourselves.
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