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Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.

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From Positive Psychology News Daily

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
Margaret Lee Runbeck (1905-1956)

According to the book Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman, the 16 types of enjoyable emotions include

  • sensory pleasures (
  1. visual pleasure,
  2. tactile pleasure,
  3. olfactory pleasure,
  4. auditory pleasure,
  5. gustatory pleasure),
  • amusement,
  • contentment,
  • excitement,
  • relief,
  • wonder,
  • ecstasy or bliss,
  • gratitude,
  • elevation,
  • schadenfreude,
  • fiero, and
  • naches.

Too many for you? Indeed, Matsumoto noted that some of these enjoyable emotions do not even have denotations in English, like

fiero in Italian (refers to the intense enjoyable feelings that occur at the moment when one wins a sporting events or solves a difficult problem),

naches in Yiddish (refers to the pleasant feelings we have when we revel in the accomplishments of our children), and

schadenfreude in German (refers to the delights we feel for ourselves when we witness the misfortunes of others).

I am so impressed by what he said that the emotion exists even when there is no such emotion “term” in some cultures. Regrettably, related about Asian societies are limited. In order to unpack the mystery of happiness, researchers could probably learn much from crosscultural angles.


Written by flowingly

October 18, 2008 at 16:43

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