Spring Play Day | 24 August 2017
Positive psychologist Seligman has pointed out the three types of Happiness: the first type is “pleasure” happiness, when our senses are satisfied and we can enjoy daily pleasures (like eating an ice cream); the second is when we invest in an activity that we are good at to the point of forgetting the time, which is called the “engagement” or “passion” happiness (like doing sports or painting). The final type of happiness is called the “meaningful” happiness, which is when we do meaningful things that benefit others and the wider community (such as spending time interacting with others or volunteering).
ACCORDING TO SELIGMAN, WE CAN EXPERIENCE THREE KINDS OF HAPPINESS:
- pleasure and gratification
- embodiment of strengths and virtues
- meaning and purpose.
Studies have shown that the “pleasure” happiness has negative effects because it mainly focuses on sensory satisfaction. This type of happiness tends to make us selfish, because we fixate on our own feelings. Even with the “engagement” or “passion” happiness, we can become so focused on the activity that it also puts ourselves in the risk of being insensitive to others (for example, someone who has been engaged in computer games for a few hours may not realise how late and loud they are being to their family).
However, the happiness that comes from a meaningful life connects us with others. Surprisingly, when we feel this type of happiness, we can usually still use the advantages of our expertise, therefore putting it to a higher purpose than self-satisfaction. The sense of pleasure and selflessness caused by doing meaningful activities will not disappear. When our lives are full of meaning, we enjoy a higher degree, long lasting, and stable sense of happiness.
After hearing about these 3 types of happiness, Living Streets Youth members were newly invigorated to design the upcoming Spring playday and decided on the topic of giving as the theme for all the activities. On the day, there was a picture book reading session where they read “Have you filled a bucket today?” by Carol McCloud, collaborative art where everyone had to draw something about Giving, and an interactive puppet show for everyone to practice the ideas from the book. The children and volunteers filled each other’s buckets with kind interactions and lots of laughter.