Happiness jump
(photo taken for Sivananda Tel-aviv organization).

Happiness is one of the more interesting topics, which has received considerable attention recently also in research. Happiness is the most desired goal for all, we all want to be happy, and most of us would like to be happier. How can you achieve the amazing feeling of happiness, sustain and even increase your happiness? There are many directions and tactics, in the following I will present a practical direction which may help you be happier and sustain your happiness.

Can happiness be sustained?

In the past, the common belief was that happiness cannot be sustained or enriched. Scholars argued that happiness levels depends on genetics, personality, and that everyone has a baseline to which they return. A baseline means that if happiness level change because of life events, after a while the level of happiness will return the default.
However, in the recent decade there has been a shift the in the perception of happiness, and many scholars believe that happiness can indeed be sustained and even enriched. That is, while some pleasures induce joy, the desire is to sustain this feeling and achieve the state of sustainable happiness.

Achieving happiness

According the literature, happiness is obtained through the pursuit of pleasure, meaning, and engagement (Gander, Proyer, & Ruch, 2016). Pursuit of pleasure means the focus on a hedonic experience that produces positive emotions. Pursuit of meaning means a eudaimonic orientation that emphasizes serving a greater purpose. Pursuit of engagement focuses on engaging and absorbing activities and the elicited experience of flow.
Interventions that can ameliorate these three happiness branches may provide a state of happiness (Ibid). But how can we sustain happiness and make it last beyond any momentary intervention? The following Theory may provide the answer.

Sustaining and enriching happiness

According to the Happiness Enrichment Perspective (HEP) theory (Eckhaus & Sheaffer, 2018), happiness can be sustained and enriched. The authors provided empirical evidence for the development of the Happiness Sustainability Cycle (HSC) model. The HSC is a continuous four-stage model, for enhancing and sustaining happiness, with a leading concept that in the same way you need to work or exercising order to excel in any activity or to improve performance, the same goes for the ability to be happy, sustain and even enhance happiness. The four stages are as follows.

Stage 1. Exercising Happiness
Think about the activities that make you happy, where you can immerse yourself in a way that you forget about the time. As the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun,” suggesting that the subjective duration of a time period depends in part on what fills that period (Kellaris & Kent, 1992). This means that happiness oriented activities vary between people. Everyone may have their personal feeling or appreciation towards an activity, you should therefore choose the one that is best to you. There is only basic rule, this activity that you choose should never harm, hurt or damage, anyone on anything. There are many reasons for that, which can be the subject of another article.

Stage 2. Reassessing Happiness
How do you know that you did a good job? This can be done through feedback. It may be feedback from someone else, or even personal assessment of the situation. Reassessing happiness means giving some thoughts to the previous stage, and reaching conclusions. That is, you observe the experience, the joy you achieved from it, and then make some changes to the previous exercise that can improve or enhance the joy from this activity.

Stage 3. Occasional Happiness
This stage speaks of happiness that you can already experience occasionally, after practicing the previous two stages. Towards the next final stage:

Stage 4. Lasting Happiness
This stage speaks of achieving a more prolonged state of happiness. However, by no means it this the end. The HSC is a circular model, meaning that the fourth stage leads again to the first one, where you continue to work on your happiness.

Happiness in Fashion

Can fashion makes us happy? Eckhaus (2019) developed an empirical model based on 849 respondents to a questionnaire. This model offers statistical evidence to the fact that fashion involvement may in fact generate happiness. The author offers detailed explanations to the reasons for that, in relation to the above definition of happiness through pleasure, meaning, and engagement. The model was validated through the often used statistical method – Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), a powerful, multivariate technique found increasingly in scientific investigations to test and evaluate multivariate causal relationships (Fan et al., 2016).

Can you see joy radiating from the photos on this website?

As a fashion and art photographer, this website displays mostly fashion and art photos. If you observe closely, many photos on this website or on my Instagram profile radiate joy, even though the model is not necessarily smiling. I can testify for that having taken these shots. Furthermore, I have tremendous joy seeing how often photographic sessions I produce offer a fantastic and joyful experience to the models that participate. You can be professional and still have a lot of fun in the process.

I will love to hear your thoughts.
See more of my work. Follow me @artistila


Eckhaus, E. (2019). Happiness in Fashion. In J. Kantola, S. Nazir, & T. Barath (Eds.), Advances in Human Factors, Business Management and Society. AHFE 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing (Vol. 783, pp. 15-25). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Eckhaus, E., & Sheaffer, Z. (2018). Happiness enrichment and sustainable happiness. Applied Research in Quality of Life. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9641-0

Fan, Y., Chen, J., Shirkey, G., John, R., Wu, S. R., Park, H., & Shao, C. (2016). Applications of structural equation modeling (SEM) in ecological studies: an updated review. Ecological Processes, 5(1), 19.

Gander, F., Proyer, R. T., & Ruch, W. (2016). Positive Psychology Interventions Addressing Pleasure, Engagement, Meaning, Positive Relationships, and Accomplishment Increase Well-Being and Ameliorate Depressive Symptoms: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Online Study. Frontiers in psychology, 7(686), 1-12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00686

Kellaris, J. J., & Kent, R. J. (1992). The influence of music on consumers’ temporal perceptions: Does time fly when you’re having fun? Journal of Consumer Psychology, 1(4), 365-376. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S1057-7408(08)80060-5

How to cite this article (recommended)

Eckhaus, E. (2019). How to be Happy. Blog section on www.artistila.com. Retrieved from www.artistila.com/how-to-be-happy. Access date […….]