Happiness: What deters it? What contributes to it?

The Happiness Class


One of my favourite things to do as a professor is to stay after class and talk to students. They look at the world in a very unique way. Motivating me to think about psychology at a whole different level.

  • Especially when it comes to FOMO and happiness:

FOMO is an acronym for fear of missing out, which is a feeling of anxiety that manifests itself in various ways, from a brief pang of envy to more intense feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy. Source: Macmillan Dictionary

Student Insights

In the video below I share the insightful questions my psychology students asked about social comparison and happiness today. Each question underscoring the famous quote:  

Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Happiness, FOMO, and Social Comparison

FOMO and “measuring happiness” against each other’s’s lowlight reel (difficult times) and highlight reel (celebratory times) was also an active discussion on social media


I would love your insights too!

How would you answer the questions posed by my students:

  1. What are 2 deterrents to happiness?
  2. What are 2 contributors to happiness?
  3. How is your happiness influenced by other people’s highlights and lowlights?
    • Social comparison and happiness was the crux of today’s class discussion and accompanying video.
  4. What simple changes can you make today to enhance your happiness?


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26 thoughts on “Happiness: What deters it? What contributes to it?

  1. What I love about this post is that it discusses one of my favorite subjects – happiness.
    We go through life wanting this or that. We teach our children to have goals and dreams.
    What do you want to be when you grow up? We instill these habits and ideas at an early age.

    Sadly, we forget to teach them to be happy. Our purpose in life should be to happy and to do whatever makes us happy. Life is too short. Be happy.

  2. For question 1, believe nothing and nobody could stop you from being happy or from finding joy. I get sad sometimes that is when things are really tough but most of the time i would realize i am not actually, i am frustrated.

    For 2, I believe i am in the stage in my life where i have found the “balance”, thus i am contented and fulfilled

    Things dont change or happen the way we want it…i am sure of that..but we can always change the way we view things..

    I am not a professional psychologist..my answers are based solely on my experiences in life

  3. Happiness comes from within. Only I can stop happiness however other people can cause me (us) temporary pain and make us feel unhappy.

    I’m a naturally happy person and I’m happy about my life. I believe it’s going in the right direction finally.

    1. Grateful to see you hear Lane and on my YouTube page!

      Wonderful knowing you have found a place of contentment.

      Hard won. Much appreciated.

      I get it 100%

      One of the many upsides of aging.

      Perspective + Time = 😊😊

  4. These remind me of the eternal “what is life?” question.
    The answers may depend on your age. As you age, the answers often get less concrete. I think happiness, contentment, joy – all originate in having a real sense of purpose, feeling loved and cherished by someone and seeing the glass as “half-full” rather than half empty.
    Obviously good health, food and shelter factor into the equation as well!

    1. So many jewels in your happiness reflections!

      The crowning jewel being: “I think happiness, contentment, joy – all originate in having a real sense of purpose, feeling loved and cherished by someone and seeing the glass as “half-full” rather than half empty.”

      Thank you for contributing to the conversation!

      👑 💎 👑

    1. Struggle, adversity, challenge combined with appreciation for “what is” is the magical formula for happiness and contentment. Something you write beautifully about in your book.

      Please share the link to your book in the comments on this post Brigid. A seminal work in faith, resilience, and mindfulness that needs to be shared with the world! 📗💚🍃

  5. I don’t know if this is revelant, Andrea, but just last evening I had a conversation with hubby having to do with career choices. I pointed out he followed the “money”. In other words he read in a magazine what the up and coming jobs would be and so that is where he headed. He did not follow his “Heart” to work at something he truly enjoyed.

    I on the other hand, listened to my Heart in my career choice and even though it was extremely challenging (ICU RN), I knew this was where I wanted to be.

    This does touch on the subject of happiness, for how can you be happy if you choose to go into a job that your Heart really isn’t “in to”?

  6. Everything is relevant!

    Happiness is an ongoing exploration for all of us. Including understanding and respecting why money (security) brings one person joy, while heart-centered work (self-actualization) brings another person.

    The key is to honour individual differences in motivation when it comes to joy.

    —- My video on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs might help:

  7. Thought provoking post Andrea. Learning to appreciate the simplest of things and not comparing my life to others is a recipe for happiness but it is not easy to live independently when both younger and older generations are dependent upon you.

    1. Step One: Acknowledge want you want.

      Step Two: Trust the universe to bring it to you.

      There will always be barriers.
      Yours are big & so are mine.

      The key is found in “The Art of Allowing”.


      Together Bernice – We Rise

      ☁️ ⛅️ ☀️💖

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