Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Other Synonyms for Happiness

I guess there are those among us who are looking for a synonym for happiness that is not a Hall and Oates song.

According to Wikipedia, synonyms are words that have an identical or similar meaning. If you are looking a synonym, a blog called "Things to Do" is probably not your best bet.

I don't know that many synonyms for Happiness. In the process of listing them I find that I deviate from the word pretty quickly:

Bliss - Contentment - Joy - Delight - Peace - Laughter - Ecstacy - Full (as in full stomach)- Rest - Quiet - Hugs - Warm - Dance - Bounce - Friendship - Gimlet - Ink - Action - Thought - Learning - Cheese - Love - Discovery - Understanding - Puppies - Kitties - Chocolate - Ice Cream - Longing - Desire - Sunshine - Fresh from the Dryer - fruit flavored - Connection

Right. So I went to thesaurus.com and shook out the following:
Felicity - Glee - Satisfaction - Cheer - Enjoyment - Euphoria - Success - Well-being - Prosperity - Ardor - Rapture - Accomplishment - Serenity - Relief - Gratification - Fullfillment - Cheerfulness - Amusement - Jubliation - Exhilaration - Elation - Buoyancy - Gladness - Gaiety - Diversion - Exuberance - Tranquility - Calmness - Mirth - Hilarity - Joviality -Joyousness - Giddiness - Jubilance - Exultation - Relish - Ebullience - Exuberance - Joyfulness - Peacefulness

I don't include the entire daisy chain of words like Happiness here.

There are a few words I came across that are new to me: beatitude, delectation, ataraxia, gladsomeness.

When trying to list synonyms for happiness it's easy to fall into listing what makes me happy rather than words that represent the state of happiness. It's not just me, the question of whether prosperity, success and accomplishment are actual synonyms for happiness is likely to be one worth some discussion. They certainly can contribute but they cannot be said to be the whole of it.

My father believes that good health is a synonym for happiness. And some would argue that security is another.

In looking at different words for happiness there are differences in quality to consider as well, contentment and jubilation are not mutually exclusive but they are also not identical.

One trick to happy might be understanding that happiness is not necessarily one size fits all in path or destination. And it's okay if your happiness is different from someone else's. That's kind of the whole point.

Today, I am finding it through a bar of dark chocolate and a jar of peanut butter. Tomorrow, I hope to find it through steamed vegetables and brown rice. I am not holding my breath on that one.


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