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Writing an Alternative Definition Essay on Happiness: 3 Great Ideas

Small Stone Buddha Statuette

I know, it’s quite easy and pleasant to talk about happiness when you are lying on the bed, watching your favorite movie, and eating your favorite chocolate popcorn. By the way, this could a good conclusion for your essay: something personal, human, and funny would be just great.

However, your main task is to provide some original definition of happiness, so the other 400 words of your paper should be devoted to more serious and mature reasoning. How can you make your own idea stand out and impress your professor, however arrogant of you the latter may be?

Check out the ideas below! But first you’d better open a new MS document. Believe me, inspiration is a very spontaneous thing.

Write About Danish Hygge

Actually, this word is not a direct equivalent of English happiness in the Danish language. Hygge is a very multi-faceted concept which includes not only what we can interpret as wellbeing, but also what we denote as comfort, coziness, safety, satiety, and all other synonyms to these words that can come to your mind.

Don’t waste your time is you somehow find yourself trying to translate it in your mother tongue. It’s just hygge, and that’s it. Although you could also associate it with English hugging and become as close to its true meaning as the rest of philologists, who still cannot agree on the origins of both words.

Nevertheless, a Danish researcher of human happiness and, by the way, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking, devoted a book to this concept. And a few years ago, BBC reported that Morley College in London, in the context of its Danish Language course, started teaching students to achieve the state of hygge.

Small Dragon

Write About Chinese Xing-Fu

I think we can go without the characters here. So, the concept of Chinese happiness differs from the English one as well. In order to shed light on their main dissimilarity in your essay, you can base your definition on the results of the following experiment.

It has been recently conducted by Becky Hsu, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She and her colleagues chose three dimensions of happiness: a good life, a good mood, and realization of the sense of life. Hsu discovered that unlike English happiness, which encompasses the dimensions of good life and good mood, xing-fu covers good life and the understanding of its meaning. So, in Chinese culture you can consider yourself happy provided that you know why you need your life.

Write About Indian Nirvana

Have you just thought of the legendary music band? I had either before I sat to write about Indian Nirvana, and once again I thanked Kurt Cobain for inspiring me to include this concept in this post.

So, in a nutshell, it is the highest goal of human life, according to the Buddhist spiritual tradition. Again, it is not a good mood or a good life. Nirvana implies freedom from pain and suffering in any form. Attaining this state means getting enlightened and enjoying the greatest knowledge of life.

Interestingly, it is an absolutely conscious state that can achieved with the help of meditation by both a monk and an artisan. However, the idea of Nirvana is more complex than it can seem at first sight. Each person has their own path to it, so the whole recipe of Indian happiness differs from chef to chef.

Now what do you think about it? You are welcome to use these examples, but do not forget to express your own opinion.

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