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A repository of acronyms, jargon, and useful words for product and customer teams


Acquired Needs Theory

A theory which proposes that individuals are driven by three main needs: achievement, power, and affiliation. Balancing these needs can contribute to one’s overall sense of fulfillment.

Active Constructive Responding

A manner of responding to others’ good news with genuine interest and enthusiasm, strengthening interpersonal bonds and shared joy.

Active Listening

The practice of fully concentrating, understanding, and responding to what another person is saying. This enhances communication and can boost interpersonal well-being.

Adaptive Coping

Strategies that effectively manage stress or adversity, enhancing one’s ability to bounce back and maintain well-being.

Adversity Quotient (AQ)

A measure of a person’s ability to go through tough times and come out of them successfully by adapting to the circumstances.


The experience of feeling or emotion, which can be a key component in an individual’s sense of well-being or happiness.


The gentle feeling of fondness or liking that can contribute to emotional warmth and happiness. Genuine affection can bolster positive relationships and enhance well-being.

Affective Forecasting

Our predictions about our future emotions and how certain life events will affect our happiness, often with inaccuracies.


A sudden rush of creative impulse or inspiration.


A pleasant feeling of satisfaction or well-being that follows an experience, often one of physical exertion or achievement.


A Greco-Christian term referring to unconditional, selfless love, different from
romantic or familial love. It’s the highest form of love, such as the love God has for humans and vice versa.


A brisk and cheerful readiness; an eagerness that can enhance positive feelings and engagement with activities.


The selfless concern for the well-being of others, which can provide personal joy and societal harmony.

Ambient Awareness

The sense of emotional closeness developed from frequently updating and following friends on social media, even if the updates are trivial.


In Hindu philosophy, it’s a term for “bliss” or “supreme happiness”, often associated with the realization of the self.


A symptom of depression where one loses the ability to experience pleasure from activities usually considered enjoyable.

Attachment Theory

A psychological model describing the dynamics of long-term interpersonal relationships. Secure attachments are associated with higher levels of well-being.

Authentic Happiness

A term coined by Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman, referring to genuine contentment resulting from living in accordance with one’s true self and values.


An emotion experienced when one encounters something so vast and profound that it alters the way they see the world.



The quality of being kind and generous towards others. Acts of benevolence can lead to increased feelings of self-worth and happiness.


Something small, delicate, and exquisitely crafted, often bringing pleasure or being cherished.


A technique where individuals are made aware of specific physiological functions so they can voluntarily control them, leading to improved mental and emotional well-being.


An innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world. Interacting with nature can have therapeutic effects and increase well-being.

Bliss Point

The optimal balance of ingredients, often used in food industry, to maximize pleasure. This term can metaphorically be applied to the ideal balance in life for maximal happiness.


Cheerful friendliness or geniality, enhancing social well-being.

Broaden-and-Build Theory

Proposed by Barbara Fredrickson, this theory suggests that positive emotions broaden one's awareness and encourage novel, varied, and exploratory thoughts and actions, which over time build skills and resources.


Relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life. The feelings of serenity and peace associated with rural settings.

Buddhist Psychology

Incorporates meditation, mindfulness, and ethics into understanding the mind, its sufferings, and the path to happiness.



Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together, enhancing feelings of bonding and well-being.


The process of releasing strong or repressed emotions, often through art or expression and providing relief and clarity, which can contribute to mental well-being.

Character Strengths

Positive traits reflected in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Martin Seligman and Chris Peterson identified 24 strengths, such as bravery and gratitude.

Circadian Rhythms

Natural processes that regulate the sleep-wake cycle, which can influence mood and well-being.

Cognitive Dissonance

The mental discomfort experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values. Resolving such dissonance can restore emotional equilibrium.

Cognitive Reframing

A psychological technique that involves identifying and challenging negative mental patterns and replacing them with positive or neutral thoughts.

Compassion Fatigue

The diminished capacity or interest in being empathetic or compassionate due to overexposure to others' suffering.


A deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it. Practicing compassion can lead to increased happiness and well-being.


A feeling of belonging and closeness with others or the world, which can contribute to a sense of well-being.


One of the Big Five personality traits, referring to a person's ability to regulate impulse, be organized, and set and achieve goals. It's often associated with higher levels of life satisfaction.


A state of happiness and satisfaction, often seen as a more stable form of happiness than fleeting joy or pleasure.


The quality of being friendly and lively, promoting enjoyment and cheerfulness when in the company of others.

Core Self-Evaluations

Beliefs individuals hold about themselves and their functioning in the world, encompassing self-esteem, general self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability.


Something that serves as a guiding star or a center of attention, often leading to feelings of admiration or wonder.



A German term from existential philosophy, often translated as "being there" or "presence", referring to the individual's authentic existence.

Day Reconstruction Method (DRM)

A method of measuring happiness by having individuals recount their daily activities and describe the emotions associated with each.

Deci & Ryan's Self-Determination Theory

Emphasizes the importance of humans' evolved inner resources for personality development and behavioral self-regulation, and centers around autonomy, competence, and relatedness as key components of well-being.

Decisional Balance

Weighing the pros and cons of changing behavior, used extensively in motivational interviewing to help individuals see the benefits of change.

Deep Play

A term from anthropologist Clifford Geertz, referring to activities that are meaningful, enjoyable, and fully absorbing.


The resolution of a narrative, where conflicts are resolved and a sense of catharsis or clarity might be achieved.


Something that is needed or wanted, and the satisfaction or joy once it’s attained.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

A type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches behavioral skills to help individuals handle stress, manage emotions, and improve relationships.

Dialectical Thinking

The ability to view issues from multiple perspectives and accept paradoxes or contradictions. This can lead to more nuanced understandings and greater emotional balance.

Dichotomous Thinking

Viewing experiences in black and white terms, which can sometimes reduce the capacity for joy in nuanced situations.

Diener's Tripartite Model of Subjective Well-being

A concept by Ed Diener which suggests that subjective well-being is comprised of life satisfaction, the presence of positive affect, and the absence of negative affect.

Digital Detox

A period of refraining from using digital devices to reduce stress and focus on real-life interactions.


A neurotransmitter in the brain often referred to as the "feel good" chemical, playing a significant role in pleasure and reward.


A term in Spanish art, especially as it pertains to song or performance, that refers to the mysterious power a work can have to deeply move a person.


A central concept in Buddhism, often translated as "suffering", but can also mean dissatisfaction or stress.


Pleasing to the ear, often used to describe sounds that bring comfort or a sense of well-being.


A chronic form of depression where a person's mood is regularly low. Recognizing and treating it is crucial for improving well-being.



Overflowing with enthusiasm, excitement, or energy.

Ego Depletion

The idea that self-control and willpower are finite resources that can be used up. Conserving and replenishing these resources can impact one's happiness and productivity.

Ego Integrity

A term from Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, referring to the acceptance of one's life as lived and the ability to come to terms with impending death, leading to a sense of wholeness.


A positive emotion experienced after witnessing virtuous acts of remarkable moral beauty or virtue.


Blissful, delightful, or heavenly.

Embodied Cognition

The idea that the body influences the mind. How we move and interact physically can shape our thoughts and feelings.

Emotional Granularity

The ability to differentiate between a wide range of specific emotions, which has been linked to better emotional regulation and well-being.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

The ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions as well as recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others.

Emotional Resilience

The ability to adapt and bounce back from adverse situations, maintaining mental and emotional stability.

Empathetic Joy

The pleasure derived from seeing others succeed and feel happy.


The capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. It's a fundamental aspect of human connection and can contribute to interpersonal happiness.


Ancient Greek philosophy emphasizing the pleasures of daily life, intellectual conversations, and simple joys, as the path to true happiness.


Studies how one's environment can lead to changes in the genes that get expressed, showing how life experiences can influence genetic activity related to well-being.


Mental calmness, composure, and even-temperedness, especially in difficult situations. Cultivating equanimity can lead to greater inner peace.


A state of equilibrium or balance, often used metaphorically to describe emotional stability or calm.


A Greek term often translated as "flourishing" or "fulfillment." It refers to living in accordance with virtue and realizing one's full potential.

Existential Fulfillment

A sense of purpose and meaning derived from understanding one's place in the larger scheme of existence.

Existential Well-being

Related to pondering life's bigger questions, finding purpose, and seeking meaning, often in the face of challenges or existential threats.



An old term for happiness, derived from the Latin word "felicitas," which means fortunate or blessed.

Fixed Mindset

Coined by Carol Dweck, it's the belief that abilities are static and unchangeable, as opposed to the growth mindset.

Flow Antecedents

Conditions that set the stage for flow, such as clear goals, immediate feedback, and challenges that match skills.

Flow Theory Expansion

Building on Csíkszentmihályi's concept, this involves seeking activities that not only create flow but also align with one's values and larger life goals.


A state described by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi where one is fully immersed and engaged in an activity, leading to a sense of energized focus and enjoyment.

Folk Concepts of Happiness

Culturally specific definitions and understandings of what happiness and well-being mean.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts on social media.


The conscious decision to release resentment or vengeance toward someone who has harmed you. It can be an essential step in healing and moving toward happiness.


Having courage in pain or adversity, and the strength of mind to endure pain or adversity with courage.


Derived from Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky", used to describe something that brings immense joy or delight.


A Norwegian term meaning "open-air living", emphasizing the healing and happiness-promoting qualities of nature.


A sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion, often tied to a poignant moment in music or art.

Fulfillment Curve

The concept that after certain point, increased consumption can lead to decreased satisfaction and well-being.

Functional Fixedness

A cognitive bias that restricts a person from using objects or concepts in new ways, which can limit creativity and problem-solving.

Functional Well-being

Pertains to how well individuals believe they can perform and manage their day-to-day lives.



To travel or roam about for pleasure, capturing the joy of free-spirited exploration.

Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index

An ongoing poll that captures Americans' perceptions of their well-being, helping to provide a barometer of societal health.


The study of laughter and its effects on the body, from both a psychological and physiological perspective.


A German term that implies warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Often used to convey the coziness and comfort of being in good company.


Activities that engage us fully, draw on our strengths, and allow us to lose ourselves in the flow of the moment.


The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and return kindness, often linked to increased levels of happiness.


A concept popularized by psychologist Angela Duckworth. It refers to the combination of passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Individuals with grit are more likely to push through challenges and achieve success.


A term from Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, meaning to understand something deeply and intuitively.

Gross National Happiness (GNH)

An index used in Bhutan to measure the collective happiness and well-being of the population. It prioritizes holistic well-being over economic growth alone, in contrast to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Growth Mindset

A concept by Carol Dweck, suggesting that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. People with this mindset tend to embrace challenges, leading to long-term growth and happiness.

Growth Zone

The space beyond one's comfort zone, where learning and development occur, leading to personal growth.



A Yiddish term that suggests warmth, friendliness, and lack of pretension in a homely atmosphere.


Calm, peaceful, and idyllic, often used to describe a time in the past or a peaceful state of mind.


A strong desire or yearning for something that brings satisfaction or joy.

Happiness Advantage

A concept by Shawn Achor suggesting that happiness leads to success in various domains of life rather than success leading to happiness.

Happiness Set Point

The idea that individuals have a baseline level of happiness, influenced by genetics and personality, around which they fluctuate temporarily based on life events and external circumstances.

Harmonious Passion

A type of passion that aligns with one's life and self, leading to increased well-being.


A Finnish concept of spontaneous joy and humor that breaks the routine.

Hedonic Adaptation Prevention (HAP)

Strategies to slow the process of hedonic adaptation and prolong positive feelings from good events.

Hedonic Adaptation

Similar to the Hedonic Treadmill, it's the phenomenon where people quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major changes in their lives, whether these changes are positive or negative.

Hedonic Treadmill

The observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative life changes.

Hedonic Well-being

Refers to the emotional component of well-being, primarily concerned with feeling good and experiencing positive emotions.

Higher Level Thought

Refers to cognitive processes that involve abstract thinking, problem- solving, decision-making, and reflection. These thoughts often involve complex cognitive functions and are closely linked to one's self-awareness and introspection.


A Welsh concept of longing for a home you can't return to, or that never was. It touches on nostalgia, homesickness, and the grief for lost places of your past.

Holistic Well-being

A comprehensive view of well-being that includes physical, mental, social, and spiritual dimensions.

Holotropic Breathwork

A therapeutic breathing practice intended to promote personal insight and transformation.


A state of equilibrium, in physiological terms, but also applicable to emotional and psychological balance.

Hope Theory

Developed by Charles Snyder, it posits that having goals, along with the agency to achieve them and multiple pathways to get there, fosters hope and well-being.

Humanistic Psychology

An approach to psychology that emphasizes empathy, personal growth, and the pursuit of higher values.


A Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality, often with feelings of wellness and contentment. It's a cultural concept often linked to happiness and well-being.



Extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque, often idealized.


A Japanese concept translating to "a reason for being," embodying the convergence of one's passions, skills, societal contributions, and economic sustainability, which collectively foster a sense of satisfaction and purposeful living.


An Inuit term for the anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, wherein you keep going outside to check if they've arrived.


A person's male/female lover, tapping into the romantic aspect of human emotions.


Too great or extreme to be described in words, capturing feelings that are beyond description.

Intentional Activities

Deliberate acts that individuals choose to engage in and that are under their control, like expressing gratitude or setting a goal.


A mutual reliance between two or more groups. Recognizing and embracing interdependence can foster community well-being and personal satisfaction.

Interdependent Self-Construal

Viewing oneself as part of a larger social context, where relationships and social harmony play a central role in one's identity.

Internal Locus of Control

Believing that one has control over events in their life, often linked to better mental health and overall well-being.


The sense of the internal state of the body, which can be linked to emotional awareness and mindfulness.

Intrinsic Motivation

Driven by internal gratifications like personal growth or fulfillment, rather than external rewards or pressures.


The practice of delving into one's own mental and emotional processes through examination or observation. This act of self-reflection can pave the way for enhanced self-awareness and personal growth.


Je ne sais quoi

A French term meaning "I don't know what", used to describe a pleasant quality that's hard to describe.

Job Crafting

The process through which employees redesign and customize their jobs to better fit their strengths and interests.


Cheerful and light-hearted.

Joie de Vivre

A French term meaning "joy of living", representing a cheerful enjoyment or zest for life, capturing the essence of finding joy in everyday moments.

JOMO (Joy of Missing Out)

Feeling content with one's own activities and refraining from comparing oneself to others, essentially the opposite of FOMO.


An emotion that's more enduring than pleasure and can be a deep-seated contentment or satisfaction.


A spirited expression of joy or happiness, often emanating from a sense of triumph or exultation, articulated in a lively or exuberant manner.


A feeling of great happiness and triumph.

Judgment Bias

Cognitive biases that can skew perception and happiness, such as the negativity bias, which gives more weight to negative experiences over positive ones.

Just-Noticeable Difference (JND)

The smallest change in stimulation that can be detected, applied in the context of recognizing small changes in mood or well-being.



Recognizing and acting upon opportunities presented by moments deemed auspicious.

Kairos Moment

Derived from Ancient Greek, it refers to the opportune moment for action, often leading to profound changes or realizations in life.


An ancient Greek term denoting the right or opportune moment, embodying the profound or joyful realization borne out of perfect timing.


A Sanskrit term for compassion in action.


A wailing lament for the dead, emphasizing the range of human emotions beyond just happiness or contentment.


The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that's usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet, reflecting on transient moments of life.

Keystone Habits

These are pivotal habits that, when altered or established, can catalyze a chain reaction of positive behavioral shifts, transforming various aspects of one's life.

Kindred Spirits

Individuals who feel a deep connection due to shared values, interests, or other characteristics. Such connections can greatly enhance feelings of belonging and happiness.


Awareness of the position and movement of parts of the body using sensory organs. Mindful movement, like Tai Chi, enhances this sense and can boost well-being.


Strong connections or bonds between individuals, often based on shared experiences, values, or biological relations, which can be a source of happiness.


The Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver, or platinum, symbolizing that breaks and repairs are part of the object's history, not a reason to discard it. It metaphorically implies that adversity and healing add value to our lives.


A Japanese term for the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.



Coined by Corey Keyes, this term delineates a state of emotional stagnation and emptiness, portraying a scenario where one drifts through life devoid of purpose or direction, nestled between flourishing and depression on the mental health spectrum.

Learned Optimism

A concept by Martin Seligman suggesting that a talent for joy, like any other, can be cultivated.

Legacy Thinking

Reflecting on how one's actions will impact future generations or how they will be remembered.

Life Narrative

The story one constructs about their life, which can deeply influence one's self-perception and overall well-being.

Life Satisfaction

A measure often used in positive psychology research to assess the overall contentment with one's life as a whole.


A feeling of being free from worries or concerns, often leading to feelings of joy and ease.


An intense, involuntary emotional state characterized by an overwhelming romantic desire and obsessive thoughts, often yearning for the affection to be reciprocated

Locus of Control

A belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal locus) or on events outside our control (external locus). Having an internal locus of control is often linked to higher levels of well-being.

Locus of Evaluation

The place from which one judges value or success, either externally (based on others) or internally (based on personal beliefs).


psychotherapeutic approach developed by Viktor Frankl, is a that accentuates the pursuit of meaning across life's various dimensions, particularly amid adversities and suffering.

Love Languages

A theory by Gary Chapman that identifies the primary ways people express and feel loved: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.

Lower Level Thought

More basic and automatic cognitive processes, often driven by immediate stimuli or basic needs. These can include habitual reactions, instinctual responses, or sensory processing.


Playful in an aimless way, capturing the joy and freedom of play.


Shining or glowing brightly, often used metaphorically to describe moments of brilliance or clarity in one's life.


The Danish word for happiness, emphasizing contentment, peace, and living in the moment.



The feeling that one has control over one's own circumstances, which can contribute to self-efficacy and well-being.


The process of how individuals interpret and make sense of life events, relationships, and the self.


A practice of focusing the mind and eliminating external or distracting thoughts, which has been linked to increased happiness and reduced stress.

Meditative Absorption

A deep form of concentration often experienced during meditation that can lead to heightened states of well-being.


A sound that is sweet and smooth, pleasing to hear.

Memento Mori

A Latin phrase meaning "remember you must die", a reflection on mortality to encourage a meaningful life.


A Greek word describing doing something with soul, creativity, or love — putting a piece of yourself into your work.


Thinking about one's own thinking. It involves self-awareness and self-regulation of one's cognitive processes.

Metta (Loving-kindness) Meditation

A form of meditation and philosophy where individuals send goodwill and warmth to others, often enhancing their own sense of connection and well-being.


The state of one's mind not being focused on the present task, but instead drifting to unrelated thoughts or concerns. While often considered a distraction, some forms of mind-wandering can be linked to creativity and problem-solving.

Mindful Technology Use

Using digital media consciously and intentionally to promote a balanced and healthier interaction with technology.


The practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment, which can enhance well-being and happiness.

Mindset of Abundance

A belief that there are enough resources and success for everyone, promoting collaborative and positive behaviors.

Mindset of Scarcity

The belief that there's a lack of something, whether it's material resources, time, or love, leading to feelings of anxiety or inadequacy.


The practice and philosophy of living with less and valuing simplicity. It's about reducing distractions and clutter (both physically and mentally) to focus on what truly matters.

Moral Elevation

The warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see unexpected acts of human goodness, kindness, or compassion.

Motivational Congruence

The alignment of activities and pursuits with one's inherent desires and values, leading to higher satisfaction.


Courage or determination, highlighting the spirit needed to face challenges.


A Sanskrit term that translates to vicarious joy, or joy in the good fortune of others.


The quality of being lavishly generous, capturing the joy in giving or the appreciation of receiving generosity.



A Yiddish term describing the pride or joy that a person derives from the accomplishments of their descendants or proteges.

Narrative Identity

The internalized and evolving story of oneself, integrating one's past, present, and anticipated future into a coherent whole. How we interpret our life events can shape our well-being.

Need Frustration

In Self-Determination Theory, when the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are not met, leading to decreased well-being.


Snuggled or lying comfortably within something.


The process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. Activities that promote happiness, such as exercise, can stimulate this.


The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections, which can be influenced by positive experiences and thoughts.


In Buddhism, a transcendent state free from suffering and individual existence, representing the ultimate happiness.


Relating to the intellect or intellectual activity, and the profound change in one's way of experiencing life after profound experiences.


A concept in many Eastern philosophies where one does not cling to things, emotions, or outcomes, leading to peace and equanimity.


A sentimental longing for the past. While sometimes bittersweet, it can provide feelings of comfort and continuity.


Evoking a deep sense of spiritual reverence, mystery, and fascination; a profound experience that intertwines awe and wonder, often suggesting the presence of the divine.


Providing care and encouragement for growth, which can be a source of happiness for both the giver and receiver.



A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult or hectic place or situation.


The principle that complex goals are often best achieved indirectly, implying that happiness might be more readily achieved when it is not pursued directly.

On Cloud Nine

A state of blissful happiness.

Ontological Security

A stable mental state derived from a sense of continuity in regard to the events in one's life.

Ontological Well-being

Concerned with existential aspects of life, like purpose, meaning, and identity.

Operant Conditioning

A type of learning where behavior is influenced by consequences, which can be applied to cultivate positive habits.

Optimal Distinctiveness Theory

The balance individuals seek between feeling connected to a group while also maintaining a unique individual identity.

Optimal Experience

Moments when individuals feel in control, at their peak, or absorbed in the task at hand, synonymous with flow.


A mental attitude or worldview that expects good outcomes and looks at the brighter side of life situations.


Wealth, luxury, or abundance, and the associated emotions of awe, delight, or even overwhelm.


A term from the Iroquoian language describing a spiritual power inherent in people and their environment.


Appearing or claiming to be one thing when it is really something else, often relating to the idea of genuine happiness versus superficial appearances.


The exclusion from a society or group, which can significantly lower one's sense of belonging and happiness.


Often referred to as the "love hormone" or "bonding hormone," it's released during social bonding activities, like hugging or childbirth, and can promote feelings of warmth and connection.


PANAS (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule)

A psychometric scale used to measure the two broad dimensions of mood in individuals: positive and negative affect.

Peak Experiences

Coined by Abraham Maslow, these are moments of highest happiness and fulfillment, often transcendent in nature.


Vigor and energy in one's actions, associated with enthusiasm and liveliness.


To travel or wander around from place to place, often leading to a sense of discovery or adventure.


A theory by Martin Seligman that identifies five essential elements of well-being: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement.

Personal Growth Initiative

The active and intentional engagement in the process of personal growth. It's a key factor in adaptive coping and positive life changes.


The pleasant, earthy scent after a fresh rainfall, evoking feelings of renewal or nostalgia.


A fullness or abundance, often associated with a state of completeness or satisfaction.

Positive Affirmations

Positive phrases or statements used to challenge and control negative or self-sabotaging thoughts, promoting happiness.

Positive Disintegration

A theory by Dabrowski suggesting that psychological tension and anxiety can be essential for growth and self-realization.

Positive Dissonance

The idea that experiencing challenges or mild contradictions in thought can lead to greater personal growth and happiness.

Positive Illusions

Slightly distorted self-perceptions that can be beneficial, such as unrealistically positive views of oneself or unrealistic optimism. In moderation, they can boost self-esteem and well-being.

Positive Psychology

The systematic exploration of human strengths, virtues, and positive aspects that empower individuals and communities to flourish and optimize well-being.

Positive Solitude

The ability to be alone without feeling lonely, finding joy and contentment in one's own company.

Post-Traumatic Growth

Positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges, leading to a higher level of functioning.

Prospective Thinking

The act of looking forward and anticipating future events, which can influence current mood and behavior.

Psychological Flexibility

The ability to be open, adaptable, and effective in the face of varying demands. This flexibility can contribute to improved well-being and reduced stress.

Purpose in Life

A component of eudaimonic well-being, it refers to having meaning, direction, and goals in life.



The individual instances of subjective conscious experience, highlighting the personal nature of emotions and experiences.

Quality of Life

An individual's perception of their life in the context of the culture and values in which they live.

Quality of Work Life (QWL)

Refers to the relationship between a worker and their environment, taking into account job security, reward systems, and more.

Quantified Self

The practice of self-tracking with technology to gather data on various aspects of one's life for improved self-knowledge.

Quantum Change

Sudden and profound transformations in one's life perspective, values, or personality, often spurred by critical incidents or introspection.

Quantum Happiness

A playful term that suggests the unpredictable and sometimes sudden shifts in happiness and well-being, akin to quantum leaps in physics.


A Spanish term describing a place where one feels safe, a place from which one's strength of character is drawn.

Quest Motive

The drive to pursue personal meaning, understanding, and growth in the face of life's challenges.

Quest Orientation

An approach to religion or spirituality where the individual openly questions and is comfortable with doubt, which can be associated with greater well-being.


A state of inactivity or repose, suggesting peace and stillness.


Representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class, often leading to admiration or satisfaction.


Extremely idealistic, unrealistic, and impractical pursuit of ideals, often in the realms of romance or chivalrous adventure.


Relating to the everyday or mundane. Finding happiness in quotidian moments means finding joy in daily, simple activities.



Sending out light; shining or glowing brightly, often used metaphorically for people emanating joy or happiness.

Radical Acceptance

Fully accepting reality in the moment, a term from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which can lead to greater emotional well-being.


A feeling of intense pleasure or joy.


In Indian aesthetic theory, the essence or sentiment evoked in an audience by art, which can include happiness (hasya) among other sentiments.


A cognitive strategy that involves changing one's interpretation of a situation to alter its emotional impact.

Reflected Best Self Exercise

A feedback-seeking exercise that helps individuals understand their strengths when they are at their best, often leading to increased self-awareness and well-being.

Reflective Practice

Regularly reviewing one's actions and experiences to gain insights and improve in the future.


The practice of viewing and interpreting a situation from a different perspective, often used to transform negative perceptions into positive ones.

Relational Well-being

Refers to the level of happiness and satisfaction derived from interpersonal relationships and feeling connected to others.

Relaxation Response

A state of deep rest induced by relaxation techniques, counteracting the stress response.


A renewal of life, vigor, interest, etc.; rebirth; revival, often reflecting personal growth and rejuvenation.


The ability to bounce back from adversity, which can lead to a deeper sense of overall happiness in the face of challenges.


Being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream.


An effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feelings.


Regularly performed behaviors in a fixed sequence, which can offer a sense of structure, meaning, and connection in daily life.


Deep in thought, reflecting on past experiences, which can either lead to feelings of nostalgia and contentment or feelings of regret and longing.



Mindfully engaging in thoughts or behaviors that heighten the effect of positive events on positive feelings.


A term introduced by Abraham Maslow, referring to the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potentialities, considered as a drive or need present in everyone.


Treating oneself with kindness and understanding, especially during times of failure or suffering. Cultivating self-compassion can lead to increased resilience and well-being.

Self-determination Theory (SDT)

A theory of motivation suggesting that people are happiest and most motivated when their needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy are fulfilled.


Going beyond one's personal needs and experiences to connect with something greater, whether it's other people, nature, or the universe.

Sense of Belonging

Feeling accepted, valued, and included in a group or community. It's a fundamental human need and a key factor in emotional well-being.


The occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.


A state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled, often pursued in meditation and mindfulness practices.

Set and Setting

Terms from psychopharmacology highlighting the importance of mindset and environment in shaping experiences, applicable to everyday life as well.

Set Point Theory

The idea that each person has a fixed "set point" of happiness that they return to, regardless of external events.


A Finnish concept that goes beyond resilience, capturing the idea of taking action in the face of significant adversity or challenge.

Social Comparison Theory

The idea that individuals determine their own social and personal worth based on how they stack up against others. This can have both positive and negative effects on well-being.


Comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness, providing a form of emotional relief.


The state of being alone, which can be chosen and rejuvenating. It's different from loneliness, which is the pain of being alone.

Somatic Marker Hypothesis

A theory suggesting that emotions play a critical role in decision-making via bodily feedback.


The physical and/or moral strength to resist or withstand weariness, fatigue, or hardship; endurance.


An ancient Greek school of philosophy that teaches the development of self-control and courage to overcome destructive emotions. It emphasizes accepting things we can't change and focusing on what we can control.

Subjective Vitality

A psychological marker of well-being, representing one's conscious experience of possessing energy and aliveness.

Subjective Well-being

A self-reported measure of well-being, often equated with happiness, encompassing both emotional reactions and cognitive judgments.


Whispering, murmuring, or rustling, often invoking a sense of calm or the quiet beauty in moments.


Temporal Discounting

The tendency to undervalue rewards in the future compared to immediate ones, which can influence happiness based on choices made for immediate versus long-term gratification.

Temporal Perspective

How one views and relates to the past, present, and future. A balanced temporal perspective is linked to well-being.


Gentleness and kindness, capturing softer emotions of warmth, care, and love.


Beyond merely surviving, it's flourishing and realizing one's full potential in various domains of life.


An ancient Greek term used by Plato to describe the spirited part of the soul, often linked to emotions of spirited desire, such as ambition or indignation.

Time Affluence

The feeling of having ample time, which can be a strong predictor of well-being, even more so than material affluence and in our increasingly rushed societies.


A Russian term that is often considered untranslatable, it refers to a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without a specific cause.


The act of rising above or going beyond the limits of a mundane existence, often in the context of spiritual or personal growth.

Transcendental Experiences

Moments where individuals feel they've risen above the daily life or self, often accompanied by feelings of euphoria or profound peace.

Transcendental Meditation

A specific form of silent mantra meditation, which has been shown to reduce stress and improve well-being.

Transpersonal Psychology

A subfield of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience with the framework of modern psychology.


A shine with a gleaming or flickering light, often associated with the eyes when one is amused or delighted.



An African philosophy that emphasizes communal values, interconnectedness, and the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.

Unconditional Positive Regard

A concept in psychology developed by Carl Rogers, suggesting that accepting and respecting others, regardless of their flaws or actions as they are fosters better psychological well-being.


Small, positive events that can improve mood and counterbalance the effects of stressors.

Upward Spirals

In positive psychology, the idea that positive emotions can lead to more positive emotions and upward cycles of positivity and growth.


Value Congruence

Alignment between one's personal values and the values of the environment or organization they are in. When there's congruence, individuals often experience higher satisfaction.

Value-based Happiness

Contentment derived from living in alignment with one's personal values and ethics.

Values Clarification

Understanding and prioritizing one's personal values, which can guide actions and decisions towards meaningful and fulfilling outcomes.

Vicarious Joy

Experiencing happiness and joy through the achievements or happiness of others.

Vicarious Resilience

Positive transformations and personal growth that professionals experience as a result of working with trauma survivors.


A feeling of being alive, passionate, and excited about life, contributing to a sense of happiness.


The quality of being open to emotional wounds, but also forming the basis for deep connection, creativity, and authenticity, as popularized by Brené Brown.



A Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in imperfection and the natural cycle of growth and decay, suggesting an acceptance and appreciation of the impermanence of life.

Well-being Contingencies

The specific domains (e.g., family, financial success) on which an individual's well-being is most contingent or dependent.

Well-being Theory

Proposed by Martin Seligman, it encompasses five elements (often remembered as PERMA): Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement.


The ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, and insight. Possessing and cultivating wisdom can lead to deeper life satisfaction.