‘Happiness, or subjective well-being (SWB) is a biopsychosocial phenomenon.’

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In this essay I will define and discuss the concepts of ‘positive psychology’, of ‘happiness’, which is synonymous with subjective well-being (SWB); of ‘the architecture of sustainable happiness’; and the biopsychosocial model. I aim to demonstrate that SWB is a multifaceted and can only be understood by investigating biological, psychological and social factors and their interdependence to construct a holistic model. I will provide examples of these different factors and their interdependence and explain why the biopsychosocial paradigm is the best for understanding happiness and conclude that SWB is indeed a ‘biopsychosocial phenomenon’.
The concept of positive psychology is fairly new having only being defined in 2000 as:
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There are a number of positive psychological interventions that have been demonstrated to be effective in improving well-being and reducing depression (Sin and Lyubomirsky, in Inglehart and Klingemann, 2003, p.135). These include forgiveness habits (linked to reduced blood pressure), disputing strategies to increase optimism, strengths interventions (linked with reduced cortisol), and gratitude interventions. Meditation, yoga and mindfulness also have proved to be successful in promoting SWB (Levine, in Inglehart and Klingemann, 2003, p.120).
Social factors are very important to SWB, especially relationships, which are the biggest cause of SWB. People are happiest with close personal friends, then family. Being in love is also a good indicator of SWB: in a study it was the only differential between exceptionally happy people and the rest (Diener and Seligman, in Inglehart and Klingemann, 2003, p.130).
Job satisfaction due to social relationships, work content and nature of the job, but not pay, has been shown to be linked with SWB. This can be counteracted by a conflict between family and work roles (Warr in, Inglehart and Klingemann, 2003, p.131).
Despite similarities retirement and unemployment have different effect on SWB. Unemployment has a strong negative effect whereas retirement is mostly positive (Argyle, in Inglehart and Klingemann, 2003, p.132).
Wealth has a slight but significant effect on SWB. The wealthiest are slightly

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