Hedonic Happiness is a positive emotion in your brain that is triggered if something good happens. For example, someone you get a promotion and you are happy! This type of happiness is transitory and impossible to sustain. It is an emotional reaction to external stimuli. What would happen, say, if right after you received the promotion, your spouse served divorce papers or you found out a loved one had cancer? Those delicious feelings of excitement and exuberance would likely be replaced very quickly with feelings of grief, anger, fear, loss, or sadness. Hedonic happiness is the sort of happiness that is experienced by the vast majority of humankind, it is the reason behind the emotional rollercoaster. It is the reason why our happiness is fleeting and intangible, because we are susceptible to external sources for our sense of well-being.

This has become a trap, a pitfall and leads to stress and maybe even the downward spiral.

Hedonic Mirage is when you THINK happiness will happen for you in the future (money, love, success, marriage, babies, location, etc).

Hedonic Treadmill is when you pursue people, places, or things to make you happy, yet it comes with a crushing realization that achieving the continuing of this pursuit is leaving you unfulfilled and discontent.

Hedonic Adaptation is when you achieve all of your goals then realize you want something different and therefore get back on the treadmill.

Focusing only on hedonic happiness will never help you create a sustainable deep inner contentment or experience of peaceful joy.


Eudaimonic (translates as: the nature of a good spirit, as defined by Aristotle) This type of happiness is a deep inner contentment and fulfillment in your heart center which is created when four things are in place in your life:

  • Meaning
  • Authenticity
  • Purpose
  • Strengths

Eudaimonia is a feeling of deep inner contentment, and it is sustainable.


Chaironic Happiness comes from a sense of connection to something larger than yourself. It is spiritual* joy and bliss. This ultimate state of bliss can be experienced through meditation, reiki, church, yoga, prayer, nature or even a rock concert.

*The word "spiritual" can mean many things to many people. It can mean a religious practice, a relationship with a higher being, a meditation practice, a relationship with nature or animals.