Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a psychology professor at Claremont Graduate University. He has written on a process that he calls flow, which I find to be quite interesting. The claim is that we all have certain things – perhaps a hobby, perhaps our work – which when we work on, we totally get absorbed into and just sort of like lose our sense of time, sense of what is going on around us, lose your sense of self-consciousness, lose your hunger, thirst, etc., and just get immersed in what you are doing in a concentrated sort of a way for a good long duration.
Example: An artist who when he begins to paint something and just gets totally absorbed into the process of making the painting and loses a sense of everything else around him and the artwork just flows.
Csikszentmihalyi states that flow is integral to happiness. I will have to continue to investigate this.
Here is an article from Psychology Today on this: Finding Flow
Here also a comment he made in a youtube lecture of his that I saw:
“The lack of basic material resources contributes to unhappiness but the increase in material resources do not increase in happiness.”