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Old 01-09-2017, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Near a river
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Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post
Beautiful post...above
I agree and couldn't rep. Thanks, Shadow.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
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If we let go of happiness as a state of mind, we won't suffer its opposite, unhappiness.

Simple as that.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:18 PM
 
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It's probably like people say about sexual orientation not being a choice---that who would choose to be gay with all the discrimination? So happiness is not a choice per se, but it starts with and depends on choices we make in terms of activity and thoughts. I just saw a TED lecture that explained this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO75lel4Zas
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Near a river
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One could always start with the premise that happiness does not exist, and live life one day at a time from there.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:37 AM
 
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The problem is that 'happiness' is considered a constant state or at least a consistent state. It is not. It is a fleeting emotion as is anger, sadness....

Better to ask if someone experiences more positive emotions on a regular basis than negative emotions, but that is a bit unwieldy. Or even whether someone experiences a neutral state of mind more often than not. Because there are three 'states of mind' positive, negative, and neutral.

Although research has indicated that 'happiness/positiveness' is largely genetic there are environmental influences that act on the genetic programming. So our choices would influence our state of mind in many cases, but our genetics would predispose us to one particular state of mind.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Central IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldwoman View Post
The problem is that 'happiness' is considered a constant state or at least a consistent state. It is not. It is a fleeting emotion as is anger, sadness....

Better to ask if someone experiences more positive emotions on a regular basis than negative emotions, but that is a bit unwieldy. Or even whether someone experiences a neutral state of mind more often than not. Because there are three 'states of mind' positive, negative, and neutral.

Although research has indicated that 'happiness/positiveness' is largely genetic there are environmental influences that act on the genetic programming. So our choices would influence our state of mind in many cases, but our genetics would predispose us to one particular state of mind.
I agree...both my parents had issues with depression, bipolar, suicide attempts...as did several aunts, uncles, first cousins. So I finally figured out my depression was not "situational" and I saw a psychiatrist and got on some meds that have helped, to a degree. I still consider myself dysthymic but better than before.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverBird View Post
One could always start with the premise that happiness does not exist, and live life one day at a time from there.
There is a saying in an Indian language that roughly translates to: The attitude of "Good Enough" is the alchemy that turns things to gold.

I would love to hear if there are saying equal to that, says the same thing, in other languages, including English.

Living with not happiness, but a constant sense of gratitude may be the best we can hope for, in fact strive to achieve.

Because to be in a constant sense of gratitude one needs to be always conscious of every little fleeting occasion of joy. Light at dawn, bird song, snowflake, no knee pain today. a friendly greeting during a walk.
If we can make that our purpose in life, how much better our mental health will be.

I think though that one needs to reach a certain age, a certain level of maturity, a certain station in life, before we can pursue this. When you are young, making a living, being a parent, son, friend, employee, obligations we cannot neglect, we need to be engaged deeply in the world and it is hard not to be entangled in it and forget to seek joy.

This is why this is a great query here in the retirement forum.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:02 PM
 
Location: At the Lake (in Texas)
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Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
No. IMO and experience.
...
I'd like to think that either many of the negative responders in that thread were being facetious or the thread title attracted grumpier people. Personally, I find myself happier, more tolerant and contented as I get older. Life is short and it is shorter as you get older so why waste it with anger, resentment and unhappiness. ...
I quite agree with the above. I believe that, in part, our attitudes may be genetic...however, there is always the possibility of a chemical imbalance, when one cannot pull themselves back up out of a downturn in one's outlook. But by and large, I believe that contentment is the goal and the best state to be in; happiness is an experience, but contentment is a way of living and your perspective on your existence.

I also believe that gratitude plays a huge part in the way we feel. If you feel unhappy much of the time, it is a great idea to begin a journal of gratitude...for example, each morning start the day with listing 5 things, no matter how small, that you are grateful for. Before long, most people's sense of well-being will improve. I would certainly recommend it, and would love to hear from anyone who experienced help by this practice.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:01 PM
 
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The answer is - Yes. And No. And Sometimes.

I don't see the point in the question. It's just another way to punish people for reacting normally to negative conditions, as far as I'm concerned - or at least opens the way for people to do so.

There is a difference between BEING happy and BEHAVING AS IF.

Many people in very negative circumstances who display "happiness" are, in fact, NOT happy. I have a close friend who is dying of a terrible, long-drawn-out, debilitating disease who has, in confidence, admitted to me suicidal thoughts and plans.

One would never know it from this person's outward behavior.

That said, there is still value in BEHAVING AS IF, if one can manage it. It may not actually MAKE you happy, but it does seem to help to reduce the unhappiness.

Happiness is over-rated IMNSHO. Moods do not last. Conditions change. No one is happy all the time nor unhappy all the time. And happiness or the lack thereof has little to do with clinical depression, or vv.

I think society has many ways for making people feel inadequate if they are not happy all the time. We are bombarded with ads for things that, if only we owned them, would make us happyhappyhappy forever and ever and ever.

Expensive vacations are necessary to our happiness. Successful brilliant children are necessary to our happiness. Big cars that guzzle gas, or expensive foreign models, are necessary to our happines.

Fakebook pages wherein people espouse unrelenting happiness that simply does not exist just throw fuel on the fire.

We don't even have a really good definition of happiness that is universal. I was once asked to describe "happiness" and when I did so, my conversational partner opined that I wasn't describing happiness at all, but contentment. He went on to further exclaim that no one should settle for "mere contentment".

We have very unrealistic attitudes when contentment is held in contempt, and we demand of ourselves and others what amounts to a constant state of mania in the mistaken belief that one must and should always be happy, and deliriously happy at that.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:05 AM
 
6,317 posts, read 5,058,385 times
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This topic has really made me think of my family dynamics. How people growing up in the same environment can go on to have different outlooks. How one laughs about the "bad" things and the other just keeps talking about them. Vowing to not mimic the behavior, but in many ways going in the same path. More money and possessions, but same dark cloud.
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