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Old 01-06-2017, 06:05 PM
 
3,145 posts, read 1,736,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Like Mariah Cary said, "Sh1t happens", but I don't dwell on it.
well good for you. You must be a contented, happy person always. You must bring a lot of joy in other people's lives.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:10 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,378 posts, read 6,390,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
well good for you. You must be a contented, happy person always. You must bring a lot of joy in other people's lives.
No, but I can always be happy on the Internet. Lol!
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:13 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,378 posts, read 6,390,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
Oh thank you for pointing out my problem. But I am not just discussing my problem but I am also wondering about the nature of happiness. It is a philosophical question that may not have quick answers, or solutions, but that is ok. I am interested in what other people in this forum think about this.

I know people who cover a lot of things with laughter - fear, rage, embarrassment, and sadness. Maybe I do it myself at times. It is not always about happiness.

I understand if this annoys you, it is not for everyone. You should just ignore this thread then.
No, I think you have problem when people posting something you disagree with. This is the Internet, I can choose to post anything I like. That's happiness.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:21 PM
 
3,145 posts, read 1,736,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
No, I think you have problem when people posting something you disagree with. This is the Internet, I can choose to post anything I like. That's happiness.
I don't think there is anything to agree or disagree over this topic so I don't know why you are getting so annoyed. If you think laughing = happiness, fine. But I think it can mean a lot of things, and not always happiness, that is the way I feel and it is not entirely baseless. And of course I agree that people laugh when they are happy and happiness does produce laughter. But not always.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:39 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,378 posts, read 6,390,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
I don't think there is anything to agree or disagree over this topic so I don't know why you are getting so annoyed. If you think laughing = happiness, fine. But I think it can mean a lot of things, and not always happiness, that is the way I feel and it is not entirely baseless. And of course I agree that people laugh when they are happy and happiness does produce laughter. But not always.
Right, you baseless argument is that it's not always but how do you know it's in this case, you don't really know the person in real life. I think you just want to argue. So I have to disagree with you.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,446 posts, read 7,951,594 times
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One can't be happy all the time can they? Sometimes life throws you curve balls that derail any happy moments. Like when John got his promotion one week and the next a friend blows his brains out. What are you supposed to do with that? Or how about a milestone birthday on the horizon and your best friend thinks a work Christmas party is more important? Oh yeah and a road trip to Florida so that she won't even be around on the actual day. Never mind that you made every single birthday for her special, got uninvited to go on a fishing trip by her husband that you looked forward to for months, yet still stayed behind to do a week long rehab for free on their living room at their new house. Oh yeah what about those two early morning visits to the hospital, oh wait, three. What about the limo and hundreds of dollars spent on making their tenth anniversary special. You ask for one day and the answer is no? Really? I'm desperately unhappy about kicking her friendship to the curb right now. This is what life is. Will I be happy again? Of course, but for now I'm terribly unhappy and very hurt. This is just a temporary glitch in the system. This too shall pass, just like those extreme moments of joy. Is happiness a choice? I say no. It's a fleeting gift sometimes.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,879,241 times
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Yes, I do believe happiness is a choice!

I have friends who have lots of material goods and reasonable health yet are miserable and always wanting more money and more stuff--and they never reach a place of enjoyment.


And I know artistic people who love their work or craft, possess very little and are very pleased with themselves and the world.

I'm somewhere in the middle and have done considerable personal growth work to get to the place where most of the time I'm content and at peace. I've learned to shut up that little nagging voice of self-doubt--that little voice of negative self-talk can make us very unhappy.


But happiness is a loaded word, in my opinion.

Why not use "peace of mind" or "contentment"? Those are where we can get to once we come to understanding more about ourselves and the way of the world.

The book, The Power of Now, really changed my life in many good ways.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:58 PM
 
26,175 posts, read 28,568,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
I don't know if this should be in the Psych forum but I would like to post this here because I think age gives us a certain perspective that is more interesting to me. We have more to look back on as well as years yet to live which is informed by our experience in the past.

I think we can all agree happiness is fleeting. We may be elated about an upcoming vacation, have a great time, return and our happiness index falls back in place in time until the next something happens. Maybe we all live on a small bubble of happiness every day which takes us through our daily like.

But do we make a conscious choice to be happy, think happy thoughts?

What about when there is strife? Your daughter blames you for a bad childhood, your parenting skills when you did the best you knew how?
What about when a friend suddenly stops being a friend and simple leaves your life?
And what about, and this is really the worst of all, when you are haunted by doubt and guilt that maybe you did do some bad parenting back then, maybe you offended your friend, or maybe you think of your Mom and how you failed her for some reason?

Guilt and regret, the worst feelings that can deflate that bubble of happiness leaving you wide awake at night. How do you choose happiness then?

What do you think?
Yes, I do think happiness is a choice, at least partially. Sonia Lyubormirsky is a psychologist who reviewed a whole bunch of studies on happiness and found happy people think and behave in certain ways. She documented this in her book The How of Happiness. Lyubomirsky says we have control over 40% of our happiness. 10% of our happiness is related to external circumstances, and 50% is related to genetics. But, as she points out, working with that 40% you have control over can give you a pretty nice happiness boost.

The book offers a menu of 12 options to boost your happiness. Lyubomirsky recommends trying the 3 or 4 things that resonate most with you. A lot of this stuff is probably stuff your parents or grandmother told you when you were a kid (assuming you didn't have a totally dysfunctional family). Stuff that makes people happier.

--Weekly attendance at religious services.
--Writing in a gratitude journal once a week.
--Regular exercise at least 3 times a week.

Lyubormirsky also notes that having more money/stuff boosts happiness the most for people who are poor. Once basic necessities are met, more money/stuff brings about only small amounts of additional happiness or none at all.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 01-06-2017 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:10 AM
 
5,480 posts, read 2,936,864 times
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Yes, I think it is a choice. I think people have a choice how they look at the world. I have a co worker that is in the habit of saying, "I hate people". My response to her always is, "There are more good people in the world than bad people. Change your focus".

I know a couple of people at work that are "Eeyore" people. I think people get into a habit of seeing the ugly parts of life instead of focusing on the good things that are happening.
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,769,401 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiGi603 View Post
Yes, I think it is a choice. I think people have a choice how they look at the world. I have a co worker that is in the habit of saying, "I hate people". My response to her always is, "There are more good people in the world than bad people. Change your focus".

I know a couple of people at work that are "Eeyore" people. I think people get into a habit of seeing the ugly parts of life instead of focusing on the good things that are happening.
A good point. I don't know what the ratio of "good people" to "bad people" in the world is, but even if there are not more of the former as you claim, your point remains valid. If one chooses to mire oneself in negativity, there is no lack of examples of evil, stupidity, etc. in the world and one can end up in a near constant rage at the injustices and wrongs all around us. If we are that way, it is to our own detriment.

The opposite extreme would be a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" attitude, which is naive and unrealistic. We need to be aware of con artists in our business dealings, for example. And we need to be aware of back-stabbers at work. The ideal would be to have that awareness without becoming obsessed with it.

So it is a question of focus, as you said.
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