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Are you happy? And what brings meaning to your life?

missy

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And do you think you can change/reset your happiness set point?


So the questions are as follows:

1. Are you happy? What makes you happy? How do you define happiness?
2. Do you think you can change your happiness set point?
3. What brings meaning to your life?


To answer my question I *am* happy despite lots of worries and unpleasant things I am dealing with and have been dealing with for a long while. Is my happiness set point where I want it to be? Not really because I also find myself stressed about what I am worrying about and I think it affects my happiness to a degree. So I am consciously working on raising that happiness set point by trying to live in the moment, focus on all the good in my life and not focusing on the superficial. It's challenging but most worthwhile endeavors are challenging.

What makes me happy

My dh- Sharing the kind of love with him that we do makes everything better and as I wrote before in another thread it really feels like being with him doubles the happiness and halves the sorrows. And makes me a better person.

Being grateful for all the good in my life.

Loving others. Having close relationships with a handful of really good friends who I love and I know love me and also of course loving animals. This all brings me joy. Being able to give love unconditionally and get it back unconditionally too. Trusting my close friends and being able to share anything with them. I am a person who needs to talk things through and share and I am not good at keeping my emotions inside. Being able to get them out and talk about them is critical to my well being which in turn makes me happier.

Doing good. That does make me happy so doing good deeds/volunteering/giving money to worthwhile causes. I believe that working for a cause you believe in and helping others is what makes life worthwhile and brings happiness so in that way no action is truly altruistic. Because when we do good deeds/help others/volunteer for worthy causes we make ourselves happier in the process.


What makes me unhappy

Thinking too much and focusing on the negatives and worrying. I need to get out of my own mind sometimes and stop thinking so much.
I am pessimistic by nature. Working on this. I like to think of myself as cautiously optimistic so while I usually hope for the best I expect the worst so not sure what that makes me. Besides careful LOL.


Interesting article about the happiness set point.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201304/how-reset-your-happiness-set-point

The set-point theory of happiness suggests that our level of subjective well-being is determined primarily by heredity and by personality traits ingrained in us early in life and as a result remains relatively constant throughout our lives. Our level of happiness may change transiently in response to life events, but then almost always returns to its baseline level as we habituate to those events and their consequences over time. Habituation, a growing body of evidence now tells us, occurs even to things like career advancement, money, and marriage.

On the other hand, other research (link is external) suggests a few events—chief among them the unexpected death of a child and repeated bouts of unemployment—seem to reduce our ability to be happy permanently. Yet some studies also suggest that we can also fix our happiness set point permanently higher—by helping others.

According to one such study (link is external) that analyzed data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey, a collection of statistics representing the largest and longest-standing series of observations on happiness in the world, the trait most strongly associated with long-term increases in life satisfaction is, in fact, a persistent commitment to pursuing altruistic goals. That is, the more we focus on compassionate action, on helping others, the happier we seem to become in the long run.

What’s more, according to another study (link is external), altruism doesn’t just correlate with an increase in happiness; it actually causes it—at least in the short term. When psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky had students perform five acts of kindness of their choosing per week over the course of six weeks, they reported a significant increase in their levels of happiness relative to a control group of students who didn’t.

But why would creating value for others boost our happiness set-point beyond the point at which our heredity has set it when things like career advancement, money, and marriage don’t? One possibility is that the more value we create for others, the more value we assign ourselves. Helping others, in other words, enhances our self-esteem (link is external). On the other hand, if the reason that value creation increases long-term happiness is only because it enhances our self-esteem, then career advancement and wealth accumulation (which often enhance our self-esteem) should increase our long-term happiness set point, too. But they don’t. So maybe creating value for others doesn’t increase our long-term happiness as much because it enhances our self-esteem as it does our sense of purpose (link is external).

If our self-esteem determines the value we assign to ourselves (that is, how much we like ourselves), our sense of purpose determines the value we assign to our lives (that is, how significant or important we find our lives to be). And while a healthy self-esteem is well known to be necessary for happiness, increasing it beyond what’s considered “healthy” hasn’t been correlated with further increases in happiness (perhaps because any level of self-love beyond “healthy” strays, almost by definition, into the realm of narcissism). In contrast, the greater the sense of purpose we feel, the happier we seem to become (link is external).

Importantly, however, providing help to others seems to increase our well-being only when we provide it of our own free will. If we feel compelled to help, whether by another person or by internally self-generated pressures such as shame or pride, helping others won't actually increase our well-being. Our sense of well-being may indeed increase in proportion to the help we provide, but only if our desire to provide it is autonomous (link is external). Any action we take to help others, in other words, must feel as if it was our idea.

What creates such an autonomous desire to help others? Ironically, often the very same thing that helping others produces: good feelings. In one study (link is external), male undergraduates given cookies to briefly improve their moods were found to be subsequently more likely than controls to agree when asked to help with a sham experiment. In another study (link is external), subjects who found leftover money in a pay phone—again presumably producing brief elevations in their moods—were subsequently found to be far more likely than controls to help a stranger pick up dropped papers. Other research (link is external) also suggests that the lower our mood the less likely we are to feel like helping others, even when we think we should.

Which brings us to an ironic truth: we’re the least likely to help others when helping others is the most likely to help us—that is, when we feel defeated by problems or devastated by tragedy. At such times, finding the emotional energy and autonomous desire to focus on someone else’s problems seems not only impossible but also illogical. After all, don’t we need that energy for ourselves?

Though this seems sensible at first glance, such an attitude actually results more from the smallness of thought that accompanies discouragement than from a sober assessment of the best way to recover one’s happiest, most capable self. For just as exercise can actually provide us with energy by forcing us to summon it when we’re feeling tired (link is external), helping others can provide us with enthusiasm, encouragement, and even joy by forcing us to summon them when we’re feeling discouraged. “If one lights a fire for others,” wrote Nichiren Daishonin, “one will brighten one’s own way." Thus, the moments in which we feel happiest aren't just moments to be enjoyed. They're also opportunities to increase the frequency and intensity with which we feel them in the future.

If you made it through this far, thank you. And if you have the energy to respond an even bigger thank you. :bigsmile:

Sharing a pic of the happy quokka.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quokka

quokkahappiestmammal.jpg
 

dk168

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Sense of purpose
Knowing I have done a good job
Opportunities to learn
Freedom to do things that I enjoy
Ability to do things that I enjoy
Good health
My cat and dog
No money worries
A good job that stimulates me

Can I be happier? I am sure I can.

However, I am content with my lot, and do not wish for anything more.

DK :))
 

missy

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Thanks DK and I Love that. So true. We take freedom for granted and that goes a long way in helping us be happy. As does good health. :appl:
 

missy

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Too bad I cannot add a poll after the fact because I think it would be interesting to see how many people are "happy" and what being happy means to them.

Adding some more thoughts. I will say that it definitely has to come from within to be lasting because so much of what happens is beyond our control so to have lasting happiness it really needs to come from within no matter the external factors. For me happiness is peace from negative stress (that starts in my mind and therefore I have control over it as we all do) and it is a continual work in progress all the time. I hope one day to reach that point where it is not a struggle. Where I am happy despite what else is happening from factors I cannot control.

Of course until then I continue to persevere as everyone must. And remember that Happiness is also rescuing and loving a sweet kitty or puppy or better yet both! :appl:

rescuekittyandpuppylove.jpg
 

december-fire

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Missy,

Seeing that adorable kitten and puppy made me very happy! :appl:

Overall, am I happy? I'm making a conscious effort to be happy and do things that bring joy and meaning to my life.

I used to be an optimist.
My theory: I can make things better, fix problems, help people through my hard work, determination, compassion and generosity.
I focussed on looking after others and making them happy.

As I grew older, I became a realistic optimist.
My theory: As above, but realized that I couldn't fix every problem.

Then, a series of not-great stuff took its toll.
Some of which is part of life; loss of loved ones.
Some of which was my own making; letting irrational fears prevent me from making the right choices, looking after others at the cost of neglecting myself, putting up with stuff from family that I would not tolerate from anyone else, and failure to recognize that we are not all the same and some people don't feel remorse or compassion for other human beings.

I now realize that it is not selfish to do what's best for me.
Blood is not thicker than water; I'm not going to have a lower standard of acceptable behaviour for people who happen to be related.
I view negative emotions, such as fear, guilt or regret, from an analytical perspective to determine the origin, assess the validity, change perspective or behaviour.

I stayed far too long in an unhealthy marriage.
I spent too much time and energy trying to be 'perfect' so that I would be 'acceptable'.
I'm done with negative emotions and people who kill our soul or prevent us from making healthy choices.
Of course, I'm human and still feel those emotions from time to time, but I'm minimizing them and dealing with them more quickly.

Now that I've rambled, I'll try to focus on answering the question.

Yes, I'm happy. To an extent (assuming no devastating external factors like a child's illness, etc.), happiness is a choice and internally-based.

Staying true to myself and my values brings happiness and meaning to my life.
Spending time with people who share my values is very important.

Missy,
Great questions. Not sure if I answered them despite having written too much!

:wavey:
 

Scandinavian

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I'm (mostly) happy! That was a really good question Missy! I actually had to think about it, but yes, I'm happy :) I guess it is easy to take too much for granted. I have a nice family that I love and that loves me back, my husband is the love of my life and I'm so lucky and happy to have meet him. And we are all healthy. So these are the tings that truly makes me happy on a deep-down level I guess. But on a day-to-day basis, the one thing that is always sure to bring a smile to my face no matter how the day has been or what has happened, is my dog. She is my baby and my everything. (I have children and I love them unconditionally, but they are small persons, not babies, and I think they are quite happy that I have a dog also, LOL). Nature and the freedom to enjoy nature are also high up there on my list :)
 

blingbunny10

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1. Are you happy? What makes you happy? How do you define happiness?
2. Do you think you can change your happiness set point?
3. What brings meaning to your life?
I think 1 and 3 are connected for me. I feel happiest when I'm occupied doing things that I enjoy and that fulfill me. My husband and dog are both amazing, and their energy brings a lot to my life, given that I am prone to being naturally low energy and inward looking rather than actively engaging. Re:2, I think happiness set points can change, but I don't know if I can will mine to. I think mine has changed from where it was 10 years ago. Honestly, I'm happiest when I'm not spending a ton of time reflecting on whether I'm happy and how much. I do sometimes have to push myself beyond contentment toward more meaningful happiness, if that makes sense. I'd be very interested to hear more people's responses to 3.
 

missy

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December Fire, I think of myself as a realistic optimist too. I wasn't sure if I made that term up but I guess it is a real thing. Yes some might say I am a pessimist but no I consider myself a realistic optimist. While I can be a dreamer and always hope for a good outcome I realize what is practical and more likely to happen. However I still always hope for the best but am prepared for the worst. It's a survival mechanism IMO.

I agree it is *not* selfish to do what is best for you because only then can you truly help others. If that makes sense. I look at it like this. It's like needing oxygen when the plane loses cabin pressure. If you don't put the mask on yourself first you cannot help others with their O2 masks.

Yes you answered my question very well. Thank you, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts!

Scandinavian, thank you and yes you are very fortunate to have that kind of love and you have a wonderful happy life. Thank you so much for sharing your happiness with us!

Blingbunny, I agree that one and three are related strongly. I am most happy when I am doing (what I consider) "good" for others. It brings me contentment and joy. However peace is an important part of the formula for me too so I am working on that. Peace means different things to different people and for me it is peace from worrying about things I cannot control.

LOL I also agree with what you wrote about being happiest when you are not thinking about if and how much you are happy. I just said to my dh the other day that if I wasn't so cerebral (always thinking so hard about everything so often) I would be happier. I hope that doesnt sound insulting to some people as I don't mean that it that way at all. Just that the more we think about things, reflect on the human condition, the less happy we could be. The more we think the more we realize how dismal our existence might be and how disheartening human behavior really is. But I digress and am not trying to turn this thread into a dark reflection on life. :cry:

OK sorry for my own threadjack and like blingbunny I would love to hear more thoughts about this and feel free to go as far off topic as you want. I love it best when you are free to talk about anything that comes to mind while discussing a topic. I know it is a challenging question and I hope more people will share.
 

monarch64

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I'm happy and to me happiness means being able to cope in healthy ways with obstacles in life that might cause unhappiness. How everyone gets to that point involves their own personal experience and journey. For me it has been choosing to be happy and not feel sorry for myself or that others have control over my happiness.

Helping others and teaching them skills brings meaning to my life. Getting older has so many advantages; one of which being that I no longer feel I have to prove myself constantly. I have more experience now and knowledge and skills to share with others, and it makes me happy to do so.
 

rainwood

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Missy

I really agree with that article you included. After my husband died, one of the things that helped me feel better was to help others. It seems odd, but one of the things that made getting through a sad day easier was the chance to focus on someone else, and do something that made their lives better. People didn't want to impose, but I kept reassuring them I was doing it as much for me as for them. It has also allowed me to better accept assistance from others because I know it makes them feel good. It's truly a win-win situation. I am careful not to cross a line, but I do reach out more both ways (offering and asking for help) and wish I'd learned that life lesson much, much sooner.
 

Maria D

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rainwood|1456265221|3994594 said:
Missy

I really agree with that article you included. After my husband died, one of the things that helped me feel better was to help others. It seems odd, but one of the things that made getting through a sad day easier was the chance to focus on someone else, and do something that made their lives better. People didn't want to impose, but I kept reassuring them I was doing it as much for me as for them. It has also allowed me to better accept assistance from others because I know it makes them feel good. It's truly a win-win situation. I am careful not to cross a line, but I do reach out more both ways (offering and asking for help) and wish I'd learned that life lesson much, much sooner.
Hi Rainwood, I just wanted to say I am so sorry for your loss. I know over the years that you mentioned our husband's illness. In particular I remember that he was waiting for FDA approval of a drug during a government shutdown. But if you posted that he had passed on I missed it. You don't post much, but if I notice that you did I immediately click on it! I really enjoy reading what you have to say. (((hugs)))
 

dragonfly411

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1. Are you happy? What makes you happy? How do you define happiness?
Am I happy? In some ways yes and in some no. I love my son. I love my job. I feel like I do many things that I love. I care about my husband, but this year is proving to be very very trying for us. And I feel like I have been through a lot of really hard things that would rip others apart. I try very hard to be positive though, and I remain thankful for all of the wonderful things I do have in my life and that I do get to do.

What makes me happy? Feeling like I've helped others. Knowing that someone out there somewhere cares about me. My son, and his smiles. Nature. Yoga. Books. Cooking. Gardening.

2. Do you think you can change your happiness set point? I think it depends honestly. I think you have to have a great deal of self control to ignore when a lot of really bad shit happens. For me personally, it is very hard to watch others have pretty carefree lives where they accomplish a lot, have great friends, and seem to have a happy life as they want it and then compare it to myself. I feel like I've had more than my share of really bad shit, and after a while it wears you down. I am hoping to adopt meditation, go to church more, and really do some self evaluation to try to figure out the parts of me that aren't happy.

3. What brings meaning to your life? Making others smile. Feeling like I am a reliable person to others, and that they can trust me. My son is my sun. Literally. The light in the storm. Helping and contributing in positive ways to anyone's life that I can.
 

missy

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rainwood|1456265221|3994594 said:
Missy

I really agree with that article you included. After my husband died, one of the things that helped me feel better was to help others. It seems odd, but one of the things that made getting through a sad day easier was the chance to focus on someone else, and do something that made their lives better. People didn't want to impose, but I kept reassuring them I was doing it as much for me as for them. It has also allowed me to better accept assistance from others because I know it makes them feel good. It's truly a win-win situation. I am careful not to cross a line, but I do reach out more both ways (offering and asking for help) and wish I'd learned that life lesson much, much sooner.
Rainwood, yes the article rang true with me as well. Helping others does make a difference. A big difference at times. When I focus on others I get out of my negative head space and the good energy and thoughts can overcome the stressful feelings and I feel I am accomplishing something that benefits others and it is a win win.

Harder of course is accepting help from others as giving help feels so much easier but I remember you telling me not to be afraid to ask for and accept offers of help when I was housebound and I took your advice.

I know I told you this already but it is worth repeating. You have been a source of comfort and help to me and I want you to know that just in case you didn't already. Thank you and (((hugs))).
 

missy

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dragonfly411|1456351484|3995122 said:
1. Are you happy? What makes you happy? How do you define happiness?
Am I happy? In some ways yes and in some no. I love my son. I love my job. I feel like I do many things that I love. I care about my husband, but this year is proving to be very very trying for us. And I feel like I have been through a lot of really hard things that would rip others apart. I try very hard to be positive though, and I remain thankful for all of the wonderful things I do have in my life and that I do get to do.

What makes me happy? Feeling like I've helped others. Knowing that someone out there somewhere cares about me. My son, and his smiles. Nature. Yoga. Books. Cooking. Gardening.

2. Do you think you can change your happiness set point? I think it depends honestly. I think you have to have a great deal of self control to ignore when a lot of really bad shit happens. For me personally, it is very hard to watch others have pretty carefree lives where they accomplish a lot, have great friends, and seem to have a happy life as they want it and then compare it to myself. I feel like I've had more than my share of really bad shit, and after a while it wears you down. I am hoping to adopt meditation, go to church more, and really do some self evaluation to try to figure out the parts of me that aren't happy.

3. What brings meaning to your life? Making others smile. Feeling like I am a reliable person to others, and that they can trust me. My son is my sun. Literally. The light in the storm. Helping and contributing in positive ways to anyone's life that I can.

Hi Dragonfly, it's so nice to see you posting on PS again. I have missed you. Thanks for sharing and I hope all is well. (((Hugs))).


monarch64|1456240849|3994409 said:
I'm happy and to me happiness means being able to cope in healthy ways with obstacles in life that might cause unhappiness. How everyone gets to that point involves their own personal experience and journey. For me it has been choosing to be happy and not feel sorry for myself or that others have control over my happiness.

Helping others and teaching them skills brings meaning to my life. Getting older has so many advantages; one of which being that I no longer feel I have to prove myself constantly. I have more experience now and knowledge and skills to share with others, and it makes me happy to do so.
Monnie, I agree, that is a huge benefit to getting older (and wiser perhaps?)...I don't feel I need to prove myself to anyone and I am more confident in myself despite not being (and being far from) perfect. And the superficial is just that. Superficial.
 

dragonfly411

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Missy! I missed you guys too, and kept thinking about the group this past week or so. So I had to come back and see how everyone is. I'm hoping that maybe this can be a bit of an outlet for me as well.
 

alongcat

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Hello everyone,

what an interesting thread. I often feel people shy away from the 'big issues' in life (or indeed on forums) so I'm delighted to find a thread with real depth. Thank you Missy for this!

1. Are you happy? What makes you happy? How do you define happiness?

I have always thought that true 'happiness' is an elevated state of being that can't be sustained constantly because it is emotionally draining, even though it's amazing - a bit like falling crazily in love. Like having a massive smile on your face - it's too much to be a permanent state of being. But when happiness calms down it gives way for a more sustainable state: contentment. And contentment, I feel, is massively underrated. Being at peace. Feeling good about life, and feeling secure in your love and life situation on the whole, with inevitable lows and lovely highs of utter happiness.
I guess being happy doesn't quite equate to happiness, if I think about it. Happiness to me is probably a state of contentment with those peaks of happiness dotted along the line fairly frequently. Being 'happy' is the state which might be a bit draining in the long run, it's more like an active state to me.
What makes me happy? In a word: love. Love for my daughter, for my OH whom I still fancy like mad 13 years after we first met (we weren't a couple all that time but have been solidly for years), who drives me mad with his differences from me which are quite extreme, and his similarities to me which are equally extreme - it hasn't been an easy road but we have finally learned to co-exist in peace without compromising on the intensity we both crave... Love for my amazing mum.
Also, peace is happiness (contentment) for me. I have had a pretty full-on life and when I was in my wild youth I could keep going without stopping and no troubles fazed me, but now in my late 30s I need a different pace and my needs have changed immensely.

But yes, I am mostly happy (content with bursts of happiness). I am prone to mood swings so I sometimes feel irrationally low for no real reason, only to swing straight up again. I have learned to control these feelings and step outside myself most of the time and acknowledging that this is just a temporary state, and my OH being aware of my moods - even just prewarned, and so adapting his approach, has really helped me too.

2. Do you think you can change your happiness set point?

Without any shadow of a doubt. First, letting go of past hurts and accepting that blood relations don't mean you have to love them. Equally, that other blood relations will truly be there no matter what. Healing from past hurts because people who previously held power over you lose their power as you see that they, too, are only human beings who have screwed up or suffered and made them behave as they did. Compassion and forgiveness without becoming a doormat.
Also, meditation, letting go of worries that do nothing to propel you forward but make you cling on to your perceived faults, even others' perceived faults, or even others' perceived virtues. Not chasing ghosts or allowing ghosts to chase you. Living in the here and now and know that nothing can be predicted with certainty, so we need to enjoy the present and be thankful.

3. What brings meaning to your life?
See answer 1: love. Having a child helped me let go of myself and focus entirely on someone else. What an immense relief that was, what a revelation! Not that it hasn't been incredibly hard too at times, but nothing prepared me for the onslaught of my biological instincts to love and protect my child. I love her more every day.
Connecting with other human beings. Even just looking into a stranger's eyes and exchanging a smile.
Making a positive difference to others' lives. I work for a charity and while I get paid less than if I worked privately, I feel so much better inside knowing I help - in my own tiny way - to make a difference for the most vulnerable in society. At the same time, I am always aware I could do more, and there is the tendency to worry I'm nt doing enough - again, I have to always remind myself not to put myself down (I think we all do this).
Having an open heart and seeing the good in people.

I have rambled on a bit now... Best wrap it up... I will follow this thread with interest =)
 

missy

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Alongcat, thank you for sharing your thoughts and I so agree. Connecting with others and having an open warm heart can go a long way in being happy and content. And living in the moment. A worthwhile endeavor however challenging.
 

chrono

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Happiness is a fleeting feeling. Depending on what makes one happy, it could end up a vicious cycle of happiness and depression.
 

missy

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Chrono|1456499833|3996048 said:
Happiness is a fleeting feeling. Depending on what makes one happy, it could end up a vicious cycle of happiness and depression.
I guess it depends on how one defines happiness and now we are discussing semantics. My definition is being content, satisfied and at peace with one's life vs a pleasurable experience or event. However you define it is cool. FWIW this was my thought process when asking the question. Basically, overall, how content/happy are you with your life and what makes your life good and happy for you.

As I wrote above I think one's connections with others has a strong influence on one's happiness and one's connection with doing what they consider to be meaningful work. Whatever that means to each individual. So IMO happiness is not fleeting though you can experience sadness while being overall happy with your life if that makes sense. There are times we are miserable but wouldn't classify our lives as miserable. I wouldn't define life as happy or sad based on superficial one time occurrences but on an overall view of one's life made up of many things. As with many questions there is no right or wrong answer and instead it is complicated.
 

chrono

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Am I content? Yes, I am not in want of any basic necessities, and although there are ups and downs with family life, it is more positive than negative. :)) It is indeed a very simple question with a very complicated answer.
 

marcy

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1. Are you happy? What makes you happy? How do you define happiness?
I would say I am more often happy than unhappy. My life makes me happy. Having the love and support of my husband would top my list. Spending time with close friends and family makes me happy. Also doing things and having things I treasure will put a smile on my face. Taking pride in doing things the best I can gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me happy. I would define happiness as a feeling of contentment, comfort and believing things are good.

2. Do you think you can change your happiness set point? I absolutely believe you can change your own happiness set point. IMO you have to realize that you and you alone can control how happy you are and not rely on other people to make you happy. I have often told friends or family that I believe you are as happy as you make up your mind to be. It's kind of like that saying if life hands you lemons make lemonade. We all have bad / sad times but dwelling on things can be self destructive.

3. What brings meaning to your life? A successful career, a happy home life and good friends.
 

Natylad

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Chrono|1456499833|3996048 said:
Happiness is a fleeting feeling. Depending on what makes one happy, it could end up a vicious cycle of happiness and depression.
Very true...
 

Sky56

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I am happy, generally.

Why I am happy:

1. Good health
2. My hobbies
3. Successful career, built on honesty and non-predatory behavior.
4. Happy home life, built with kindness and respect to others.
5. Gratefulness

When I am not happy, it's because:

1. Things outside of my control, such as death of loved ones or loss of friendship.
2. When I get an anxiety attack, it happens when I forget to feel grateful and relive bad experiences from the past. I have PTSD.
3. When I worry.
 

missy

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Sky56|1456703931|3997129 said:
I am happy, generally.

Why I am happy:

1. Good health
2. My hobbies
3. Successful career, built on honesty and non-predatory behavior.
4. Happy home life, built with kindness and respect to others.
5. Gratefulness

When I am not happy, it's because:

1. Things outside of my control, such as death of loved ones or loss of friendship.
2. When I get an anxiety attack, it happens when I forget to feel grateful and relive bad experiences from the past. I have PTSD.
3. When I worry.
I love your list Sky and it rings true with me too. Thank you for sharing.

And Marcy ditto to your wise words. Thank you.

Hi Naty, hope you are doing well. :wavey: Hoping life is happy and good for you.
 

PintoBean

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Do you know what truly makes me happy? Just OVER THE MOON happy??? My three adopted cats :love: :love: :love:
Kitty #1 - she was between 2-4 when we adopted her. All we knew was that she and her brother were left OUTSIDE the shelter on a December day (WTF????) She's got an amazing personality and the sweetest temperament. She NEVER bites. EVER! She only accidentally scratches - like if you grab her and she's scrambling to get away - she doesn't like to be picked up. She talks a lot - that may be the calico side of her calico-tabbiness. Lot's of HELLO? HELLO? and when she sees my mom, esp. when mom is catsitting while we are out of town, she says "MAAA MAAA" and my mom responds, "good girl, Ah-ma (grandma) is here...You are Ah-ma's favorite because you are the only one that greets me by name!" HAHAHAHA! Well, for some reason, even with all these great traits, she was at the shelter for over a year! By the time we adopted her, she'd spent time at both the shelter and a few months at the local Petco...

I will never forget when we brought her home. We lived in a nice sized 2BR apartment - 1800 sq feet. We let her out of the temp carrier. She stepped into the foyer. Her jaw dropped. Eyes were the size of saucers :-o , she looked to the right, and screamed "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH". mouth still hanging open, she turned to the left and screamed "AHHHHHHHHHHHH". it was like Maccauley Caulkin in home alone! We didn't know what to make of this reaction. Was she awed and amazed at all this space that was her new home, now that she wasn't in a display case/cage anymore? Or was she like, wtf? this place is SMALL! I used to live in a PALACE before they dropped me off at the shelter! (We like to believe that it's the former :sun: ). Then she started walking around like a boss...!

Because Kitty #1 was so amazing, we got Kitty #2. My heart grew and my happiness level increased. No matter how craptastic my day was at work, the kitties were there for me. Their love is unconditional. They say cats are SEMI-domesticated, so it means the world to us that Kitty #2 loves us so much that we were able to train her. Go to your spot, sit, shake hands, other hand. We thought Kitty #1 wouldn't be trainable because she's older, but guess what? she picked up sit and shake hands by observation. What? that's all you have to do to get a cookie? Easy peasy! BUT, she's modified shake hands - she doesn't like to be grabbed, so you hold the cookie out and she smacks the hand that is holding the cookie (like a "give me five"). And when she's hungry, Kitty #1 will walk up to you, and sit down with her paw raised - SO ... DARN... CUTE!

Because I love these kitties so much, I was so excited to find our current house. I wanted them to have more room to run around. I wanted large windows and storm doors for them to look out at the neighbors and birds and squirrels and chipmunks. I did all my renovations with the kitties in mind - low/no VOC paint, I went over and over with the floor guy how we would install the HW floor. I checked the reviews on the flooring brand we use to make sure there were no complaints about toxicity. I kept the stairs open risers so that they can play peekaboo, etc.

We adopted Kitty #3 this fall. She is my baby. She is my last one. My two older kitties lolol... they sleep in the spare room. We have three cat beds on top of the day bed. This is the bed:
It's linen (in case they want to sink their claws into it), and gray - a more cat friendly color (furmakers!). Kitty #3 sleeps in the bed with us. Not too long ago, DH asked, why don't we encourage her to sleep with her sisters? BECAUSE she's my baby, and one day, she WILL prefer sleeping with her sisters more than with mama and daddy, so I want to enjoy her as much as i can now, while I'm the cat's meow to her! She usually sleeps between us, and she's taken to copying our posture on the bed. She lays on her side, with her head on the pillow, and the covers are on her from the neck down. It is so sweet. Sometimes she spoons one of us, sometimes she sleeps back to back like that. I can pick her up and lay her on her side and tuck her in, and she will stay like that all night. It is impossibly sweet....

When I want to give up, I look at these sweet faces. I don't know what they endured in their lives before they came to us, but whatever happened in the past, yes it shapes them, but it has never impeded them from loving us wholeheartedly as their new mama and daddy. So I keep going. I remind myself - the paycheck I get affords them this "palace" - with rooms dubbed "the cat's room", and "the cat's oasis"... Phew - that was a lot to get out, and my dinner is ready. I want to post a picture from the other night, where Kitty #3 decided to sleep atop my head, but the way she has her arm stretched, omg :love: :love: :love: (after dinner!)

daybed.jpg
 

missy

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Awwwww Pinto Bean! How sweet! And you made my evening. Thank you for sharing. And (((HUGS))) to your 3 sweet kitties. :love: :love: :love:
 

PintoBean

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My baby on top of my head!

_36543.jpg
 

missy

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PintoBean|1456790532|3997596 said:
My baby on top of my head!
Awww what a total sweetie! Thank you for sharing PintoBean. Your cat photos and sharing how much you love your kitties made me very happy. (((Hugs))) to you and your furry babies. :love:
 

missy

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Just got this in my email and wanted to share with you. Some good points many already discussed here but worth repeating.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-23851/15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=160308-15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy


Here is a list of 15 things that, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress, and suffering — and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress-free and happy — we cling to them.

Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right.

There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right — even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the "urgent" need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question from Dr. Wayne Dyer: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control.

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you — situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street, just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and see how much better you feel.

3. Give up on blame.

Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.

Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted, and repetitive self-defeating mindsets? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you — especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. As author Eckhart Tolle says, “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.”

5. Give up your limiting beliefs.

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do and about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

6. Give up complaining.

Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things that make you unhappy. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism.

Give up your need to criticize people who are different from you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy. We all want to love and be loved. We all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others.

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard — the moment you take off all your masks and accept and embrace the real you — is the moment people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

Minds only work when open.
9. Give up your resistance to change.

Change is good. Change will help you make improvements in your life and the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss and embrace change — don’t resist it.

10. Give up labels.

Stop labeling those things, people, or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open.

11. Give up on your fears.

Fear is just an illusion; It doesn’t exist — you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

12. Give up your excuses.

A lot of times we limit ourselves with the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves with all kind of excuses — excuses that 99.9 percent of the time are not even real. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them.

13. Give up the past.

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all, life is a journey, not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future and prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

The present moment is all you have and all you will ever have.

14. Give up attachment.

This is a concept that is hard for most of us to grasp (and I have to tell you that it still is for me, too), but it’s not impossible. It will become easier and easier with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all possessions, you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene.

That's not to say you must give up your love for everything, because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another. Attachment comes from a place of fear, while love … well, real love is pure, kind, and selfless. Where there is love there can’t be fear, so attachment and love cannot coexist.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies, their teachers, their government, and their media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voices. They are so busy pleasing everybody that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need … and eventually they forget about themselves.

You have one life — this one right now — you must live it, own it. Don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
33,995
Also
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12843/10-attitude-adjustments-that-can-give-you-lasting-happiness.html

re you giving yourself credit for all the awesomeness you are doing? Be proud of how far you’ve come, because you are doing amazing work.

If you have a hard time accepting your awesomeness and owning your happiness, these ten concepts from my book, Find Your Happy, can help.

1. Happiness lives in you.

2. Live by choice, not by chance.

3. Make changes, not excuses.

4. Be kind to yourself; you're doing a phenomenal job.

5. You have reasons or results.

6. You're supposed to stand out, stop trying to fit in by hiding your happiness.

7. Talk to yourself like you are your own best friend, because you're pretty cool when you get to know you.

8. Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside will manifest on the outside; focus on quality thoughts.

9. Instead of hating yourself for everything you are not, start loving yourself for all that you are.

10. You have come so far, be proud of yourself. It is okay to feel that love.
 
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