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Happiness


Mike D
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Is anyone actually "happy"? And I don't mean right now, I mean in a general sense. I was just sitting here, it's a beautiful 85 degree day, I am looking out my living room window across a lake watching the sun set on the water, and for a moment I felt good. Not happy mind you, but content. Even though my dad is dying of cancer and I am single and don't have any friends, I feel good, I look good, I have money.... I mean I can't really complain. And feeling content is pretty rare for me, never mind actual happiness. Which got me thinking how other people feel.

 

Are you happy, and if not do you think you have the capacity to ever be? I personally have found that I am never satisfied with anything and I can't say i've ever been truely happy in my life. What about you?

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I don't see any difference between happiness and satisfaction. Satisfaction is only temporary in my experience. I think that life is such that permanent satisfaction is impossible and a pipe dream. Therefore happiness is only temporary.

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Well, I'm down at the moment due to severe under-employment and stress, but in general...yeah.

 

I think I can say I'm truely happy. I've got my off moments, but I can't think of anything I would want to change about myself, and that underlies everything I do.

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HHhhm good guestion,

I get this a lot from my christian friends who want me to answer no so they can prove that the only way to be happy is to believe...hah have been most misreable when I did...

 

Am I happy, some days yes some days no, some days I am sad and frustrated. I don't think it is reasnable to expect to be always happy it is just impossible one would have to have no emoitions or brains to think to be in a constant state of happiness. At least in my opinion.

 

For the most part I am happy in regards to either I am happy with what I am doing with my life or I have identified something I am not happy with and am taking steps to change those things. Am I always happy with the progress or outcome..not always but that is what learning and growing is all about.

 

I also think if we over analyze if we are happy we will never be. I prefer instead to do the things I love and am passionate about, be true to myself,and do the things that I have to do and then have fun. Mostly as of late I have taken to use the feeling I feel like I am breathing now for the first time in my life. The hard part is recognizing that certain people are trying to 'not let my breathe" by forcing their views values and beliefs and expections on me...and how do deal with that, or not have those people be a part of my life anymore.

 

Life definitly does suck at times, but there are great times too. I figure yah got to try to make it how you want and not let the things that you have no control over stress you out. I know easier said that done. I geuss I am happy as long as people let me "breathe"..which means being around most of my friends and most of my family does not make me happy. So I am happy being single, though it would be nice to have a partner some day.

 

Just my two cents.

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I know it sounds strange but when I am depressed I am happy. Most of the time I am a very happy person. Most times I am not depressed. Depression is just a temporary thing but for me depression just makes me calm and that is a lot better than having anger take over.

 

So to answer your question, Yes I am happy.....most of the time.

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I have to say that I am chronically happy. There are some things which can get me down but it never lasts long. They are little dips in the experience of life. Sometimes I'll get busy, frustrated, distracted, or whatever but soon enough I'll come back to my senses and realize how happy I am.

 

I can't explain it. I can't bottle it, sell it, teach it... I wish I could. But it's just something I am. The only time in my life when I was truly miserable was when I was a Christian. Those were the darkest times of my life.

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I've never really been happy my entire life either. I've always been surrounded by people who were 'supposedly' happy, but their spoken words of "encouragement" made me feel worse. It was so easy for them to say things to me, because they already had the fulfillments that I didn't have.

 

I don't know, I don't think I'll ever be happy. So many people out there find happiness in social relationships, materialistic things or a job, period. But, me? Nah. I'm kind of just living and doing what I need to be doing. I'm going with the flow of what's necessary in order to survive. I still enjoy things and have my fair share of interests, but happiness? Nope. That's most likely for other people, not me. It's such a foreign concept to me. Time is unconventional. The more you think about it, the more you get depressed. The fact that time is moving so quickly and you need to always rush. It's like there's no time left to be happy. People are always trying to tell me to think "positively," but that doesn't work. The world isn't as optimistic and I'm only trying to be as real as possible.

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“Happiness is just a feeling of euphoria. It’s your brain chemistry going into overdrive. That’s why so many relationships fail when the honeymoon ends and reality sets in.” –Lex, Smallville

 

Yeah, I know; it's cheesy to quote from a TV series (especially Smallville), but the (cynical) realism of that line appeals to me.

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I think that it's a silly assumption (a popular one nowadays) that we all should or can be perpetually (or generally, or mostly, or whatever adjective you choose) happy. In my experience, everybody is wired differently, including a default level of 'happiness'. My mother-in-law is a great example. So long as there's nothing major going wrong in her life at the moment, then she's happy- it's her defualt mood. She sings in the morning, smiles for no reason... it drives us sane folks in the family nuts.

 

My wife and I aren't that way- if the situation is normal and things are going well, then I might feel content, satisfied, interested... but I don't neccesarily feel "happy" unless I have a specific reason for it- it's more of an immediate emotion for me, not a mood. I don't have a problem with this, and I don't know that being generally happy would neccesarily be an improvement.

 

I know from experience that no matter how much money I make, no matter how much I know, no matter what I do or where I am... I won't be content. I'm content with certain parts of my life, but I don't think I WANT to be content with everything. If I was totally content... what would motivate me? What would interest me?

 

I don't really strive for happiness. What I want out of life is to remain interested, secure (in a number of ways), and to have OPTIONS. That's what floats my boat... but I doubt it'll make me "happy".

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"Contented" is good enough in my book. "Happy" is for special occasions, like when I have some specially good luck or there is some good news from one of my friends (typically a new boyfriend coming on the scene).

 

Not sure that there is a need to feel unhappy of discontented in order to be motivated about changing things for the better. :HaHa:

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I am in college and I have a terrible liver that constantly hurts. I can't party with everyone else at school and I can't drink away my problems. I am therefore forced to face them head on. I'm pretty shy and couldn't get a girlfriend if my life depended on it, one that I like anyways. All of my friends go to schools in far away places. All of my family members are fundies, so I really can't get "real" with them. School is frustrating. But overall I'm very happy.

 

I know it sounds cheesy, but you just have to look at the simple beautiful things in life like SportsCenter ;) , Discovery Channel (especially Shark week, really makes me smile), green tea, music, a good book, etc. But I think the best way to stay in a good mood is to help out other people. There is no better feeling than making a random person smile. And always keep in mind that what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

 

I just like to keep things simple. My favorite Radiohead song is "No Surprises" and that's how I try to live.

 

"I'll take a quiet life, no alarms and no surprises."

 

But that's just me, everyone is different.

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I have my share of happiness as most people do, but I think its overrated. If you find something that makes you happy, you are either unable to repeat it, or if you do, it becomes boring.

 

Then there are the people who are chronically and/or clinically depressed. It may make their lives miserable, but does it make them worthless? The goal, I believe, is fulfillment, which may or may not be equivalent with happiness. It is the feeling of achievement, purpose and contribution. It never fails, even if it brings sadness and death. Take Van Gogh for example. He was chronically depressed, but his art obviously brought him fulfillment, otherwise why go through the torment. We can't look in his head, so only he can judge if his suicide also brought him fulfillment. The answer is as subjective as his art was.

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I wouldn't ever describe myself as a particularly "happy" person; but then I think "happy" is a pretty shallow definition of an individual or their feelings anyway. (Most people I've known who were what I'd call consistently "happy" were pretty shallow, fluffy people and I just couldn't relate to them.)

 

I suppose I prefer words like "content" or "satisfied", at least when talking about the overall state of my life. I'd rather not use mood-related words like "happy" or "sad" or whatever, because moods and emotions are fluid. I'll admit that I've spent most of my life in a blue or gray funk, for one reason or another; but despite being plagued by a permanent haunted sense, I can't say I describe my life as particularly bad or as anything I'd want to give up anymore.

 

Now that I'm not in the situations that created the blue funk in the first place, there's all kinds of potential for being alive and engaging with the world. I could list off a whole bunch of things about my life that suck right now, but how many of them matter that much, really? Especially in terms of still being able to get something good out of living. There's almost always something to offset the stressful or crappy stuff. Like maybe I'm tired off my ass all the time and can't do a lot of stuff, but there's still plenty to *enjoy* - like puppy licks, good food, a nice nap.

 

Things in life aren't permanent, either. Which might mean nothing good will last, but it also means nothing bad will last, too. I can live with that. In fact I actually think the whole texture of my life would really be boring and awful if there weren't ups and downs in it. A good dose of pleasure helps me know I'm alive. So does a good dose of pain. Life can be good even when I feel miserable.

 

I also think that if I settled into a state of being permanently happy, I'd stagnate. What motivation would there be for me to try to improve my life, if nothing was wrong? I think I'd lose interest in things and just be totally bored, and totally boring.

 

Anyway. I dunno if any of that makes sense, but there it is anyway.

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I am very satisfied with my life in general, and often find that it is punctuated with moments of happiness. :HappyCry:

 

When I was a xtian I was always telling other xtians how happy my life was. I was lying. I did not want them to think I was doing the xtian thing wrong. :loser:

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Lots of interesting (and varied) responses.

 

I guess one thing we can probably all agree on is that our lives are much better without Christianity :)

 

Personally my life has much more clarity since I ditched the Chrisitanity, because I know where I stand. As a Christian for me there was always so much doubt (am I saved, am I not saved, does god love me, does he hate me, is the Bible literal, is it figurative, etc. etc. etc., the list of doubts seemed endless). That added a lot of stress to my life that is no longer there.

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I'm getting there, I wouldn't necessarily say that my life is better without Christianity, but I have sorted some things out in my head which used to torment me when I was a Christian. Most of my days at the moment are pretty reasonable, if not great; I'm looking forward to moving to a different part of the country in the New Year. That will help me as I look to continue to rebuild my life following an extremely difficult deconversion.

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I think "content" and "satisfied" work pretty well for me. Happy is an emotional positive spike that I could not maintain for more than a few hours at a time. Too exhausting. Happy has a specific reason for existing, wheras content and satisfied cover a more calm relaxed state of overall well being and needs no specific source.

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General contentment works for me also. Compared to how miserable I was being religious though, it's like Nirvana.

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