Perception of happiness
Can We Truly Be Happy?
In the video below, Dan Gilbert explains what happens when our choice to be happy with what we have is taken away.
A few days ago, a new question came to my mind, and I've been looking for the answer ever since.
This question was:
Why do I feel so unhappy?
I decided that the answer to this question was somewhere within myself. It took a lot of soul searching and probing my own mind to come up with an answer. As always, I also searched for an answer on the web. It is amazing what we can learn here.
I had to ask myself what the source of my unhappiness is. Several things came to mind.
Is it my environment? No, My environment is where I choose to be. Whether or not I like my home life, there is nothing in my environment that is an immediate threat to me, and it is within my power to not be at home, and to surround myself with wildlife for the majority of the day, so that can't be the issue.
Is it my Social or economic status? No, I'm unemployed right now beyond my hubs, and my articles, but I still somehow have my needs met, and I have the freedom to really explore my options.
Is it my love life? My friends? No, I do find loneliness to be at the core of my mood a lot of the time. But again, I have the choice to reach out to others. Sometimes other people are busy, and can't spend time with me...but why would I be unhappy with myself? Do I really need a man or other people caring about me to be content? This question took a little more thought than the rest of them, because we all need, and deserve to be loved, and without love, happiness seems unattainable. However, being happy with yourself is the key to letting others be happy with you, so it seems that the answer still lies within Me. Or does it?
I started reading articles, watching videos, and studying Christianity, Kabbalah and Buddhism, behavioral science, and found that what happiness is, is really a matter of our perception.
For example, Scientist Dan Gilbert conducted several studies on our perception of happiness. One of them was a study involving lottery winners and accident victims that had become paraplegic. When asked how happy both sets of people were a year after their winnings or their accident, it was found that both groups were equally as happy as the other.
How could that possibly be? A paraplegic just as happy as a lottery winner? However, the more I searched for the answer to happiness it made perfect sense. The lottery winner would gain more burdens, and the paraplegic would gain more help. Also, for a person that can't fend for themselves, even the smallest joys would seem enormous.
We live in a world where we are constantly being reminded of what we don't have, and that somewhere out there, other people have better. Yet, when you look at the people who seem to have everything, they seem more unhappy than the majority of people we know. Could it be that the desire for self fulfillment in itself could be the cause of our unhappiness?
Please don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that we should not strive for happiness. What I am saying, is that maybe as a society we are so self absorbed, and looking for more so much that we can't see the small joys in life anymore.
What do we do about it?
It seems that all of the sources I looked into said basically the same thing. In order to be truly happy, we need to step away from ourselves and seek to create happiness in others without expecting anything in return, including recognition for our actions. We also need to distinguish between happiness and pleasure, as they are both completely different things and know that when we are unaware of anything greater than what we have, nothing that we have is unsatisfactory to us.
This is of course easier said than done. We are all designed to fulfill our own desires, and to seek affirmation and recognition. Doing differently takes thought beyond our inherent nature. However, it does make sense to me that finding happiness outside of my own desires would be my first step to understanding what being happy really means.
This video explains why we must have a need in order to be satisfied.
- Finding True Happiness
Is finding true happiness possible? It is if you know what to look for. This article will show you the 8 fundamentals of finding true and lasting happiness.
- Morning Affirmations Hypnotic Video. Start Your Day With Positive Thoughts, and Reap Positive Result
Daily morning Affirmations are a great way to begin your day on the right track. Positive inspiration can help with mental health management and any area of your life that needs improvement . The "law of...
- Increasing Confidence. Know who you are and why you love yourself!
What is confidence and why do some people seem to be filled with confidence know matter what the situation? Your level of confidence can determine your success in your relationships with friends, loved...
- Music and it's Effect on the Mind. Tapping Into the Power of Music for Positive Change
I think it's safe to say that we have all experienced a change in mood when we listen to music. But what is the science behind this, and how can we use this to our advantage in life? Of course we all know...
- Motivation in Chaos. How to Overlook Obstacles.
Or does the world seem to be getting a little crazy? If you're like me, it can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated when things seem so hopeless. But is it hopeless really? I went in search of...
- Cognitive Thinking Skills. Identify and Challenge Distorted Thinking Styles
Cognitive thinking skills therapy can teach you to be aware of and understand how you are thinking, acting, and communicating with other people. It is also about learning how past experiences and...
- Chemical Imbalance or Learning Disorder?
Recent studies are showing that chemical imbalances may be a symptom rather than the cause of mood disorders such as ADHD, Aspergers and ODD. Could the real cause be a as simple as a learning disorder?
- Complete Article Collection.
This is my personal website where keep my readers up to date, and have posted all of my published web articles organized by subject. I also post pictures of beautiful roses, and inspirational messages here.
More by this Author
Medications for mental illness have been at the center of debate for a long time. Are they really as effective as the pharmaceutical companies claim? Are there other treatments that could be tried as a first resort?
Cognitive thinking skills therapy can teach you to be aware of and understand how you are thinking, acting, and communicating with other people. It is also help you identify and challenge distorted thinking styles that...
Grief happens whenever we lose something that we love or become attached to. The five stages of grief can happen in any order, and some people bounce between the five stages more than once before reaching acceptance. ...