ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Do People Choose to Be Happy or Miserable?

Updated on July 21, 2017
Theophanes profile image

Theophanes is a New-England-based blogger, traveler, writer, photographer, sculptor, and lover of cats.

What does Happy Mean to the Individual?

Happiness is an elusive thing. The dictionary defines it thusly:

1.delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person.

2.characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.

3.favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky: a happy, fruitful land.

Definition one and two are closely linked but number three is distinctly separate and somewhat misleading as "fortunate" and "happy" aren't necessarily linked. Contentment on the other hand is an even vaguer subject. One doesn't really need to be joyous in order to be content, in fact some people are content in situations most wouldn't want to live a day through. An inspection into the individual's mind and personality is needed to probe further into the mystery of happiness.

The Biological Roots of Happiness and Depression

It's long been known that hormones and various other bodily systems play a large role in how people feel and behave. Sometimes personality can interact with these systems at a level we're only beginning to understand.

Genetics play a large part in everyone's lives. Not only are positive characteristics passed on through the generations so too can negative ones, be they physical or mental. Hormonal and chemical imbalances are caused when something's amiss with the systems in the body. This is a defect that like any other defect can be seen strongly in family lines. This can be the first thing to look into when considering an individual's depression (or happiness.)

There are natural ways, besides the common pharmaceutical treatments, that can be used to affect the happiness in one's life. Research has been done on laughing and smiling that conclude that both these activities raise positive feelings in an individual by altering the chemical systems within the body. Now there are actually therapy groups, which try to use these facts to their advantage. Whole gatherings of people all clustered around just to share a good deep laugh. The harder the laugh and the longer the better these people feel. Laughter also brings people together and cements bonds. It's believed now laughter is an adaptation to living in social environments and should be used whenever possible.

The Personality - Happiness within Misery

It's been known for a long time that some people are just impossible to bring down while others seem to wallow in a depression that doesn't really fit their situation. Why is this? This could be for several reasons.

Some people may be content in their existence (even when it's a miserable one) because they've known nothing better in their life. Other times it's a conscious decision to be content with their keep, perhaps because aspiring to a better lot in life could potentially cause more harm than good.

So if some people can be happy in bad situations then why are other people miserable in good situations? I have a theory that some people are actually happy within misery and depression, that they actually like chaos and malcontent in their lives. There can be several reasons for this. I think the most important one would have to do with the responses they get from other people. Sometimes complaining about life can bring these people attention from others around them. It doesn't matter if the attention is good or bad, these people just tend to like attention period so they continue the chaos of their lives, continue to complain to whomever they see, and do nothing to fix either their social situation and fractured ego, or their mood which may or may not be genuine in the first place.

All in all misery and happiness needs to be studied on an individual basis, their sources identified, and dealt with accordingly. Otherwise malcontents can drive you up the wall when you yourself are happy or you may want to mow down every smiling enthusiast you see on a bad day. Remember everyone is entitled to both good and bad days. No one born on this planet can expect to have only good days. At some point in our lives we will all have to deal with the biggest reason for situation depression: loss. Whether the loss is physical (as in death) or more metaphorical (as in a break-up) we will all go through several of mood roller coasters in our lives. It's how we get back to our daily existence that counts.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This attacle is chonge my life complete thanks

    • Theophanes profile imageAUTHOR

      Theophanes Avery 

      8 years ago from New England

      Dave: I am sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I grew up in extreme poverty too and still maintain relationships with people are in awful situations and it always surprises me how positive some of them stay despite all hardship. There are people who just see the positive in everything and there are even more people who can see the good even in bad situations. You may not have much food on the table but is your family around you? If they are then that's something to be very happy about. It can be this way for almost anything.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Before you get out of bed every morning you have two choices...will I be positive, or will I be negative. Touch on this thought through out the will make a difference.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I hear often it's a choice to be happy or unhappy.

      I've lived in poverty my adult life, no $ means no medical/dental care. I failed to get anything in life I needed nor wanted.

      While my tooth is rotting and falling out, how can I be happy? How can I be happy living for months without electricity?

      How can one be happy without any of his needs being met?

    • Naina Marvaha profile image

      Naina Marvaha 

      9 years ago

      I Loved your piece. I think it's amazing!

      Infact, I did a presentation about a month ago as a small class project on " Happiness is a choice " :)

      And while I researched about it , I came across a wonderful concept... This is what I found on the web,

      " In the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness(2006), Will Smith’s character makes the observation that the US Declaration of Independence includes in it’s short list of “unalienable rights”, the right to the pursuit of happiness..

      “Not the right to be happy, but the right to pursue happiness” – Why was it worded that way he questioned?


      His conclusion was that its author, Thomas Jefferson, must have understood that Happiness is something we all desire and strive for but it is also something that not all will find or be able to hold on to… "

      I think acceptance of situations, loving yourself and being grateful is what makes a happy person.

      I'm huge believer of happiness and I still say that it is a CHOICE.

      Life is too short to be anything but happy :)

    • innerpower4u profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny California

      I too think laughter is a key element in staying positive. They say people that laugh a lot live longer lives:) Good article thanks....

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I like this article too, I myself am miserable most times. This is for a variety of reasons. The main thing that makes me miserable is people. The woman of my fucking dreams is getting married to an asshole ( who is also my 'friend', which is unfair because we connect on so many levels. maybe I should go to the wedding with an 'I fucked your future wife' badge. My friends are all assholes though probably not by their own doing. People never speak their minds and expect you to know how they feel? what is up with that I'm nathan not david blaine. The world in general is just wrong but there is no point in trying to change it because that'd be just short of global international terrorism. I believe that being miserable after a certain time becomes a choice then the misery and misanthropy evolve to a point where it is not a choice but autonomous much like blinking.

      2nd good read in such a short time, keep posting.


    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 

      12 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That's an informed and well-spoken answer! Thanks!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)