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The Happiness Quotient

Updated on September 6, 2016

Poll numbers are published defining the happiest place to live, the happiest time of year, the happiest employees, the happiest citizens, etc., etc., etc. I have come to the conclusion the despite all the psychology, sociology, statistical and physiology classes I've taken, I do not believe happiness is a measurable state. As much as I would like to think my going to college was time well spent, it is now apparent to me that what I was taught was a bunch of hooey.

Measuring happiness and moreover, the specific level of happiness is a ridiculous concept. Social scientists and statisticians claim to have established methods which define and compare the intensity of a feeling. I say again... what a bunch of hooey. Do we measure infinity? Do we measure "virtuality"? Is Disneyland really the "Happiest Place on Earth"?

If you are wondering why I have chosen to pursue this subject, its because I am at my wits end with people telling me how much happier I would be if I were to do this or do that or live here or live there. Who cares. If you are happy, its because you are happy. I may be living with clinical depression, but I can tell you that I have moments of happiness that are totally unrelated to any statistical occurrence. Personally, happiness can be a warm tush (that's bum to some). When you are stretched out in bed and feel the warm touch of your significant other's significant parts, doesn't that give you a feeling of comfort and happiness? It works for me but you can't measure it. Are your significant other's significant parts more comforting than mine? Perhaps, but we are not going to take a poll. If we did, would your happiness exceed mine because you live in a happy state like Florida? Does it really matter?

Happiness is something embodied within us as circumstance of that moment. Some people, myself in this category, seek out happiness in little bits to keep from going completely over-the-top and for those who ooze happiness... well you guys need to wipe that smile from your face and quit telling others how to be happy. Be happy for yourself and leave the rest of us alone.

That's my soapbox moment for the day. Now I can go be me. Thank you for "listening".


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  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Debby, thank you for stopping by again. I am glad I could make a little contribution to your happiness fix. Hope all is well with you too.

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 6 years ago

    Dear burning bush (like Moses) ~ I hope all is well this Spring season. Funny, that I have returned to this hubpages to read again about 'happiness'. Maybe I just needed a pick-me-up from this discussion. Blessings, Debby

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    BkCreative, first let me remind you that emotions are our own and if you feel good as a New Yorker, thats all that matters. Personally I like NY both State and City. It just gets a bit too cold. Now as to the armpit hair, men get to an age when hair growing in any normal place is kinda nice. :) Good touching hubs with you too.

    Debby B, so kind of you to visit again. Being happy is like water, it will seek its own level. You have a wonderful smile which tells me that you have no difficulty finding happiness in your life and that is a GOOD thing. Thanks for saying hello.

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 6 years ago

    Quite humorous. Don't let the ratings get your down. Find your own inner happiness and let that shine through.

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    Would you believe that I should not be happy because I live in one of the worst cities in America? I just read that NYers are the most miserable people. And I was okay before I read this. Darn.

    Love that armpit hair and great to meet you too.

    Hub pages makes me happy.

    Rated up while laughing!

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Kathryn, you are obviously very intelligent and observant. :)

  • kathryn1000 profile image

    kathryn1000 6 years ago from London

    You are clearly very wise and thoughtful

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Hi GlassV. Like you, I find it is indeed often the smallest things which contribute to a touch of happiness. Older means wiser and my appreciation grows for more subtle things. Of course, a warm bum is always nice too. Thank you for listening.

  • glassvisage profile image

    glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

    Very good. For me, it's always the little things - like being able to drive and not get in an accident, or even, I suppose, a "warm bum" :) I do enjoy attempts to measure such things as happiness, corruption, etc.

  • Shane Belceto profile image

    Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

    Good deal best way to right is for yourself and if others get something from it then bonus ...smiles .. .feel I too right to just hear my thoughts grin so glad I am not the only one

    Have a Fun week!

    ~Expect Miracles

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Shane, thank you too for adding to the discussion. I am always working on something but I never know if anyone else will enjoy it. Sometimes I write just to hear myself talk. :)

  • Shane Belceto profile image

    Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

    Oow so right good point with the scale for pain a 3 for me would be much different then a 3 for say like you since we "feel" it different .. smiles. Thanks for the converstion what you working on for us next to enjoy?

    ~Expect Miracles

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    I would agree that the response to an emotion could be a choice but not the emotion itself. Otherwise, it wouldn't be an emotion. Shane, its not that far off topic either. My point is that when dealing with an emotion, the intensity and response (choice as you call it) cannot be a comparative measure. Even when comparing pain, the best we seem to do is ask a patient to use a scale of 1-10 to describe it. And that, is a subjective number based on an individual's tolerance of pain. Thats how I feel about it. :)

  • Shane Belceto profile image

    Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

    That is a good take and I am not dissagreeing .. however I feel myself happiness or sadlness or what ever it shall be is a choice ... some do react yes .. but I feel rather then reacting responding and choosing different emosions can be ones choice. It all comes down to the person and the view point they choose to use and weather or not they wish to stay in a emotion be it happy or sad or love or fear or choose to look at it in different ways to respond differently. Now not saying that people can will choose to be continuuously happy at all times but when the sad hits responding feeling the sad and then moving on to respond is a choice we each have and can take. This tottally gets off your topic though of measuring things .. sorry ... smiles

    ~Expect Miracles

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Hi Shane. Happiness or sadness. to me, is not a choice, but rather a manifestation of our reaction to events or actions in the form of emotion. I don't believe those resulting emotions are something we consciously decide. We are who we are. At least thats my take. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. You asked a good question.

  • Shane Belceto profile image

    Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

    lol good point .. smiles

    Like you said though happiness comes from within and is a choice we each make and should and is different for absalutley everyone.

    So is sadness similar?

    ~Expect Miracles

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Shane, you may be right. If its your happiest place, that is all that matters. Thanks for reading.

  • Shane Belceto profile image

    Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

    ummmm sorry but YES Disneyland is the happiest place on erth .. oh wait mabye Disney World is .... lol Guess there are 2 places for a tie then .. grin

    ~Expect Miracles

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Sweetie I am grateful for your opinion. We are all different and in a strange way, that is how we are all the same. We all share human emotions too but they affect each of us in a unique way. We are all human but individual and thats a good thing. Makes you wonder why there is so much conflict in the world, doesn't it. :)

  • sweetie1 profile image

    sweetie1 6 years ago from India

    hi burning bash,

    You are absolutely right when you say happiness can not be measured. How do you measure happiness when you see a toddler laughing or when your brother does something wonderful or someone in family make eeryone proud and how happy a person going through divorce would be even if he lies in a place considered most happy place in world.. so yes no one can even define happiness properly leave aside measuring it.

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    I will look for the book. Always willing to hear new ideas, sometimes from old sources. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Come back often.

  • kathryn1000 profile image

    kathryn1000 6 years ago from London

    I think having connections helps one to live through the hard times.But I agree all this happiness science stuff is a waste of time.I found one book many years ago that was a marvel.It is called "A life of one's own" by Joanna Field[ real name Marion Milner] It was published in 1926 but reprinted by Virago some years ago.amazon have it.

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Hi wavechild. Very glad you have commented, perhaps even happy about it. You are right when you say there are things that can work for many people but only if they react to those things in the same manner. Happiness like faith, like spirituality, like almost any emotion is exclusive to the individual. At least, thats my take. By the way, really like your work.

  • wavechild profile image

    wavechild 6 years ago from somewhere in the Pacific

    Great point that happiness can't really be measured. And you're right that it's annoying when people who don't know your circumstances have all the answers for being happy... I do believe there are things that can work for many people. To happiness for all!

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Hi Amber. I am glad you stopped by and glad you agree. I guess the thrust of my rant was for us all to accept the drummer to whom someone marches, even if we step to a different tune. For Charlie Brown (or similar) Happiness is a warm puppy.

  • Amber Allen profile image

    Amber Allen 6 years ago

    Hi BB

    Nice to meet you. Why would you want to listen to anyone else telling you what you need to do to be happy whan it is so difficult to understand one's own self and this is after having had a lifetime to try and work it out. I think that too many people try to solve other peoples "problems" as a means of avoiding to have to deal with their own.

    Amber:)

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Exactly my point Debby. Feelings have no measurement. Thank you for joining the conversation.. most appreciated.

  • Debby Bruck profile image

    Debby Bruck 6 years ago

    Quit complaining and stop measuring something that can't be measured in inches or feet. If you want to learn more about "What is happiness?" not "How much is happiness" there are plenty of books and hundreds of years worth of commentaries on the subject.

    Maybe just do your own soul searching and find your own personal definition. Do wait. Don't worry, be happy! [I love that song]

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    O.P., I happily accept your gracious comment. Can't say I'm thrilled but not unhappy, just vaguely aware of a sense of satisfaction or it could just be gas. :)

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    I agree happiness is impossible to measure and hard to define. In fact, "happy" isn't even one of my favorite adjectives. It's not that I'm usually unhappy. Saying "I'm happy" is just kind of vague, compared to "I'm having fun", "I'm thrilled" or "I feel peaceful." Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this hub. It made me quite.......HAPPY! :)

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Dave, your commentary is gracious and appreciated. You do seem to be the authority on happiness and I accept your definitions. HOWEVER, a certain amount of happiness is required to have joy in one's life. Please bear in mind that I was on a specific rant at the time of my hubbing and perhaps my two cents was not presented in the best fashion but when living with a mental "challenge", one is often inclined to tire of receiving advice as if a condition of mind is just an attitude needing adjustment. Your input is always welcome. Thanks.

  • DavePrice profile image

    DavePrice 6 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

    It has always seemed to me that joy and happiness are two different things - joy is a state of being while happiness is a product of events. Meaning, I have great joy in my life whether or not I happen to be happy about the current circumstance.

  • profile image

    ahameedkhan 6 years ago

    You are so right, in fact we have been conditioned from a very young age to please others and live by standards set by others. Your article is quite humorous and rightly points to small things which give us so much happiness.

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Thank you Ms Glitch. I am honoured by your visit and appreciate your comments. Thank you for sharing :)

  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

    Nice hub, cute, a little humorous, but yet so many tips that are true. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Thanks Bobbi... you get me. I continue to be a fan of your work too!

  • BobbiRant profile image

    BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

    Love the picture, it is so me. LOL I love this hub.

  • burning bush profile image
    Author

    burning bush 6 years ago

    Thank you David. I do apologize for ranting but each of us finds happiness in our own way. I like your take on the subject as well. An open mind is a sign of intelligence and you are route 66. Thanks again.

  • David Stone profile image

    David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

    One of my favorite topics, and I loved your take on it.

    Thanks!

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