Finding Happiness

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Everyone wants it, and we constantly seek it, yet it can be illusive to many. It makes us smile, feel joy, and stay positive about everyday life. But is it possible to be happy all the time? Or is it enough to be satisfied or content? Is your Happiness dependent on others?

Some say happiness is not the fulfillment of what we wish for, but an appreciation of what we do already have around us!  Happiness will come when we quit complaining about troubles and are simply grateful for all the troubles we don’t have.Appreciate Life

“Mr or Ms. Dreary moans about everything, he or she thinks people are horrible, and the world is going downhill and nothing is worth the effort. Well guess what? There is some who consider that He or She has choice and is acting out that choice.

Such a person looks at their options and decides that to be happy is much too difficult at that moment and declines to make any effort to think otherwise. He or she decides it is easier to be miserable and inadvertently drags others around him down, as well.

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If someone wants to be miserable, or depressed it is their absolute right to be so. Misery is but one part of learning to manage our own independent lives.  If a person chooses to feel permanently depressed, let them also be so. Some folks will find every reason to be unable, as they feel that is more real.

If you say, ” Snap out of it. Life is great” or even, “just think positive.” They might feel or think that they just aren’t ready to agree or decide life is great.

Only with a change in their attitude, is it possible for them to see things differently and then they might be ready to snap out of it.

 

A change in attitude allows us to view life in a different way.

 

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Say What?

“Consciously or unconsciously we choose our thoughts and actions, or reactions; we assign meaning to others’ words or actions.  Our own thoughts about those words or actions, impact the way we feel.  Thus accepting what is, and maintaining focus on the present moment as opposed to mentally re-hashing what has happened in the past, may cause a shift in our thoughts and therefore also in our feelings.” www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/

 

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Stay present in the moment

Only the present moment is real, the past and the future are at this point, only illusions. Focus and be mindful on the present moment. It is here that that you live your life. Past mistakes are gone. You do not and can not live in the past, as much as you might try to think that. What is done, is done, and can’t be revisited, so why dwell on it? Look forward to what you can do and just soften in to looking to thoughts of things you are grateful for!

 

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Chart your Gratitude

As cliched as it sounds, every morning, get up as soon as you wake and write down or think of three things, you can be thankful for. Slowly you will build the neurological pathway to positivity in your brain. For instance:

The sunshine caressing your face, the rain invigorating the plants, looking on a garden of flowers, a caring text, a smile from a co-worker, a treasured possession, the freedom of movement and of thought.

It becomes a beautiful record of all the positives in your life, for when you are feeling down.

 

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” –Alphonse Karr

 

Look hard and you can find much to be grateful for.

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46 thoughts on “Finding Happiness

  1. Yes, it does take some pondering. I have learnt to accept the day and embrace one is still alive with reasonable health and friends.
    If happiness is a bit on the wane one can try and think of the tides coming and going. It might also be a reasonable idea not to worry about being happy or not. Some say it is a foolish obsession of the west to worry about it so much.
    To even think about it or question it, might be a somewhat waste of consideration. Why worry?
    I can’t ignore though that half the world does question on becoming happy.

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    1. Thinking of the tides coming and going is an excellent analogy of mood swings, Gerard! I think the West has had the luxury of thinking and pondering far more about their situation than the East or the Third World. Too much time on one’s hands makes one a little too indulgent! Happiness is out of reach for many, be they rich or poor!

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    2. I think you never ask yourself if you are happy when you are… you start asking when you feel that there is something not like it should be, that you miss something or long for something you do not have. Happiness is not about money, country or circumstances you live in it is inside of you. Time maybe a factor to start feeling easier or sooner if you are not happy because if you are too busy you may also not have time to realize what you really feel….

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  2. This was a perfect start in the day, thank you!!! It will never help to tell a depressed person to be positive… if this person could he/ she would. But to think and read again and again helps to really change attitude, because step by step they start to understand…for me The question wa interesting how much our happiness can depend from others…first from people around who spread happiness or negativity. And than how can you be influenced in seeing all what you had and were proud of in another way so that you happiness about this is gone…winderful things to ponder thank you!

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    1. Attitude is extremely important when it comes to mental health, Anie. Over thinking, or becoming too introspective, can distort the facts it seems and focus too much on why, rather than just ‘being’. Does that make sense to you?

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    2. Oh, of course, I lived happily all my life without thinking much. Because I assumed that the things that I live and do are good … for me and for my environment.
      The question of meaning, suddenly changing emotions, new people in our lives … that all can lead to new (and perhaps too much) reflection. The situations and thoughts can become uncontrollable and the mental health is endangered.
      But you are right we can not insist on getting an answer to the “why”. The facts are always subjective, because in my opinion objectivity does not exist. But there are actions and reactions that have to be evaluated in order to continue. How these actions and reactions were meant by others and whether I interpret them correctly is questionable. But in the end, I hold a firm position, even if everything is shaking. I know what I’m watching and what it means to me. I’m stubborn and do not let anyone fool me into an x ​​and that’s a good thing. Ultimately, I will come out of everything with an opinion, and if I am mistreated or humiliated, betrayed or maltreated, then I will value this as my opportunity to show mercy in life.

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    3. Such an interesting comment, Anie. If you are mistreated, humiliated etc it is an opportunity to show mercy in life. And mercy is an important concept that distinguishes man from beast. I like that you can see betrayal etc in a positive light. That is inspirational indeed. And I like your steadfastness of opinion. It sounds like you don’t form these opinions lightly and you will stick to this if you feel it is justified.

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    4. Haha, we just can recap it: am very stubborn😁 and my opinion can of course change but only influenced by other people’s opinion when I really understand and believe the same. Well I think I never met a beast in my life at least not one which wanted to harm me. And to show mercy if you get mistreated or betrayed is the best you can do , because this is the way you win the situation even if you lost… you will win in the eyes of god… the most precious thing you can ever win the worth of your soul.

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    5. Fully understanding an issue means to can see it from many different perspectives. And by seeing it from different perspectives, your attitude sometimes soften a bit or might even change radically. But if the issue itself, is contrary to our values, or ideologies, we might still choose to dismiss or disregard it. But I think we might then see just why, and perhaps even just how, another person has formed their particular opinion and has come to a very different conclusion. We are then poised to respect that differing perspective. But we don’t ever have to agree with it if it is not right for us.

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    6. yes, that’s right, the attitude can change fundamentally, if you can understand other perspectives. How do you mean that, if the issue itself runs contrary?
      Of course there will always be different opinions and you have to respect them. For people who are important to you, it is even more important to understand the perspective. I’ve lived abroad for a long time and I’m not very talented linguistically, that’s a big obstacle to understanding and behave to some people. It saddens me to know that I am very tolerant and adaptable, but just do not understand.

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    7. I mean, Anie, that if the issue contradicts our fundamental beliefs, we might still ignore it. This is similar to your so called “stubborness”- Many of us try to understand a different perspective but keep a little distance from it, instead of fully embracing it, IF we see that it is vastly different from our inherent values – intangible rules we live by and largely remain unspoken. Does that make sense?
      I understand you perfectly, Anie, so please don’t be troubled about your linguistic talents. In fact, it is quite refreshing when I read the views you express in such a different but very clear way. Keep it up!!

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    8. Oh thank you somuch for trying to explain one more time. I have really problems to understand this. With all my stubburness, I am a person who goes always with heart. So if I love, I am able to understand and I give all in. I cling not in material thing, not even in which country I life as long as my heart is well. Unfortunately I am not very interessted in politics and religion also not, so there is a big hole to understand other fundamental beliefs.
      But all you are saying is completely right. But it require, that you have a real conversation, that you have the possibility to understand other persons….if you are always misguided, if you feel there is no honesty and maybe you feel abused, it is very difficult to understand even if you want to.

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    9. I do agree. Furtgermore, I would say that even when our values differ greatly from each other, and find there are chasms of cultural differences between us, especially in politics, religion and personal values. Such as the West societies meeting the East; the Islamic world meeting the Jewish or Christian worlds: we know that there are major differences in what each see as important, in what each see as manners or behavior, in aspirations of what each culture want their life to be. But despite all these differences we can find honour and respect for those differences. We don’t have to like them, we just have to get to know them and then it is a matter of aving respect that they have a right to live their life, in any way they choose as long, as we have the same right. In this, we can find we wish for the same choice. Security, self determination and drive, (either to progress, to or to stagnate).
      It is not that much different from getting along with a difficult sibling or neighbour.
      Even Trump and Kim Jong Il found some common thoughts!!! Who would have thought that?

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    10. haha, yes, well, I think respect and tolerance of other cultures and attitudes should be self-evident, as long as the rights and dignity of man and animals and nature are protected. Siblings and family are a great example because you love them by nature and yet views can be very different. There are also many mixed marriages in which men and women have different religions but it is no problem because of the respect. For the direct partner, however, I would prefer someone whose views can enrich my attitude. One , who can inspire and also give me a reason to grow and learn. I do not think that you are born into a religion, social class or political attitude … of course you are influenced by your parents’ house, but you do not stop learning and at some point the children leave the parents and get the input somewhere different ….

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    11. I agree you are not born into a political attitude, it arises from environmental influences, but sometimes people can act like they ARE born with a religion! Their family’s attitudes do not respect or accept any other religion or viewpoint and they inadvertantly adopt this, without question, feeling that there can only be ONE right path to eternal life. This can be a problem even for some successful mixed marriages. Attitudes wax and wane alongside the different life stages, changing when children are born, or when parents became elderly or pass away. Gentle acceptance and open mindedness is the easiest path to take, I think. How do those folk become exposed/open to other perspectives, when they are so bigoted? As you say, some might have to leave home to gain this experience. But what of those who become more narrow minded and closed as they enter later life. What is going on in their mind?

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    12. oh yes I see that this can be dangerous. Fanaticism is always dangerous. After all, religions should all want the same thing and yet they fight each other … actually crazy!

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    13. There is a whole topic for discussion here, Anie. Why fanatics are so fanatical? They channel all their energies into a single cause, be that evil or for good? That will require some more thought as to what they are seeking. Do you have any thoughts on this?

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    14. Ohh I think all human search for the same: a sense in there life. They may not know it or think about it but I think this is maybe a kind of instinct left deep inside…if you feel there is a sense you will feel happy. I beliefe a lot of sense comes from love which is given and we give because it makes the world around us better. But also putting your energy in one thing like protecting nature, animals or other lifestyle with passion like art or caricature things can give you a sense and happiness. So beeing fanatic can be a good thing as long as you respect other opinions and influence others only in a way they accept and want to. So if fatalism is based on well reflecting not egoistic and harming base it is good, no? The biggest problem are fanatic people who actually searched for love in there life and never found. If fatalism is a result of anger and hate and not passion and love it is dangerous!

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  3. I do admit to wanting certain people to be “happy”, but that entails a lot more than just doing, doesn’t it? Not everyone can subscribe to my version of such, as we experience happiness in different ways at different times. Happiness for me might be the completion of a new blog, but it doesn’t necessarily cause the reader to be happy. I’ve always thought about myself as a positive-thinking person, but not necessarily an eternal happy, smiling one for all outward appearances. Sometimes happiness is what I feel inside, regardless of what the world thinks, feels or does at that moment in time.

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    1. Indeed we all do experience happiness in different ways, but it is rarely how we imagine it to be. Happiness is, as you say, Bluerooster, a feeling, an emotion, and to me, it can also result from a sense of rising to meet a challenge, and perhaps overcoming it, completion of a task – ie that sense of accomplishment and moving forward. Happiness is often short lived and we seek and want that feeling continuously! For those who find it completely illusive, must learn to cope with life, in other ways.

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  4. Thank you for these words. We so often forget to appreciate what we have or say we are to busy to stop and look around at all that is good. Unfortunately a lot of what we hear is the negative and not the positive. Life can be hard but hopefully we can always find happiness and help others to find it too.

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    1. Sometimes simple solutions are the easiest and fastest to implement. It may not cure the problem, but appears to help in re-directing attention, Linda. In doing so, we momentarily distract our mind from constant worry and analysis, which can, in a depressed person, be so negative. Do you think contentment is perhaps a more achievable goal than happiness?

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    1. Thank you, Sam. Attitude is everything I think as this influences how you think, and then that, in turn, influences how you feel. A bad attitude about one’s surroundings can affect one’s perception, in a negative way. I remember, as a student nurse working in a hospital, I was called on to work in a ward I had never worked in before. I renember feeling very confused, everything was foreign and I didn’t like it at all. During my tea break, I decided to change my attitude and just try to enjoy being there, as I knew I was only there for a short time and I didn’t want my night ruined by anxious ruminations, on my part. So when I returned to the ward after the tea break, I had a wonderful few hours working there with the patients and so enjoyed the rest of the shift. I really learnt how much attitude changes experience. Did you have a specific memory when you encountered this, Sam?

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    2. That’s really powerful isn’t it?! Yes my change of attitude was a slow realisation about my pace of life. I had quite a stressful job & one where I felt I was doing 101 things at once with a busy home life, treading water, so I was literally running myself to the ground never looking up. I seem to remember, it was something my young son said after I’d not had time to do something he wanted me to do, as always. Something like, “you never have time”. He was right, but the things I was rushing around doing were not important, nor enjoyable compared to what I could be doing with my sons. From then I started to time manage better & got my priorities right. My attitude changed & started looking up & seeing the world & what I was missing. I changed, I calmed down. My job became more enjoyable & more importantly I made time for my boys. Priorities & attitude to life. I slowed down. I became a more positive & happy person.

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    3. It is wonderful that you recognized the signs of impending burn out, Sam, and also that you listened to the meaningful message in your son’s words. Many people don’t, or choose to place ambition over their family ‘s needs. Priortizing or goal setting is definitely helpful and I feel planning is especially important when life is busy. The priorities help to plan your day so that the most important needs are met and this fuels a sense of achievement. Positivity is also important! A stressed frustrated person might be a winging angry person as they feel that complete lack of control over their destiny. I love hearing how others have turned their life around. Thanks for sharing this. Children’s remarks are so wise, aren’t they?

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    4. Oh absolutely, thank you for that. I have now downsized my life & the way I live. Got rid totally of the stressful job & negativity in my life. Moving onto the boat has been wonderful & the realisation of what’s truly important in life a revelation. I continue to take advice from my children 😊 🌸 so glad I read your post x

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    5. You are very kind, Sam and feedback such as yours is very affirming! I also feel strongly that my children have unknowingly challenged me to become a better parent! Our generation seems to value a closer, less heirarchical relationship with our children, if one could draw general conclusions. If children don’t show their dissatisfaction in their words it will surely come out in their behavior.

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  5. Contentment over happiness any day for me! Life is 10% about what happens to you, and 90% about how you deal with it. All things pass, happiness, sadness, and in fact each Being on this planet will also pass. Rolling with the good times with the realisation these times will pass, helps me roll with the bad times when they come around – and they do….The bad times pass too. Such is the cycle of life. Knowing that life is constant circle helps me stay grounded and contented even during times when happiness isn’t appropriate. Saying that though, I often have the discussion as to which is most important. Health, wealth or happiness (only I substitute contentment for happiness). Most people’s answer is health. My answer is always contentment. Should I suffer any major health issues in the future, I’m hoping ‘contentment’ will help me roll with it and keep me positive right up until I draw my last breath. (Apologies for becoming philosophical and using your platform for my own chapter – your topic just happens to be a favourite topic of mine)

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    1. Hi Chris, and thank you for a wonderful comment. There is absolutely no need to apologise. I love comments like this and a lively discussion, as evidenced by my Proverbial Friday posts.
      Furthermore, I love your ratio of life!! And I’m also am a fan of striving for contentment rather than happiness! It is more achievable and longer lived. It is not always feasible in modern life, or any life, to be consistently happy all day, every day, as there is so much of life that is out of our control, with so many changes.
      Depressive personalities do seem to find it hard to remember that bad times do pass. They become desperate when they cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel and lose hope that anything is ever going to change for the better.
      I can see how older people might think that health, or even wealth might be preferable, but how could anyone ever feel content if they didn’t have a certain level of good health and enough money to pay the bills? My father in law used to say health is wealth and that is true too. But my goal is always contentment. It evokes a feeling of calm and peacefulness. A feeling of not wanting or desperately desiring things that are out of reach. Have you always thought that contentment was your goal? Or did that evolve as you became older, Chris?

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    2. It’s only with age that I’ve realised that the middle ground is the best place to be, somewhere between the highs of happiness and the lows of being miserable. The ‘just cruisin’ stages of life. Not that I don’t enjoy the highs that come with the excitement of a really wonderful occurrence, and I can feel as miserable as the next person when life serves me up a bowl of lemons. Health and wealth, yes it’s great to have enough, but if circumstances are such that some blow demolishes one or the other for me, I hope I can still find contentment with whatever I have left. That’s the only thing that’s totally in my control….

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    3. Hmm. Good comment! We cannot completely control health or wealth but as the feeling of contentment lies within our own attitude and mind, we can take full responsibility for that! And that is really comforting for me to think about that. That I can always find peace and tranquillity even if the seas of life are choppy. And like you, I can be devastated/shaken up by bad news, but after I process it, I remember that we are all adaptable to change, to lesser or greater extents, however it is the inner self that is the only constant and it too is malleable. Within the human experience, we can find our own special type of contentment. Like you, I think it comes to you with experience and age. It is uncommon to find a young person thinking this way. They have high expectations of what their life could become or are filled with “possibilities.” I was listening to the radio a few days ago and they were discussing the “happiness curve.” There is quite a bit of research indicating that one is happier after the age of 40 than one is before that! Ironicallly, young people are troubled by that life stage of having to establish themselves and later life (after age 50), can be cathartic, liberating and “happier.” This ties in with what @Samfiftysomething, also, was alluding to. What a wonderful discussion. Thank you!!!

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  6. There is always a lot of commentary on this subject!. I’m with Chris. I opt for contentment. Happiness is an odd emotion, fleeting. Contentment hangs in there no matter what is going on. It’s taken a lifetime of learning to understand this. Growing up without parental love or kindness, two marriages that turned out very much the same way, showed me that I was responsible for the feelings I had no matter who or what was in my life. So I chose to spend more of my life with more of the kind people in it and make less time for those who had no kindness and love for others. My life is simpler, fuller, richer in many ways because I see all the good in it and detached from the things that drain my capacity to give to others. I spent years on medication because I could not understand how people could be so cruel to one another. I can’t fix them but I can be in charge of my own feelings. Everyday, I enter my gratitude for the day in a separate journal. Then I log all the good that came in and off load the stuff that tried to make me feel bad. I still get sad at what I see sometime but know that ultimately, I must choose joy for myself. In a butterfly sitting on one of my plants, bees feeding on others, the breeze swaying the branches of the trees or the owls hooting in them at dusk. You are so on target with this post. You have the answer. It’s how you choose to see things. Good topic.

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    1. Hi Marlene! I am sorry to hear that you had some troubling times in your past, but wonderful to hear that you worked out how to get through it and deal with it, and pack the troubles away, by yourself. In particular your following comment stood out to me when you said, “I was responsible for the feelings I had no matter who or what was in my life”… and” I can be in charge of my own feelings.” This is important stuff! Important for everyone to realize just what that means. I see many people around me who have not worked that out yet, still struggling why “bad things” happen to them, thinking that the luck will turn around and things MUST be rosy from here on in. They don’t realize that it won’t necessarily change magically for the better, but all this time the only thing that is under their control is their feelings and attitude. And in that comes a tremendous sense of strength and control. This is not a sense of control that seeks to influence or coerce others, but a sense of security, and assertiveness, and comfort. Compassionate strength is a term that comes to my mind, when I think how I am feeling in this “zone.” You are right to ‘count your blessings’ or note down the things you are grateful for. Writing it down formalizes it and so it is absorbed into your routine. I love that you have a monthly reconciliation of sorts when you balance out everything! For sometimes a few strokes of bad luck can become mountains in one’s own mind, when in reality, there is so much around us that is beautiful, comforting and peaceful to our minds. What wise words, Marlee! You also give me a gem to ponder over….
      “ultimately, I must choose joy for myself.” I shall remember that. Thank you for your valuable wisdom, Marlene! You have made my day!!!

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    1. Thank you Prakaash! It us important to strengthen the positive pathways if we are to weaken ther negative ones. I will take a look at your link.

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