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A level of happiness

I've read that people's happiness level generally stay the same level. So if something amazingly awesome (like winning the lottery) or something not so awesome happens.. their mood may change for a bit, and then it will eventually go back to the previous happiness level.

I sometimes have episodes of sadness and despair. Someone once said, to paraphrase, if you knew all the things that happen in someone's life, you will always have compassion for that person.

And I sometimes will be out with my friends, and will do things, that exhibit a a joie de vivre. Where I order the expensive food, eat the fatty dessert, buy the silly rubber chicken. And I like that about me, that I do such things.

So where is my level of happiness? I've thought that most of childhood I was pretty neutral, and oblivious. In the recent years, I've been more sad. Perhaps it's time to change that level of happiness.

I've read that your nuerel pathways can be changed, it takes time.. it's relearning new paths to take, and making grooves, that become more and more worn.. And it's so hard, so hard to be happy sometimes. Seriously, life is not so awesome sometimes. And when I compare myself to the perceived happiness of the average American, it's not helpful. Because, they're prob not that happy either. And I shouldn't believe that their biggest problems are shallower then mine.

Maybe I should just meditate more, on the feeling of happiness.

Comments

foolmonkey
Jun. 15th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
Several of my friends have found that keeping a journal every day of 10 things that made them happy makes a profound impact on their overall happiness. It isn't easy to keep up with, but it seems to be very effective if you are serious about changing your typical mood.

Also, I believe that anything you can do to increase your neuroplasticity and ability to change the way you think, or learn new things, or not be overly stuck in a rut is good. Changing to be more happy is doubly useful.
bobacita
Jun. 15th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
Does this method work better if you choose ten different things every day, even if the same 10 things continue to make you happy?
foolmonkey
Jun. 15th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
I think that the intent is to choose very specific things that made you happy, like seeing a pretty sunset, someone saying something nice or complimenting you, something going well at work, dinner that tasted really good, making up after a fight with a close friend, etc. I would guess (though it is just a guess) that either way would work equally well if you take time to recognize the happiness that these things bring you. If they are things that happen every day, you don't want to write them down because they are supposed to make you happy, only if they do make you happy.

Does that make things more clear?
bobacita
Jun. 15th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking more in lines of "My family's alive and healthy" and "My husband great", etc. This'd be a nice experiment in happiness.

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ripresa

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