Monday, June 6, 2011

Talking in Colors

Happiness is an interesting thing. It's something that comes easy to me almost to the point of fault. It has in the past pushed everything else out creating an in balance of emotion because with only happiness you can not feel the depth of everything else in life. I always relate it to a painters pallet. Though you can paint a picture with just yellow, using all it's wonderful tones but eventually your perception is limited. However if you add blue and red you suddenly are able to experience the world. Completely. My life is more fulfilling having the ability and strength to experience a whole range of emotion. They each have thier purpose and the give me my ability to experinece empathy to the degree that I do.

It still doesn't hurt to be happy the majority of the time as long as you are not suppressing other emotions that may pop-up for you. Within that suppression can come depression. Here are some basic steps to happiness and maintaining it ( I have NO idea why I am writing this today- i blame the coffee I had WOO WEEEE):
  • Never regret the decisions you make though. Just live by the 3 C's of life: choices chances, and changes. You need to make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.
  • Follow your gut

  • Make enough money to meet your basic needs: food, shelter, and clothing. In North America that magic number is $40,000 a year. Any money you make beyond that will not necessarily make you happier.Oodles of money didn't make them any happier. Once you make enough money to support your basic needs, your happiness is not significantly affected by how much money you make, but by your level of optimism.

  • Comfort may increase with your salary, but comfort isn't what makes people happy. It makes people bored. That's why it's important to push beyond your comfort zone to fuel your growth as a person.

  • Our relationships with our friends and family have a far greater impact on our happiness than our jobs do.

  • Find happiness in the job you have now. If you have a positive outlook, you will make the best of any job, and if you have good relationships with people, you won't depend on your job to give your life a greater sense of meaning. You'll find it in your interactions with the people you care about. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't aspire towards a job that will make you happier; it means you should understand that the capacity of your job to make you happy is quite small in comparison to your outlook on life and your relationships with people

  • Smile. Science suggests that when you smile, whether you feel happy or not, your mood will be elevated.

  • Forgive. An attitude of forgiveness contributed to better cardiovascular health. You could say that forgiveness literally heals your heart. While it is unknown how forgiveness directly affects your heart, the study suggests that it may lower the perception of stress.

  • Forming friendships based on mutual interests and beliefs (and meeting consistently based on that mutual bond) is what makes the difference.
What is your relationship to happiness?


Calvin said...

Here's an interesting article discussing a recent study on happiness:

amourissima said...

That's interesting. So what I am gathering from the article that you provided is that places that rate by the current residents as being "the happiest place on earth" have just less unhappy people because they killed themselves?

Or do you think that these places might have happier people but when sadness does occur it's harder to accept so the possibility of suicide is higher? What are your thoughts?

Calvin said...

The latter. The supposition, according to the article is that it's harder on people who are sad in the places where everyone else reports being happy. I suspect there're internal and external factors: internally, the sad people can't understand why they are sad when everyone around them seems happy, thus making things worse. Externally, they sad people are ostracised--everyone else is happy, why aren't you? there must be something wrong with you. As you point out above, one of the key influences on happiness are relationships, hence, catch-22.

amourissima said...

This conversation hurts my heart. I know that is ignorant for me to say so but it does. I've been happy and I've been sad. I know I'm using simple words but that doesn't discredit the emotions themselves. It's such a catch-22 and relationships are a huge factor but one thing that I forgot to outline is the relationship with ones self being the most important relationship at all. You can't feel happiness at all regardless of how "good" everything else may be. Some people feel sadness; even depression. It's a scary place to be. It's even scary at times when you aren't used to it and no one can accept that there are times when a person can feel sad. For no reason.

Perhaps it's time that we stop trying to fix every ones emotions and focus on ourselves. Everyone can be responsible for themselves and if they are sad, let them be. If they are happy, let them be. If they are angry, let them be. They are all healthy when expressed freely. Of course, I can respect that chemical imbalances can be a factor (though I don't know much about that. I've never done much reading on it which surprises me.)but sometimes just the act of trying to be something that you are not can create a enough self hate to create a problem in it's self.

Not sure if that makes sense.

Calvin said...

Since we've somehow gone way off on a tangent, my all time favourite Qtv interview: 5:40- is the (somewhat) relevant bit, but watch the whole thing because Clara Hughes is pure awesome.

amourissima said...

Tangents are where it's at!

Thanks for the video, I'll watch it tonight when I get home from work. I imagine that it might need sound. Clara Hughes is an interesting person, I am excited to listen to it!