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Old October 2 2009, 09:38 AM   #1
The Boy Who Cried Worf
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What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Whenever I find myself in one of my unpredictable depressed moods like I am now I spend way too much time pondering the reasons for my general unhappiness in life. And lately I have been coming to one inescapable conclusion. I really have no reason to be so unhappy

I have had very few bad things happen to me in my life. I do suffer from depression and social anxiety which limit my life, but because of that I have also spent a lot of my life avoiding a lot of things that would cause me discomfort. I have health problems and I live with a good deal of mild discomfort from time to time, but nowhere near the real chronic pain that a lot of people have. Right now I have serious financial problems which would make anyone unhappy, but i am hardly alone on that these days. Being depressed just seems like more of a habit with me.

One conclusion I have come to recently is I agree with Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha who said all life is suffering and the reason for that is desire. The source of my unhappiness seems to be my insistence on telling myself all my life that I have to have very specific things and experiences to be happy and if I don't have them I must go into depressions over it. Because I am not the person I think I should be that means I can experience no happiness being something else.

So I am curious if people consider themselves happy, but more important why or why not. Is happiness actually being in a good mood most of the time or is it more achieving some spiritual or material goal. Are you happier pursuing some specific goal or happier simply accepting what you have in life? If you are unhappy do you think you can become happy just by re-oriented your desires or priorities?

This weekend I will be going to the comic-con and I'll even be volunteering, something that scares me, but I am still doing it. That should be a purely fun weekend with no real reason for deep depression or soul-searching. Yet I know I will become depressed this weekend for a million silly reasons all related to me telling myself this isn't as great as it should be.
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Old October 2 2009, 01:31 PM   #2
Jan
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Dark Journey wrote: View Post
Yet I know I will become depressed this weekend for a million silly reasons all related to me telling myself this isn't as great as it should be.
Then don't. To a large extent you can control your own moods by noticing when you're depressing yourself and consciously changing what you're thinking. So it's not as wonderful as it should be? You can think about being proud of yourself for having volunteered instead.

As for being happy...no, it's not being in a good mood all the time, I think it's more of a general contentment. Doing nice things for yourself and for other people can contribute to that.

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Old October 2 2009, 04:16 PM   #3
RandyS
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

For the meaning of "happy", look in the dictonary under "subjective".

It's different for everybody.

You need to find what makes you happy, and focus on that.
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Old October 3 2009, 11:03 AM   #4
Miss Chicken
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

I think it is very hard to explain what happy is and how to be it.

I am by nature an optimist. I don't know why I am and why other people with similar life experiences to me are not.

I had a very unhappy childhood but I didn't tend to get depressed. Even when every thing around was getting me down I always had a wonderful world to retreat to, one that existed in my room, my books, my toys. It is the same things that tend me me comfort now. Often if I am miserable I take out my favourite childhood books and either read them or look at the pictures.

The only serious depressions I have had as an adult is post-natal depression after the birth of my second son, after the Port Arthur Massacre, and when my best friend died and when my father died. However after these deaths I simply would try to remember the good times we had together and that would cheer me somewhat.

The depression after the Port Arthur Massacre was the worst and lasted the longest. I think this was because so many people around me were also depressed by it and I had no way of cheering myself up. The depression lasted several months. I was fixated on certain aspects of case I gave more money than I could really afford to the Port Arthur Appeal. I worried about the man who lost his entire family (wife and two little daughters), and I was concerned that I might be called for jury service when the murder trial started, even though the chances of this were extremely small. Once the trial was over I think it got easier for most Tasmanians.

The only advice that i can give is to try and find a healthy and positive form of comfort abd to seek hekp when if it gets too bad.
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Old October 3 2009, 01:24 PM   #5
An Officer
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Happiness is getting enough sunshine, exercise, and the right nutrients. Get those wrong, and all the rest life has to throw at you becomes far more difficult to deal with.
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Old October 3 2009, 04:00 PM   #6
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

For me, happiness is this. And, more specifically, THIS.

Even more specifically, THIS!!!!!
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Last edited by Rķu rķu, chķu; October 3 2009 at 06:14 PM.
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Old October 3 2009, 04:04 PM   #7
sidious618
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Your depression is something you discuss a lot on here. Are you seeing a professional for assistance? If not you should.
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Old October 3 2009, 06:13 PM   #8
Holdfast
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Happiness is deciding who you are. Of course, first you have to decide if you want to decide who you are. And before that, you have to decide if you need to decide that. Whatever the answer, it involves a lot of falling leaves.

(Obscure enough for you? Jolly good...)
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Old October 3 2009, 06:14 PM   #9
Rķu rķu, chķu
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

When you are happy, you will be good.
You will be happy when you are good.
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Old October 3 2009, 06:36 PM   #10
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Perhaps it's like porn... hard to define but you know it when you see it.
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Old October 3 2009, 07:07 PM   #11
Jadzia
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Dark Journey, I think the emotions you feel are more important than trying to define "happiness is..." in any objective sense.

If I could grant you one wish, to make one change in your life, that would improve the way you feel with some permanence... what might you wish for?
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Old October 3 2009, 07:11 PM   #12
sojourner
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Here's a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note....

Don't worry, be happy!
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Old October 3 2009, 07:36 PM   #13
melancholymecha
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

This weekend I will be going to the comic-con and I'll even be volunteering, something that scares me, but I am still doing it. That should be a purely fun weekend with no real reason for deep depression or soul-searching. Yet I know I will become depressed this weekend for a million silly reasons all related to me telling myself this isn't as great as it should be.
I know what you mean, I have social anxiety too & for example, I would think that I would have fun volunteering at a comic con but I wouldnt b/c Id spend all day fearful, anxious & depressed b/c of all my self conscious emotional baggage and insequerities that I bring everywhere with me.

I really cant tell you if Im happy or not. I feel happy but thats becasue Ive had the good fortune so far of being able to avoid things that make me anxious & spend all my time buried(escaping) in my hobbies. I dont work yet but when i do I expect I'll start becoming depressed again. I was when I used to work a long time ago. Yeah sorry, my post was probably no good for you.
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Old October 3 2009, 07:45 PM   #14
Kestra
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

Holdfast wrote: View Post
Happiness is deciding who you are. Of course, first you have to decide if you want to decide who you are. And before that, you have to decide if you need to decide that. Whatever the answer, it involves a lot of falling leaves.

(Obscure enough for you? Jolly good...)
This first confused and then depressed me. Thanks, Holdfast.
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Old October 3 2009, 11:26 PM   #15
Zulu Romeo
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Re: What Does It Mean To Be Happy?

What Does It Mean To Be Happy?
To answer the thread title in one glib sentence: being happy and contented means a lot to me. Well, to a certain extent it does. Well, so long as being in such a state doesn't harm others, of course.

I wouldn't consider myself happy in the sense of being content right now, although a lot of this does have to do with personal circumstances. Without going into too much detail, the last 12 months or so have been very turbulent for my family, my work, and my personal life. I have had to face some tough questions about where I stand and what I want to do with my life at times, and often I have wondered whether I really do know what I am doing. I have sought counsel from various people in this regard, from family, to work colleagues, to people I consider my friends.

I don't know if I have any cut-and-dry solutions to being happy, as I've yet to find them. Get a new job which might bring psychological satisfaction at the cost of material wealth and assets? Find the right partner while risking the rollercoaster of heartaching lows and blissful highs? Spend more time with family even if it means adding an extra personal burden? Resort to short-term happiness routes and other excessive pleasures while ruining mine or other people's lives?

Right now, I guess it's all to do with whatever seems like a good idea at the time. Personally, in any other circumstances I might be happier. Or sadder. I don't know.
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Last edited by Zulu Romeo; October 4 2009 at 01:29 AM.
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