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Still Waters

Humans aren’t designed to be happy

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spartan max2
8 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I think people actually confuse contentment with happiness. Happiness is a fleeting emotion. 

I would count contentment as happiness.

If someone is truly content then they are happy.

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XenoFish
2 minutes ago, spartan max2 said:

I would count contentment as happiness.

If someone is truly content then they are happy.

Both words are often used interchangeably. I think someone who has contentment would probably have a zen like inner peace, which would produce something like low grade happiness. Happiness itself is a quick shot of feel good chemicals. I'd rather be zen than happy. 

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the13bats

 

how very thought provoking, i am not even sure i know what "happiness" means, i might be somewhat content, wait looked it up,

:

con·tent
/kənˈtent/
 
adjective
in a state of peaceful happiness.
 
nope, i cant say im content, but somewhat peaceful, hum, im not a deep down trama hound of depression, but with my health issues ptsd drdp ocd add etc lol,  im just, i dont know, perhaps neutral?
 
i dont remember the last time i was happy but im not miserable either...
 
 
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sci-nerd

The OP is partly right, or maybe a better wording would be 'reversed right'.

We need the bad and unpleasant to appreciate the good. We need a contrast.

The key to a content life is to add the bad in small doses. Don't avoid them.

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aztek

that is why we are never happy, no matter what a person has they always want something else, no matter how good a person has it he will always find someone who does better and be upset about it.

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Aaron2016
Posted (edited)

I am the eternal optimist.  I love just existing which makes me forever grateful and happy just to be alive on this planet and enjoy everything that it has to offer.  Something as simple as watching the clouds drifting romantically across the Moon at night fills me with joy, and feeling the heat from the morning dawn as the Sun rises over the ocean and it feels like the worries of yesterday are dead and a fresh new world has been born and I feel ready for a brand new glorious day.  I love everyone including those who show hatred.  It's their problem and they are battling their own demons.  So why should I let it spoil my day.  We can simply ignore them or even confront them and persuade them to appreciate the joy and beauty that life brings to us all.  As the saying goes 'The Best Things in Life are Free' and there is unlimited supply for everyone.  Life is wonderful.

 

This is possibly Trump's favorite song, but it should apply to all of us.  Look in the nearest mirror and say to yourself....

 

 

 

 

Edited by Aaron2016
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XenoFish

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT1wp2a6RNlW929nOSRC_X

Yep.

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Big Jim
26 minutes ago, aztek said:

that is why we are never happy, no matter what a person has they always want something else, no matter how good a person has it he will always find someone who does better and be upset about it.

What do you mean "we", Kemosabe?  Ever since I was young I have thought that there are two ways to be rich, have more or want less.  With that in mind I've always been content with what I've had.  I can look around me and see the whole world doing better.  That doesn't mean I'm envious of them.  I wish them well.  Whatever someone else has it doesn't diminish what I have.  I've been on both ends of the spectrum.  I've had all I own in my pockets and I've been short of storage space.  We live in a material world and there's no shame in deriving pleasure from material things, but that's not where happiness lies.  It's an emotion, like love, hate, jealousy or any other.  While there can be peaks and valleys in the graph of any emotion over time, in general we decide which level we maintain as a steady state.

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tcgram

Happiness is different things to different people.   I have observed that it doesn't take a lot to make me happy, but for a friend of mine it's an endless pursuit.   He is very material and has to buy bigger, better, faster things in life.  I'm not interested in things like that so therefore I don't need it.   To each their own.  :)   

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aztek
1 minute ago, Big Jim said:

What do you mean "we", Kemosabe?  Ever since I was young I have thought that there are two ways to be rich, have more or want less.  With that in mind I've always been content with what I've had.  I can look around me and see the whole world doing better.  That doesn't mean I'm envious of them.  I wish them well.  Whatever someone else has it doesn't diminish what I have.  I've been on both ends of the spectrum.  I've had all I own in my pockets and I've been short of storage space.  We live in a material world and there's no shame in deriving pleasure from material things, but that's not where happiness lies.  It's an emotion, like love, hate, jealousy or any other.  While there can be peaks and valleys in the graph of any emotion over time, in general we decide which level we maintain as a steady state.

i was not actually talking about material things, but they too reflect it a bit.  you got it right about emotion,  however emotions are controlled by a chemical called dopamine,  you get used to it as much as you get used to medications, both stop working after a while, until new stimulus is found 

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Big Jim
Just now, aztek said:

i was not actually talking about material things, but they too reflect it a bit.  you got it right about emotion,  however emotions are controlled by a chemical called dopamine,  you get used to it as much as you get used to medications, both stop working after a while, until new stimulus is found 

I'm not so sure about the bolded part.  I'm old enough to have worn out a few rounds of dopamine and I still look forward to every day.  The funny thing is, there's really no reason to since most of my days are the same.  I can no longer do most of the things that brought me joy.  I know when I wake up that the only conversations I will have are with myself and my cat.  There's really nothing that is likely to happen to stimulate the production of dopamine, yet it must be there.  I find amusement and joy in the simplest of things.  I am in a constant state of gratitude for the good things in my life.  I can't even take credit for feeling this way, it's just the way I am.

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aztek
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Big Jim said:

I'm not so sure about the bolded part.  I'm old enough to have worn out a few rounds of dopamine and I still look forward to every day.  The funny thing is, there's really no reason to since most of my days are the same.  I can no longer do most of the things that brought me joy.  I know when I wake up that the only conversations I will have are with myself and my cat.  There's really nothing that is likely to happen to stimulate the production of dopamine, yet it must be there.  I find amusement and joy in the simplest of things.  I am in a constant state of gratitude for the good things in my life.  I can't even take credit for feeling this way, it's just the way I am.

lol, of course everyone has dopamine, my point was once you get used to something  (a new car, house , job, gf. bf...etc) it stops making you happy,  so you got to look for new stimulus. thus we always look for something else and get tired of things we have eventually, of course it does not happen the same way, to the same degree to everyone,   but in general we are always looking for more, for something different.  

Edited by aztek

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Big Jim
4 minutes ago, aztek said:

lol, of course everyone has dopamine, my point was once you get used to something  (a new car, house , job, gf. bf...etc) it stops making you happy,  so you got to look for new stimulus. thus we always look for something else and get tired of things we have eventually, of course it does not happen the same way, to the same degree to everyone,   but in general we are always looking for more, for something different.  

Not necessarily, but to the extent it's true, I believe it's the search that keeps us happy, not the finding.  But where I really disagree is in your contention that we always need something new and different.  One of the things that brings me the greatest joy is looking out at my back yard, or pulling in to my driveway.  The view is always the same.  My home is fairly modest by most standards.  But it's my home.  Every time I see any part of my "estate" my joy is magnified by remembering how close I came to being homeless (again), just 10 years ago.  So I don't need more.  Compared to what could have been this is beyond anything I could have hoped for.  I will never need another.  As for needing new stimulus, I can find that at Goodwill for a few dollars.  

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Golden Duck
5 hours ago, spartan max2 said:

People confuse elation with happiness.

Excitement and ecstacy are not the same thing as happiness.

People often think if they are not in bliss then they are not "happy"

 

I would say people confuse fulfillment with happiness.

Sunshine will always follow rain.

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LightAngel
10 hours ago, OverSword said:

Who decided that we aren't designed to be happy?  What bull.  We're designed to be many things.  I'm generally pretty happy personally.  Just because it's not some kind of eternal bliss and is interrupted by other states of being as well doesn't mean you're not happy in general or that you're not designed to be happy.  This thread really makes me angry :angry:.  JK :D.  I feel sorry for the poor dumb ass that wrote the article.  Must be miserable to be in the mind of someone who says don't even try to be happy. 

 

This article is a good example why we should always question everything we read.

We should never believe in anything blindly.

In a few years from now yet another article will be posted with completely different views, and a few years after that yet another "truth" will be presented!

That's why I think it's important that we find our own truth, we have to find out what works for us, and it will be different from individual to individual.

We don't belong in little boxes!

Hmm, one of the reasons why I am happy most of the time is because I'm honest about my feelings.

If I'm sad one day and feel like crying, then I will cry. I will face my pain when it's there, so I don't project it onto others and get trapped in a circle of negativity.

We will all go through life crises, we have to handle them in a healthy way.

I had my last life crisis when my father died some years ago.

Honesty about our feelings is one of the important keys to happiness. :P

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OverSword
45 minutes ago, LightAngel said:

 

This article is a good example why we should always question everything we read.

We should never believe in anything blindly.

In a few years from now yet another article will be posted with completely different views, and a few years after that yet another "truth" will be presented!

That's why I think it's important that we find our own truth, we have to find out what works for us, and it will be different from individual to individual.

We don't belong in little boxes!

Hmm, one of the reasons why I am happy most of the time is because I'm honest about my feelings.

If I'm sad one day and feel like crying, then I will cry. I will face my pain when it's there, so I don't project it onto others and get trapped in a circle of negativity.

We will all go through life crises, we have to handle them in a healthy way.

I had my last life crisis when my father died some years ago.

Honesty about our feelings is one of the important keys to happiness. :P

I have a friend with a 12 year old son who has attempted suicide several times. Won’t go into why but will say he and people his age are very impressionable. God forbid that someone like him were to read this garbage telling us we’re not meant to be happy and to not even try.

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RabidMongoose
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, LightAngel said:

 

This article is a good example why we should always question everything we read.

We should never believe in anything blindly.

In a few years from now yet another article will be posted with completely different views, and a few years after that yet another "truth" will be presented!

That's why I think it's important that we find our own truth, we have to find out what works for us, and it will be different from individual to individual.

We don't belong in little boxes!

Hmm, one of the reasons why I am happy most of the time is because I'm honest about my feelings.

If I'm sad one day and feel like crying, then I will cry. I will face my pain when it's there, so I don't project it onto others and get trapped in a circle of negativity.

We will all go through life crises, we have to handle them in a healthy way.

I had my last life crisis when my father died some years ago.

Honesty about our feelings is one of the important keys to happiness. :P

Spot on, and I would add to that how problems are a fact of life.

We all encounter problems constantly, and occasionally a major one comes along. People who become tangled up in their problems instead of moving on from them are on the downwards path in life. This is because they damage their minds in the process which sucks them down.

What do we do when we are thirsty? The problem solving area of our minds activate to find a solution. In this example a solution is easy to find with it simply being going to a tap, opening a drink, or going to the shops to make a purchase.

What happens when someone dies? or our parents were abusive? or we lose a leg? or our partner runs off with someone else? or our lives didnt turn out how we had hoped? When unsolvable problems occur the problem solving area of our minds activate but cannot find a solution. They wont turn off until we find a solution so we get trapped into an endless thought loop. 

With our continued focus on trying to solve an unsolvable problem we continue to experience the negative emotions associated with it. As time goes by our biological response is to lay down new neurons that keep us focused on solving problems (making us prone to obsessive thought patterns), by laying down new problem solving neurons (to enhance our problem solving abilities), and to lay down new negative emotion neurons (making our negative emotions more intense).

The result if we arent careful is we turn into someone who obsesses all day long over their problems, who ties themselves up in knots trying to fix the unfixable, and who experiences wild negative emotions driving them into anger, rage, hate, resentment, anxiety, panic, and depression.

All human beings get some unsolvable problems come their way and all have to go through the process of learning how to manage their minds. Some learn quickly. Some never learn and are at some point found dangling from their bathroom lightshades or end up doing time in the slammer.

With the worst outcomes I think genetics prevent some people being able to make the link between trying to fix unfixable problems and their degraded state of mind. I think another cause is people who dont have any grand-parents in their lives. You dont get to be 50+ without having had to go through rough times as well as the smooth. And it changes people, it changed them. It leaves them able to pass on useful advice, insights, and self-management techniques to the younger generations.

Another cause is narcissistic parents and grandparents because they are only interested in themselves. As a result they dont teach the younger generations any of the above. Instead they are left to learn by trial and error. Its both funny and sad watching narcissists blubbering that their kid has been locked up, that their kid has topped themselves, that their kid has drunk themselves into an early grave, that their kid has died from doing drugs, etc. 

For people who haven't realised yet - a happy content state of mind arises from learning how to manage your mind and then taking responsibility for managing it yourself. To get straight to the point when a problem occurs you let yourself go through the associated negative emotions. And you do that while shutting down any problem solving your brain tries to suck you into.

You cannot stop negatives emotions and shouldn`t even attempt too. But you can stop yourself trying to figure out what caused it, why it exists, how to bring it to an end, how to prevent it happening again, how to avoid it in the future, how to take revenge to stop it occurring again, etc. All these problem solving thinking patterns are damaging.

If you have degraded your mind the damage can be reversed but after years of poor thinking patterns it isn't going to occur overnight. In the worst cases it can take up to a couple of years. The reason being is all those unwanted extra neurons need to go through an atrophy process where they die off from lack of use. But if you cease all problem solving thinking patterns now you will notice an immediate effect after a few days.

@xeno - I know you arent a religious person xeno but what you dont realise is everyone is on the same journey in life. We emerge at the end of it with a load of work having been done on our minds via the process of life. Well... unless we top ourselves or end up in the slammer lol. There is no need to struggle through it all either, you can just go and pick up a book on Buddhism and spend the next year jumping ahead 50 years of everyone else.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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XenoFish
3 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

I know you arent a religious person xeno but what you dont realise is everyone is on the same journey in life. We emerge at the end of it with a load of work having been done on our minds via the process of life. Well... unless we top ourselves or end up in the slammer lol. There is no need to struggle through it all either, you can just go and pick up a book on Buddhism and spend the next year jumping ahead 50 years of everyone else.

Don't tell me what to do. 

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spartan max2

@RabidMongoose

The philosophy of mindfulness really resonated with me and did wounders.

I recommend anyone to give it a try. 

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RabidMongoose
47 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Don't tell me what to do. 

Buy it, help yourself, be happy.

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Big Jim
3 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

You cannot stop negatives emotions and shouldn`t even attempt too. But you can stop yourself trying to figure out what caused it, why it exists, how to bring it to an end, how to prevent it happening again, how to avoid it in the future, how to take revenge to stop it occurring again, etc. All these problem solving thinking patterns are damaging.

You made many good points but I wanted to single out this one.  This is key.  Nothing will get you into an endless loop quicker than asking unanswerable questions.  A lot of times a person's first response to random unfortunate events is "why me?"  The only possible answer is "why not me?".  Accept it and move on.  I have found the best way to deal with negative emotions is head on.  Let it hurt.  Get to know it.  Own it.  Feel it deeply.  Use it up.  It will dissipate on its own.  Then deal with the reality that is left.  

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Rlyeh
7 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

There is no need to struggle through it all either, you can just go and pick up a book on Buddhism and spend the next year jumping ahead 50 years of everyone else.

Along with every other philosophy and religion that embraces escapism.

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RabidMongoose
12 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

Along with every other philosophy and religion that embraces escapism.

I dont think you realise just how heavily based on Buddhism psychology is.

But, you cant help everyone.

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spartan max2
24 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

Along with every other philosophy and religion that embraces escapism.

Buddism (modren more secular buddism) is heavily based around the idea that suffering is part of life.

Probably the opposite of escapism. 

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Sheltie

I believe life is what you make of it.  I've always considered myself to be a fairly happy person but, as a previous poster has already stated, I probably set the bar a little lower than some.  As LightAngel stated, I also hate it when people try to be judgmental and analytical and shove us into little boxes. 

My MBTI personality type is INFP and my significant other is an ESTJ.  In all fairness, some of the stereotypes about MBTI types may be true.  I can see how I often have an almost childlike outlook on life while she has a more materialistic view.    

    

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