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Is anyone always happy?

  1. Dec 16, 2004 #1
    Do you know of anyone who is always happy? Ask everyone you know if they know anyone who says they're always happy. If someone says they are, get them to talk in this thread!! :biggrin:
    I think most people don't think anyone is always happy. I also think most people take comfort in this because they can say, "everyone has their ups and downs," when they're sad. In some ways this is comforting. But I would rather know that it's possible to be happy all the time.

    I sometimes feel like I have a default emotion or long term emotion. When I'm not doing anything, not still feeling a way about something that just happened, I'll feel an emotion that is somewhere between anxious and tired. But I used to feel happy in this between emotions state. I wouldn't say very happy, but happy. I think that this is the best you can do. All you need to do now is avoid the short term sadness and you'll never be sad. It's very hard to avoid all the short term sadness tho, because you don't have control over most of the world.

    I think that to move your default emotion around you need to have a long stretch or powerful short term emotion. I'm not only talking about events, but your state of mind. Anything that invokes emotion.

    What do you guys think about a default emotion or always being happy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2004 #2


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    If you're happy most of the time -- excepting when bad things happen to you that make sadness justifiable, then you're healthy.

    No one is (or should be) very happy all the time, particularly when faced with the unfortunate, inevitable negative parts of life.

    - Warren
  4. Dec 17, 2004 #3


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    Are you just asking about those happy-go-lucky, Pollyanna types? Heck, I'm sure even she must have been unhappy some of the time, she just always maintained a positive, optimistic outlook.
  5. Dec 18, 2004 #4


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    In what ways? What do you think would cause a person to be comforted by that belief? Feeling normal, feeling healthy, thinking things will probably getting better, ...?
    Ever heard of Valium? (Just joking.) I think it would be helpful to get a clear idea of how you feel, your symptoms, and so on and then read some literature about anxiety disorders and depression. This can give you a better perspective on your own mental health and give you some ideas on how to deal with any problems. The point of describing your symptoms first is to make it harder to "talk yourself into" having some symptom. http://www.emedicine.com/med/PSYCHIATRY.htm is reliable and easy to read.

    As far as being happy all the time, I agree with the others, it's probably not possible (but depends on what you mean by happy). You can adopt a kind of "healthy detachment" as a part of your general outlook on life or philosophy. It can be as simple as what people mean when they say "don't take things so personally". But to see the concept refined and put into practice as a philosophy, you may want to read about Stoicism and Buddhism*. Most philosophies have something to say about achieving happiness, but Stoicism and Buddhism specifically aim to ending "suffering" which seems like what you're talking about. In Buddhism, start with the Four Noble Truths. In Stoicism, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are good people to read and read about.

    http://www.pbs.org/edens/thailand/buddhism.htm I don't really know much about Buddhism so can't say how good a site this is, but you can just google, there's plenty.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths.shtml This looks promising, and, if you have RealPlayer, you can just listen- text is also available :approve:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/I love plato.stanford.edu.
    http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/discourses.1.one.html Epictetus- read the first chapter here and google for more.
    http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/meditations.html Marcus Aurelius.

    BTW I'm not suggesting you adopt any of these beliefs. I'm just introducing them to you since they seem relevant to your question. :smile:
  6. Dec 19, 2004 #5
    In Brave New World people stayed happy by taking a drug called Soma. As far as I recall one of the characters said "Everybodys happy nowadays" (which is also an excellent Buzzcocks song). What percentage of the population take Prozac or other medication, I wonder?
  7. Dec 19, 2004 #6
    We've probably gone through this millions of times, but I think we need to define what everybody thinks happiness is before we can answer the above question.

    My definition of happiness contains four levels:
    1. Self pleasures (ie: if I'm hungry, I eat, makes me happy)
    2. Recognition of the self (ie: I won an award everybody is cheering for me)
    3. Altruistic happiness (ie: doing good for others)
    4. Transcendent happiness (happiness that is above the self)

    Having said all this, I think that since humans strive to be happy, we seek these four levels of happiness and therefore are always happy on some level. This is not to say that we are always perfectly happy with everything, but we also must remember that happiness IS NOT an emotion.

    Happiness is a state of being. Emotions are states of feeling. Think about it..."I feel angry/sad" or "I am happy."

    With all this, I think that we can say that on some levels people are happy to certain extents always.
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