I have spent the last couple of weeks studying the idea of happiness. I’ve looked at a couple of dozen different sources for a place to start. One article I came across that impressed me with its brevity, yet completeness on this topic was What is Happiness by Kendra Cherry. Click HERE if you want to see the entire article. This article from October 2020 will likely take a half dozen posts to glean information about why I might feel unhappy more than happy.
Let’s get started:
What I have found so far is that there are several layers and definitions of happiness. There is the momentary happiness over just experiencing something that is pleasurable to you. I call that subjective happiness. Then there is the general sense of how your life is going which I call objective happiness. I know, being an amateur at this I probably don’t have a right to make my own category definitions, but when has that ever stopped me here on RJsCorner. 😎 So, this series will use those to terms to discuss those two states of happiness.
I often have, or at least try to live and recognize those happy moments. They might just be a quick smile or wave from staff and fellow residents at my retirement community. I don’t know, but it seems that older folks are just better at those quick moments. Maybe it is because we are not consumed with getting through the day as quickly as possible as younger people are.
A few months ago I rarely saw anyone, except my wife, on a daily basis. Now that I am living the RetComLife I see dozens of people every day. It just seems that that brief contact alone is starting to make me a happier person. The general sense of how my life, my objective happiness has taken a pretty serious hit in the last decade or so. I just haven’t found happiness at that level — yet.
According to Ms. Cherry the two key components of happiness (or subjective well being) are:
- The balance of emotions: Everyone experiences both positive and negative emotions, feelings, and moods. Happiness is generally linked to experiencing more positive feelings than negative.
- Life satisfaction: This relates to how satisfied you feel with different areas of your life including your relationships, work, achievements, and other things that you consider important.
I like the idea that happiness is not all positive, but that the positive almost always outweighs the negative. If you were happy all the time, then you would have nothing to compare it to, and it would cease to be happy. I’m just guessing at this point, but I kinda think that the life satisfaction part of happiness is a relative thing. No, I’m not talking about a brother-in-law thing, but instead more of a general satisfaction with life and its ups and downs. How do you make your life happy if that is the case? How do you change your attitude? That is something to consider next time.