Monday, 23 January 2012

What is happiness?

Since I am someone who has moments of extreme happiness, but predominantly feel unhappy or should I say anxious and sad, I wondered about this question. What does it mean to be happy?

I have read that you cannot be happy all the time and the really question should be how do you make the unhappiness more easy to cope with, and lessen its impact on your life. I have heard that peace is far more important than happiness, as you cannot control if you are happy or unhappy.

The things I find that make me unhappy are a lack of control of my life, and the circumstances I find I live in, this makes me feel unhappy amongst other emotions, and I might add that unhappiness isn’t as bad as depression, anxiety, worry, stress and fear.

Though there are times when for no reason, I can feel very happy indeed, and can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately when I have these times I can become unpredictable, and act in a weird way making me not see things as they are and becoming outlandish. Or maybe I am seeing things as they are and this is making me happy, but then I change and my mind says that when I was happy I did these things and now they have made me feel unhappy.

There are other times when I have deluded myself into pretending to be happy when I am not, and this has caused many major issues in my life. Pretending to be happy when you are sad is hard to do and does not really help in the long term.

Is sad the same as unhappiness?

Knowing that you cannot feel happy all the time and peace is more important, makes me realise sometimes that maybe I should just be satisfied with trying to be content. The problem I have found in the past with contentment is it leads to slovenly attitudes and causes unhappiness and no satisfaction whatsoever. At least it does with me, so being content is a no, no, because of the repercussions of said contentment.

The problem with trying to make everyone happy is it cannot be achieved because what makes one person happy will make another person unhappy. This being the case, what can we all do, to try and make a broader amount of people feel some kind of positivity in their lives. Maybe being positive can help you to be happy, but what happens like in my case when you try to be positive and you want to be happy and find peace in your life, but you find at every turn obstacles and blocks are placed to stop this from happening?

This is the quandary I face, and I bet others do as well. A program said that statistically two things make people happy, heterosexual marriage (not sure why they particularly picked heterosexual marriage, are people in gay marriages less happy?) and religion. Now this sort of thing makes me wonder, because when I was forced to go to church as a kid, and sit through endless tedium as the vicar said whatever he was saying, I wasn’t happy in the slightest. I was bored and uninterested in it; the kid that used to sit next to me would pick the plaster out of the walls, in a vain attempt to escape. As far as marriage is concerned I know plenty of people who have not had happy marriages, so whether these stats are true is debatable.

Does intelligence have anything to do with happiness, as the old saying goes, “ignorance is bliss”, may that lead to happiness?

Thinking about the Universe and the wonders of where we come from, in a different outside the box sort of way makes me happy, it can make me feel very happy, elated, and full of joy and wonder, but that cannot always be sustained. So happiness is a weird conundrum because it is used so often to try and evaluate where you stand in your life, “Do you feel happy punk, well do ya?”

The one thing I’ve sort of just realised, yet probably known for a while, is the more I wanted to be happy the less I was. In order to try and be happy and content, and positive, as well as unhappy, miserable, fearful and afraid, you have to stop pretending and deluding yourself that you are happy when you are not.  The problem with that is, when you realise you are really very unhappy, and in fact you are miserable, sad and feel worthless, life is not what you thought it was going to be; this is a hard thing to deal with.

Accepting your frailties and trying to cope with them is a step towards a happier life, or is it? At least for me it’s a start, and instead of what I have done in the past where I feel elated and in focus, I then try to take too big steps to become happier, and lose touch with reality to the point I wonder what the hell is going on. Then I feel anxiety and fear and my focus leaves me and I start to lose it totally.

I need to take little steps and understand the reasons for my situation more and become more accustomed to my predicament, because I know what would make me happy now this second, but that is not going to happen and instead of beating myself up, because it won’t happen. I need to just to accept that whatever I thought or was thinking is maybe just an intricate self delusion designed to try to find some happiness and calm my mind.


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