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Thread: Happiness/Unhappiness scale

  1. #11
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    I don't know 2 or 3. Well I don't naturally have that high a happiness set point, but I have been unemployed for awhile as well. It really does make me much more depressive to be unemployed and having to go through the job search thing (maybe if I wasn't I'd at least say 4 or 5). And it's not that I love work either, but it is harder to be unemployed and looking for work than it is to work especially after awhile. My best days are the days I don't even look for work! Ha but that is not sustainable :P.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    8 or 9 for me. I've probably been leaning more to 9 since retiring, but the 3 closest people in my world have health and other issues going on, and I may be facing a health issue myself, so that tugs me more towards 8. I've always been optimistic though.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    8 or 9 for me. I've probably been leaning more to 9 since retiring, but the 3 closest people in my world have health and other issues going on, and I may be facing a health issue myself, so that tugs me more towards 8. I've always been optimistic though.
    There is an interesting correlation between optimism and happiness. Optimism is a style of thinking that is associated with many happy people. But is optimism a genetic predisposition or learned? It seems to be both. The question is, “Can we remain happy despite our circumstances?”. That seems to depend on your left brain mechanics and your ability to exercise the cells that control positive thoughts.

    My happiness is directly related to my circumstances and by comparison to other times in in my life that were uncomfortable. Some say you can practice optimism and thereby control and even command happiness.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I don't know 2 or 3. Well I don't naturally have that high a happiness set point, but I have been unemployed for awhile as well. It really does make me much more depressive to be unemployed and having to go through the job search thing (maybe if I wasn't I'd at least say 4 or 5). And it's not that I love work either, but it is harder to be unemployed and looking for work than it is to work especially after awhile. My best days are the days I don't even look for work! Ha but that is not sustainable :P.
    I am probably a 3. So thanks for being brave enough to say you are also sub-5.

    My chronic illness is what make me a 3. Otherwise I would be a 6.

    I will tell you all this, I am happy for all you 8s, 9s, and 10s (10 is rather unthinkable and amazing to me).

    Heck, I am happy for the 7 too!
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  5. #15
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    There is an interesting correlation between optimism and happiness. Optimism is a style of thinking that is associated with many happy people. But is optimism a genetic predisposition or learned? It seems to be both. The question is, “Can we remain happy despite our circumstances?”. That seems to depend on your left brain mechanics and your ability to exercise the cells that control positive thoughts.

    My happiness is directly related to my circumstances and by comparison to other times in in my life that were uncomfortable. Some say you can practice optimism and thereby control and even command happiness.
    Describe your optimism to me. What does it feel like? What sort of inner monologues do you have, if any?
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  6. #16
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Interesting question.

    When I was in high school and had to provide the yearbook committee with an ambition for my yearbook, I put "To stay happy." My high school years were an explosion of joie de vivre. But I had written "to STAY happy" because I recognized that maybe my happy years in HS were a fluke. I had come out of a miserable childhood, and my high school years were like coming out of a coma.

    For the most part I realized my ambition, although there were many years that I had to work at it because of my circumstances--poverty, home foreclosure, grinding workdays at a job I hated, substance abuse in the family. But no matter what these externalities were I was always able to find a little joy at least in little day-to-day things. I credit my spiritual beliefs with gratitude for the little things and the overriding optimism that Williamsmith mentions.

    So, 1985 was a breaking point towards greater happiness due to a settling down of some of those externalities, and 1998 started another trend in the right direction of greater financial stability.

    I consider my happiness set point to be about a 7.5. Sometimes the bobber will be pulled under by various circumstances but I'm usually able to recover. I've learned that those negative externalities may be a happiness distraction, but they don't have total power over me. Conversely, positive externalities may shine light on my little bobber but I don't give them too much credit for keeping me afloat. Happiness is an inside job.I believe I could raise my set point by more diligent practice of prayer/meditation and gratitude.

    My next ambition is to be iris lilies' cellmate.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this since it was posted. I would say generally that I run around an 8 or 9. But, right now, I really need a break from being the "responsible adult" in many spheres of my life. That's dragging my number down to maybe a 4 or 5 right now.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #18
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    But, right now, I really need a break from being the "responsible adult" in many spheres of my life. That's dragging my number down to maybe a 4 or 5 right now.
    Wow. Do I identify with that. When my dog died in February, everyone was pressuring me to get another dog, and my response was "No!! I'm sick of being responsible!!" I do think that maybe that is a drag on my happiness at this point. DH is so thrilled with this house in VT, as am I, but he has definitely increased his "what-me-worry?" attitude (and he never had much of that to begin with).
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  9. #19
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    I'm a firm 8. i have my health. My husband and I love and enjoy each other's company even after 38 years. We can afford our hobbies and the travel we want. Retirement is well-funded and continued work adds frosting for some splurges if so desired.

    Optimism: I expect positive outcomes. I expect to be happy. I expect my garden to grow and my harvest to be reflective of my work. I expect to be successful because I put in the hard work. To me, that defines optimism.

  10. #20
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Considering recent studies have suggested that happiness is largely genetic--and depression runs amok in my family--I'm happy to be about a six most of the time. I can imagine being a seven or eight, given the right circumstances. I look like Mary Sunshine compared to a couple of my relatives.
    Last edited by JaneV2.0; 6-13-18 at 12:11pm.

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