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What causes happiness?

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leeCal
leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Championing
edited January 2023 in Coffee lounge
We all find out sooner or later that simply getting something doesn’t make us happy for long (impact bias) so what does?
What habits for example can we employ to make happiness stick around for longer? 

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
― Dalai Lama XIV

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  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Championing
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    That's a good question @leeCal not one that's easily answered.

    If you put me on the spot I'd say one way to help happiness stick around longer is to always have something we can look forward to, or feel grateful for.

    It could be a nice cup of tea, a favourite TV show, or something bigger like a trip away, or loved ones visiting :) 

    I'd love to know if you have any ideas you'd like to share?
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  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Championing
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    It’s true that paying attention to the small things in life and feeling grateful for what we have rather than what else we could have are good habits to nurture @Alex_Scope. Mindfulness is a way of doing the above of course but it doesn’t have to be difficult, just slow down sometimes and focus on what you’re doing or what you have in life. 

    Getting a good nights sleep is another way to help ourselves feel like being happy in the first place. Sleep helps the brain to remove toxins which have built up throughout the day due to normal neuronal activity.

    Exercise is another good habit to develop as it releases feel good hormones into our system, it’s also a healthier way to be. I acknowledge that some people would find certain exercises difficult to do fo course.

    Not being pessimistic is another good way to beat the blues. Pessimism is often a self fulfilling prophecy and tends to make us focus on what’s wrong with our world, and guess what... we can find plenty wrong if we’re that way inclined. Being optimistic is better for us and gives us hope for the future instead of a negativity which cloaks our day to day lives and dulls our experiences.

    There are a few other ways to set ourselves up for happiness, perhaps others will join in. 

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 55,933 Championing
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    Music lifts the spirits.  I second having something to look forward to. Seeing family. Having a trip to the hairdressers, a coffee out, a natter with old acquaintances and freinds, even strangers.  Sunshine also makes me feel happier.
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Championing
    edited January 2023
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    Music is a great way to cheer yourself up often I agree. 

    Comedy is another healer, along with trying to see the funny side to things and perhaps not taking yourself too seriously. Having a good sense of humour is I'm sure most would agree a very important ingredient in our happiness recipe. Often the smallest of things that go wrong can seem so important, but are they really? In the scheme of things life’s too short to sweat the petty stuff as they say. 

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Championing
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    One of mine is not to worry about things you can't change and influence what will be will be 

    Also don't dwell on things from the past that upset you leave them in the past look forward and learn from them . 

    I do believe things happen for a reason and makes us the person we are 

    I know some won't agree that have had abuse or something similar which is obviously not easy to forget or come to terms with and I totally understand some things will never be acceptable or understood 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,139 Championing
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    I suspect that being satisfied with who you are and accepting that the bad things that have invaded your life weren't because you did anything wrong but that bad stuff happens quite randomly.

    2024 Election won

  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Championing
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    Its also a good idea to have positive people around you too if that's at all possible.

    Additionally helping others can improve our sense of self worth, as does giving small gifts from time to time to our friends or family.

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 5,022 Championing
    edited January 2023
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    I'm more and more convinced that it's the lack of over-thinking that is the main difference between 'happy' people and 'not happy' people. 

    How someone stops over-thinking I'm not sure. I'll let you know once I've thought on it some more ;):D 
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,911 Championing
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    I find journaling can make me happy even when sad, because I've been able to get it out somewhere. 

    I also find buying books makes me happy, especially if I don't look at my bank balance at the end of it :D
    Hannah - She / Her

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  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Championing
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    I agree @Biblioklept, overthinking and ruminating especially in cyclic manner is like chewing on an old rubber bone with false teeth. 

    I used to overthink myself and my children still do a lot. I stopped to a great degree either due to retirement or meditation,  I’m not sure which since I took up meditation on retirement. Of course being retired I don’t have to interact with obnoxious or troublesome people in the main, I can choose my company especially if I avoid public transport. One thing I try to remember though if I begin to worry overly about something is that “right here, right now, I’m fine”. I once asked Terry Waite what one thing helped him get through his five years of illegal incarceration and he said he repeated the same words that I use! Simply saying them though isn’t enough, you have to believe it’s true. 

    Heres a link which others suffering from overthinking might find helpful.
    https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/overthinking-ruining-life

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 55,933 Championing
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    Little things like seeing the washing blowing on the line
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Championing
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    Another interesting link about how to be happy
    https://jamesclear.com/impact-bias

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,200 Championing
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    Thank you for the links @leeCal - someone else who believes in what you say can be seen in the video which I shared in a link over 2 years ago. Altho it has a few minutes on the disorders I have at the brginning, it's important for everyone. If you do nothing else watch from 24 mins in about an amazing young man:  https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/73483/longevity-wellness-diet-exercise-meditation-mindfulness-happiness-video

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