What makes us happy? | INFJ Forum

What makes us happy?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by #@&5&49, Dec 21, 2012.

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  1. #@&5&49

    #@&5&49 Well-known member

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    I was just watching the documentary "Happy". Very interesting film. It looks at and discusses how people define happiness and what makes people happy. They used a quote by Ben Franklin, “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” The film states that only 10% of a persons happiness comes from success and status, 50% of happiness is genetic, and the other 40% comes from things like pursuing interests, changing routines, etc. It was a fascinating documentary. How do you define happiness? What makes you happy?
     
    #1 #@&5&49, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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  2. OP
    #@&5&49

    #@&5&49 Well-known member

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    gratitude1.jpg
    Gratitude

    compassion.jpg
    Compassion

    support.jpg
    A support network of friends and/or family

    random-acts-of-kindness_large.jpg
    Random acts of kindness

    authentic.jpg
    Authenticity

    dowhatyoulove.jpg
    Do what you love to do

    meaningful.jpg
    Do meaningful things

    play.jpg
    Play

    newexperiences.jpg
    Have new experiences

    =

    happiness.jpg
    Happiness
     
  3. Paladin-X

    Paladin-X Permanent Fixture

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    #@&5&49

    #@&5&49 Well-known member

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  6. SpiralHacker

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    I watched the film.

    I was already familiar with a lot of information in this movie because of my interest in Buddhism that is now more than ten years old and my interest in science of happiness which has lasted at least six years.

    I take notes when I watch meaningful documentaries, like a nerd, so here are my notes from this movie for others who would like a synopsis. There may be typos and I have not edited them.

    Happiness can help you get your other goals, be it relationship or jobs. Happy people tend to function better and live longer.

    50% of happiness is genetic with a certain range of happiness, and even when good or bad things happen to us, we tend to return to our set-point. Circumstances: income, social status, where you live, health is 10%. 40% is intentional activity; actions you choose to do

    Variety increases happiness

    Dopamine: feeling pleasure and happiness. Teenage years onward, you slowly lose dopamine synapses, or dopamine neurons too. If it loses too many, it can lead to Parkinson's. Use it or lose it probably applies here.

    Physical exercises is one of the best releasers of dopamine, especially if you do it in novel ways, like running in the street with others in costume in a costume marathon. Surfing helps. Person interviewed suggests getting away from things and the spiritual perspective on surfing helps him.

    Being 'in the zone' increases happiness, engaged in things for their intrinsic value, for the activity itself. Interview with author of "Flow." You forget yourself, your problems, you're just there and it is a sense of living life worth living. It can even happen at your job.

    People who experience flow on a regular basis are happier than those that don't.

    Daniel Gilbert and how getting what you want and bad things that happen, tend to affect you for a short period of time.

    Story of woman who got run over, disfigured, in the hospital frequently for 9 years, divorced, and the trauma ended up releasing in her memories of young sexual abuse, and she contemplated suicide (but kept saying that's a backup plan, we'll go on for six months), and she found accepting all of life and being ok with it and knowing not all can be known started a healing process. She feels she's happier now than she was before it all started.

    Key element to happiness is resilience. Happy people respond to adversity appropriately but come back to baseline quickly.

    No pleasure without pain, of whatever sort, informational, physical or emotional. Your nervous system is a differential engine. It looks at differences, it cares about contrast; that's all of what it cares about. It integrates information by integrating a lot of little differences about things.

    Although people have more money, more cars, bigger houses today in America, happiness has mostly stagnated. When basic needs are met, more money doesn't seem to buy more happiness. $5,000-$50,000 is a dramatic difference in happiness. $50,000 to $5 million is not dramatic.

    Hedonic treadmill: Whatever goods you acquire, you adapt to it, and always want more. It is one of the main enemies of happiness.

    We studied some of the happiest people, and we found they all had close family and friends. I don't mean they loved everybody, or they got along with everybody but what it meant was every one of them had close family and friends.

    Intrinsic goals: Inherent and satisfying in themselves, but they have to do with intrinsic psychological needs everyone has. Three big ones Personal Growth, Relationships, Desire to Help

    Extrinsic Roles: Focused on external, like rewards, on praise, on getting stuff. 3 Main ones are Money, Image and Status.

    Intrinsic and extrinsic seem to be at opposition to themselves. Extrinsic goal seekers turn to being less motivated and less happy and less energized than people who seek intrinsic goals.

    Japan is the least happy of the wealthy nations. After WWII, all of Japan's workforce was geared towards rebuilding and they prioritized material growth. People are now working such long hours and enduring such stress that they are working themselves to death. Record levels of unhappiness.

    Japanese woman: they always speak of efficiency, and cutting waste, but it seems to always leave out the experience. Her husband seemed tired the day he went to work, he is a quality assurance supervisor for Toyota, and a problem arose on the job and he died.

    Bhutan: In the pursuit of wealth, they saw people lost culture and value of life. Instead of maximizing GDP, they are trying to maximize happiness. Not rich but happy. Very influenced by Buddhism. Damming up and selling energy to India might be profitable but disrupts their habitat and people. They have rules of dress and architecture. The role of government is to help ensure long and happy lives of the people.

    Denmark: Ranks as the happiest place in the world. They are provided free education through college and free health care for life. It has more of its population living in co-housing communities than any other place. Multiple families live on a plot of land or a building and resources are shared between families. Woman explains how if she had moved into a flat by herself she would have got depressed. If a kid gets hurt, one of many people may come, not just their parent and the kids recognize this as beneficial. Her community eats together nearly every evening, they cook one or two times a month, takes four or five hours and having to cook only twice a month saves a lot of energy; they also do the dishes that day. 40-50 people in the community.

    In community we realize our lives are pretty good as is, and I have something to give to others and this shift from what I don't have to what do I have to give, which makes people happier.

    We all need something bigger than ourselves, to care about. For some, structured religion gives them that, but for others a sense of compassion and caring that connects them to people and the Universe. Not all religions are happy. If you look at fundamentalist groups who believe that everyone else is going to hell but their group, they are less happy than others.

    Okinawa's people unlike other Japanese, are happy and live long. They experience flow on a regular basis, getting involved in what they're doing, showing a woman who loves to garden in the mornings before she takes a shower and does laundry. Not much night life but there's bands that from one area that go to other cities and the young and old come out; connects communities. Elders meet in the evening and talk and have tea at the community center. "Icharibachode spirit" means you're already brother and sister right when you meet, even if for the first time, and you feel as if you should do no harm to anybody. Old woman who has no family left but her friends take care of her. They mix the ashes of the dead with a communal coffin to mix with the ashes of everyone else.

    Social bonding, social interaction, cooperation is programmed to be intrinsically rewarding to humans. That's how we inhibit our self interest in order to do something with someone, or we wouldn't cooperate, we'd be totally self interested. We do not behave that way. We are social creatures. When you put people in a social exchange, when given the choice between cooperation and competition, they tend to cooperate and the act of cooperating can release just as much dopamine as a drug.

    Kids getting bullied and feeling isolated, feeling it isn't fair, and things that aren't right.

    Story of some bushmen, aborigines culture, where there is a sense of connection to each other and their environment. They say to laugh is very important. Sometimes they pretend to be a buffalo. They feel responsible for each other's health and well-being. When someone gets sick, everyone participates in the healing rituals.

    Dalai Lama says his first teacher of compassion is his mother. At the start of life it is the life of mother and sucking milk. Her loving and affection and your inherent reaching out to her. A closeness, a bond. Compassion, from birth, is there from the start, in the blood.

    People who do meditations on compassion and loving-kindness that increase happiness more than anti-depressants. Mathieu Ricard: he's just sitting there, and the brain scans look normal, but then he intentionally does compassion and the brain just lights up. Two weeks in this simple compassion practice makes changes similar to but not as powerful as people who do long-term meditation. The size of cortical thickness of certain areas of the brain increase as well.

    Count your blessings on a regular basis. Every Sunday night write down five things you are grateful for. People who did became happier.

    Acts of kindness on a regular basis. Going out and putting change in a parking peter, or visiting someone in a nursing home, or helping a friend with homework, and it seems that acts of kindness are the most effective.

    Man who lives a simple life feeding people in a community, looks like a Gurdwara but it's a home for the dying. He has learned acceptance and tolerance. Most important is to show them that they are loved by God, that their lives are precious and that someone cares. They do everything by hand, and there's a sweetness to take some of the burden away and help them carry it. Feels his life is good because he has never gone hungry, or been in war like his ancestors, he feels his life is a gift, a loan from God, and he will give it back with interest. He feels fulfilled.

    Gratitude, compassion and love, these spiritual emotions and hey make you think of things bigger than yourself. If you always seek your own happiness, it can be a selfish thing, but when you think about the world and others, you care about something bigger than yourself, and in a way you transcend your own life.

    The trick is to be authentic and you. Happiness is a skill, like learning to play the violin or playing golf.
     
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  7. ThisIsWhoIAm

    ThisIsWhoIAm is best pony

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    I love you Sadie you are awesome (no romantic shannenigans). I would add to that beautiful list of things just a technical part, health and well being.
     
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