"The surprising science of happiness"

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,625
Athens, Greece
The surprising science of happiness

I found several ideas in this 21 minutes talk very interesting and challenging to the common notions regarding happiness and how to achieve it.

If you're interested in the topic, it might be worthwhile watching the video. I'd like to read your thoughts about it.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,030
The surprising science of happiness

I found several ideas in this 21 minutes talk very interesting and challenging to the common notions regarding happiness and how to achieve it.

If you're interested in the topic, it might be worthwhile watching the video. I'd like to read your thoughts about it.
At the moment he said "if it happened over 3 months ago, it has no impact on happiness"... he lost me...

It is simply not true, at least not for me
 
Nov 2016
1,262
Germany
From a logical point of view, happiness is a state of narcissistic delusion. Everything negative in the world is pushed out of consciousness and the momentary satisfied state of one's own condition is set absolutely. It is a kind of emotional stupefaction, a hormone-controlled state of idiocy.

The hormones involved are:
In other words, how can you be happy in good conscience when thousands of other people are suffering at the same time?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,030
In other words, how can you be happy in good conscience when thousands of other people are suffering at the same time?
Why would the unhapiness of distant others have an impact on your happiness ?
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,445
Australia
From a logical point of view, happiness is a state of narcissistic delusion. Everything negative in the world is pushed out of consciousness and the momentary satisfied state of one's own condition is set absolutely. It is a kind of emotional stupefaction, a hormone-controlled state of idiocy.

The hormones involved are:
In other words, how can you be happy in good conscience when thousands of other people are suffering at the same time?
By being happy in ' bad conscience ' ? Or being happy and then when you interact with the less fortunate, being sympathetic and helpful.

Constantly being unhappy isnt going to fix others problems . And referring to other people's happiness as idiocy , sounds more like jealousy to me ..... Mr Grouch !

As far as your list of chemicals goes , so what ? That applies to all states of consciousness ; ' consciousness is chemical ' .
 
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Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,503
Malaysia
One should not have to do a PhD, or otherwise engage in some overly intense research, to work out for oneself what one ought or ought not to do find this 'happiness' LOL.

For starters, how about some simple things like:

1. Reevaluating your expectations, and readjusting them accordingly if need be;
2. Shedding bad or potentially destructive things like anger, jealousy, negativity, despair or disappointment, envy, obsession & other similar unproductive baggage, which can be burdensome & tiring on your soul.

Obsession with unattainable perfection can be a massive hindrance, I reckon. Perfect feeling, perfect mood, perfect self-image, perfect look, perfect attitude, perfect circumstance, perfect environment, perfect control, perfect whatever.

You observe little kids, you observe animals, they never seem to need too much to be 'happy'. Why? Because they have relatively low expectations for themselves. They all have little care for 'perfection'.

In that regard, we are indeed often to blame for our own miseries, thereby making this 'happiness' unnecessarily much more elusive for ourselves, by putting on ourselves overly lofty expectations.

And when we do 'find' this 'happiness', we might even need some substantial effort to realise that it is actually already there for our taking.

Not that when that happens we can actually 'grab hold' of this 'happiness' & 'put in a cage' for our own lasting benefit.

Nope. You can't. Not even if you die trying.

You cannot 'possess' this 'happiness'. Not ever. If & when you 'find' it, all that you can do is only to 'surrender' yourself to it & 'be possessed' by it.
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,583
Planet Nine, Oregon
Happiness relies on attachment to illusions and so is bound to be transitory; it's about the process, the journey, not the obtaining or arriving.
 
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May 2012
166
Sacramento CA USA
[tomar]: "At the moment he said "if it happened over 3 months ago, it has no impact on happiness"... he lost me... "

I haven't watched the video, but I assume that Dan Gilbert is referring to the hedonic treadmill.

Research appears to be mixed wrt that theory. My personal experience and perspective is mixed as well.
 

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,503
Malaysia
I would rather disagree with that 'three months' part. The memories you have of your first serious love, for example, would remain with you forever.

You might be wishing that some things had turned out differently, if it did not work out favourably for you. But still, the sweetest parts, they would be immortalised forever in some part of your heart, and bring you a certain joy every time you reminisce about them.

Because those special moments were just about you & them, and noone else. They were real, they did happen, nothing & noone can take those away from you.
 
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Feb 2019
894
Pennsylvania, US
This is a rather interesting topic... the video actually was helpful for me as someone who typically overthinks (frontal lobe simulation addict, I guess) things. I feel like you can always try to reduce feelings down to their most rudimentary elements ("good" versus "bad") and write off the ability to cultivate appreciation for something new or the ability to overcome suffering as "simulated happiness"... but depending on your individual bent thinking of it in those terms can be rather depressing. LOL. A trip to Paris versus several grueling days working on building a barn in 90 F degrees may seem like "good" and "bad"... but it all depends on what you value, I suppose. You could come away from Paris with new insight into life, a new appreciation for art and the world around you, a time of restorative leisure... you can also come away from the "bad" scenario with a renewed sense of confidence, a feeling of personal accomplishment, a new fearless approach to the future. Are those feelings about the "bad" scenario synthesized? I suppose much of this depends on your character and the elements that you wish to develop within yourself.

I am often far more shocked by the stories people confide in me, where their "synthesized" happiness keeps them in absolutely miserable or abusive scenarios... when there is a better alternative, but that the one they have is somehow the path that fate has them on and they are willing to put up with alarmingly sad daily lives. IDK. I may be taking the premise out of context incorrectly or applying it wrongly, but to me it often seems that people are more willing to shut down negative feelings to "synthesize happiness" than they are willing to resolve the causes of those feelings and live their lives with a more genuine sense of happiness, contentment and meaning...
 
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