Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happiness Baseline?

I was recently reading a couple of books that both mentioned baseline levels of happiness. Basically, that we’ll inevitably adapt and return to our genetically determined baseline level of happiness, regardless of our experiences.
First, what are your thoughts on this?
Are some people "destined" to be happier than others?
Can people become happier?
And, if so, are they doomed to return to their baseline, which may be below an "average happiness level"?
Things to think about.

Me? I think it's more about personality and choices.
Yes, certain personalities tend to be more meloncholy,
but that doesn't necessarily mean they are less happy.
For one thing, they may rate happiness differently.

I do believe, for sure, that people can become happier.
Or change their baseline, for that matter.
I believe that many people have slight fluctuations...

And some personalities, like mine, tend to do spikies.
(Yep, that's a psychological term, I'm sure.)
My "normal" happy level is pretty high, I think.
The world is great, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, what's not to love?
But when I do feel sad, it's like a sudden downward spike...nothing gradual about it.
Thankfully, I usually spike back up again just as quickly.

Awesome graphics, right? Thanks.

I don't believe I'm genetically predisposed to be above-average on the happiness scale.
As far as I'm concerned, it's habit.

Do you make a habit of appreciating each new day?

Does each sunrise still mean something?
Do you stop to smell the flowers?
Do you notice the little miracles all around you?

Are people predisposed to happiness?
Or do some people LEARN to continually appreciate goodness?

I believe it's habit.
And a reminder, now and again, doesn't hurt. :)

Today choose to smile.
Look around you and notice your blessings.
Let your thankfulness pour off of you, and affect others.


Jenny said...

I don't think people are predisposed to happiness but I do think it comes easier for some than others. A child that grows up in a house with constant bickering & complaining will have a harder time learning how to be happy than one that grows up in a home with laughter, grace & a grateful heart.

I also think happiness is something you can learn.

It's always good to encourage yourself to be grateful.

Amy Ha said...

I agree with you and Jenny. I think think in many ways, happiness is a learned art. In my opinion, it comes from being right with God and others. We will never fully make it there in this life, but the closer we get, the more deep and unshakable happiness we have. And that may look different on different people, because God made us each unique.

I like your mixture of intelligent musings with gorgeous photos. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your graphics :)

I am certain personality plays a great role but even then we can learn to CHOOSE happiness (ex. by practicing gratitude daily). And while life experiences may also influence this it cannot entirely explain it. Why are there wealthy people living lives of comfort who kill themselves? Or people living in poverty in Africa, say, who exude great joy?

Anyways, I believe that whether or not it comes easily, it is a choice we CAN make each day.

Krista ODD said...

Me again (Kika-didn't sign in above): another thought too - I suspect that there are sooo many people walking around unhappy or with mood imbalances and thinking "it's just the way they are" when good nutrition or a little supplementation could make a huge improvement for them!

entropy said...

Traveling through your back posts here...

I'm reading a book right now called _How Children Succeed_ and it mentions that kids (and adults) that are optimistic fare better in life: they're happier. It also mentions that optimism can be learned so while we may have a baseline that we start from we're not predestined to stay there or return to it...we can choose. That's inspiring.

Loving your blog and your art. Do you ever sell any?