I attended a philosophy meetup and needed a topic on the fly. I asked the question “how to be happy?”. The best part was how the first person tore the question open and answered a better question because happy doesn’t make sense. It’s got more to do with contentment or well being or meaning than caring about a subjective happy mood state that we can get into based on some criteria. Some moments are Sad and should be sad. That’s a good thing, I don’t want to make myself happy in situations where sadness is appropriate.
After that line of thinking died down, we went on to find more pieces of the puzzle. As we can expect, each person had different parts of the puzzle that were more and less important. I struggle to find any of these answers wrong, and it’s remarkable how much each person can know and bring to a discussion.
Here’s the list of suggestions on, “how to be happy?”:
- deal with trauma in a healthy way
- be content, don’t aim for happy
- be aware and stay inside my comfort zone
- do plenty of learning
- avoid being focused on pleasing others
- find a balance
- be productive
- understand emotions and how to work with them
- self understanding
- watch out for alcohol
- seek things you know will make you happy
- crying as a release
- be aware of what doesn’t make you happy
- reduce the gap between expectation and reality
- gratitude/appreciation practices
- remove negative thoughts
- ignore other people’s opinions of you
- being proved wrong about bad things
- wallowing in sadness (is sometimes good)
- interpersonal connections
- threshold around being content
- introspective awareness of contentment
- let go of negative things
I didn’t get to stay for too long pestering them all to generate answers but I appreciate all the contributions I did get. For me I rest in the question. I feel like there isn’t one answer, there is only good questions.
What more is possible?