Life, Musings, This week ...

Get Happy

A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
Jane Austen

The news that Catherine Zeta Jones was treated with bipolar disorder has generated lots of debate. On one hand, praise for her being open about her mental illness and speaking out, on the other hand confusion as to why someone who has so much could suffer with depression. I think it shows that no matter what you have in life, you can still struggle and just because you have money and fame, doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time.

This got me thinking about happiness in general. Happiness is something we all seem to strive for, we want to make the most of our time here and really feel satisfied and content with our existence. But how do you define happiness? How do you know if you’re happy?

I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.
Audrey Hepburn
I know so many people who complain and moan daily. We all live busy, stressful lives – we have to battle with transport difficulties, we have to deal with money worries, the question of whether we are in the right job, we have to search for love ro try to hold on to it and we have to watch the news and see violence, poverty and pollution cast a cloud over our daily activities.
I think it’s so easy to let go of happiness and just fill your mind with all the negative things around us and the world. To forget to count your blessings and be thankful for the good, positive parts of your life. I am so guilty fo this. Sometimes I feel depressed, I feel like every day is the same and I wonder if that contentment, that satisfaction with my life will ever come. But I think that’s okay. We all feel that way sometimes, we just need to programme ourselves to mix it up with some thankful moments as well.
People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.
Joan Rivers
This quote made me smile and ties into the debate on CZJ – she had the money to check into a rehab clinic and get the help she needed. Others may have to suffer for much longer. But whilst I do think having money takes away some of the daily struggles, true happiness is so much more.
Happiness… it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
Vincent Van Gogh
I really like this quote. I know that when I write I feel happy. I’m passionate about it, I love the thrill of creating and I like having the dream that one day the whole wide may see it. I do want to achieve in life. Be it passing exams, getting into University, getting that first job – all those achievements, do make you feel more content. They are like signposts on the journey of life and even if you do end up taking a wrong turn now and then, as long as the final destination is the same it doesn’t matter. We need to be happy that we ar learning along the way. If I got everything I wanted now, would I be happier? I’m not sure, I like aiming for something, I just wish I had a glimpse that all the hard work would pay off one day. That would make it easier for sure 🙂

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

This I can definitely get on board with. It is important to feel and give love. Not just feel it from the people around you or give it to them but also to yourself. To be happy, you need love – to be loved and to give love. If you take away all the money in the world but you still have love, you’ll still be richer than someone who has millions but no-one who cares or to care for.
The theory behind CZJ illness is that she got too stressed nursing her husband through his battle for cancer. To me this shows that her family place love higher than their money and fame. That’s what will get her through this, not her ability to get the best medical help.
I think being happy is down to us. I want to think more positively about life and be thankful for what I have, to avoid feeling depressed because I haven’t ticked off my life to-do list yet. I should enjoy the journey more. And most of all, search for and embrace love in all its forms.
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
Do you struggle with happiness? What do you think the key to happiness is?

39 thoughts on “Get Happy”

  1. Hmmm. Tough question. I loved the quote about having enough money so one could simply buy a key, wouldn’t that be a dream! I think my key to happiness is waking up each day and ensuring I don’t dwell on the negatives of yesterday. That way I have only good things to remember and a whole day to look forward to. If that fails…it’s not foolproof!… then a bout of exercise is great. Gets the endorphins rollin’ my face smilin’ 🙂

  2. hmmm. I’ve too had depression but am now trying to be my more happy self. Simple things make me happy such as music and writing. (Work makes me depressed). Only you can make your life happy. If you take simple steps to start living the life that you want then take them because those small changes that you could make you make your life better. (If you know what I mean).

    I still crave for friends offline and to move out, but am working on those things. For that I blame the stupid, idiotic British governemt! 😀

    At the moment I’m grateful that I’ve got a part-time job (that I hate!) and that i’m builidng up on my writing. Who knows, next year I could be living in Scotland and getting paid for my writing…?! 🙂

  3. I love that post, having happiness in your life is a goal worth striving for. I don’t want to try and come off as some kinda happiness guru, but in systems of knowledge like zen you need not look any farther than inside of you. Personally, in my battle against depression, it seems to be working, but it didn’t happen over night.
    Thanks sharing your wisdom and the quotes!

  4. I like money. I’d rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy. Everybody says that money doesn’t give happiness. Show me one person who thinks that poverty gives happiness?
    I really do believe that if you have enough money that does help you stay happy. After all you can buy prozac, right?

    As for this bipolar disorder, I’m not a doctor but I’d say we really are exaggerating. I mean I could be diagnosed as bipolar disorder (I’m sure I could) but instead everybody around me just thinks I’m overly moody. I get depressed very easily but when I”m happy I’m extatic…

  5. Happiness for me is knowing that no matter how tired I might be I can still manage to get through the day without collapsing – on the rare occassion my CFS flares up it’s what I cling on to.
    Having a wonderful family by my side also helps 🙂

  6. Great post. I’ve always been very sensitive and can get depressed easily. (I don’t watch the news but am still overwhelmed and saddened by horror at what we are doing to the environment, animals and each other) I try to just remember every day how lucky I am…and I try to forgive easily and not hold onto things!

    I also do 100% believe that money can bring happiness. It certainly can not bring all types of happiness (love, friendship etc) but it can bring food, shelter, clothing, medical treatment, music, books, the ability to donate to charity, etc which no one can deny does greatly improve the human condition.

  7. To quote my boys from Liverpool…all you need is love! (Ironically enough Ob Li Di just came up on my ipod) I struggle from happiness but I think a lot of it comes from comparisons. From Fb to social media, at my age I feel like I should be established or at a certain point in my life and I’m not. I take huge pride in what a hard worker I am and for me to have a job that I dont do well and hate, its the main thing that brings me unhappiness which really sucks. This is the most depressed I’ve ever been in my life and as much as I love the money and stability of a paycheck, its not worth it. Life is too short to be miserable which is why I’m quitting!

    1. Haha they were very wise 🙂 I totally relate to that – I always compare myself to others and think why don’t have I this or that (although I have no evidence that they are actually happy with those things)! I think recognising you’re unhappy and doing something about it like you have is really brave and exciting!

  8. Great post! I love the quotes you chose- they are very inspirational. I like the idea of positive thinking to help get through a rough time. This month has been a bit stressful for me so this time is very timely for me.
    Keeping busy and exercising helps my mood. I appreciate everyone’s tips!

  9. To me, happiness is about enjoying the simple things in life. It’s about spending time with positive-minded people and enjoying the journey. It’s not about comparing yourself to others or having the most money.

  10. They say bipolar disorders have something to do with genetics. But they really aren’t sure. What I do see is that it has more to do with the person than it does their circumstances, I think their episodes may be triggered by the circumstances. I feel sorry for these people, it’s like they can’t control it too.

    I think everyone deserves to be happy.

  11. This is a very good post you wrote Vix. It’s interesting to see how we define happiness when reading the varied and interesting comments here.
    Happiness comes from within, and it starts by loving ourselves, and being content in your own skin. If we’re not happy with ourselves, we won’t be happy with anything or anyone.

  12. I am beginning to believe that ones own happiness lies soley in our own hands… I’ve come to learn that I have the power to choose how I greet each day and how I view myself, others and the world we occupy. While happiness can be influenced by outside sources such as family, work, friends, relationships, etc. you do have the ability to CHOOSE to how you react!

    Money doesn’t directly equate to happiness, it does have it’s place. For example, having a couple hundred dollars added to my semi-monthly paychecks would make me less stressed out about bills and spending which then leads to my being more relaxed and content.

    Happiness is a work in progress for me… and I’m ok with that… A work in progress it is 🙂

    Sending happiness to all my friends out there 🙂

  13. Happiness can be elusive. Some think happiness is having money and success. Others believe it’s having the *perfect* relationship. I believe it’s having strong faith in God.

  14. CZJ is so brave to be truthful about that…
    I agree that giving love to others increases our happiness – if we think about it, the times we are unhappy or feel frustrated with our lives it’s because we are stuck in a self-absorbed state of mind… I have a rather self-absorbed mind at the moment, career ponderings and such 😉 I guess we just need to remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination… And that happiness is just the way we decide to see things!
    Love that last quote!

  15. A first ingredient in your quest for happiness is a clarity in your mind, of what you want, because you can’t be happy even if you’re rich unless you know what you want. Riches are a means that can facilitate your quest for happiness. And health, much more than wealth , can contribute to your happiness. And your near and dear ones, and their wealth and health, these are also essential components of your happiness. And meaningful work, which is within your capacity to accomplish, if only you apply yoursef to do it, can get you happiness.Even if do not have riches to the extent that youb
    Desire, the faith that you can get them in time with honest good work can ensure your happiness. And contentment with your lot can be a reasonable definition for a happy state. And since discontent with your lot is the driving force for progress, there can be no permanant state of happiness. Desire and hope propel you on the road to happiness, and happiness is not just one El Dorado.

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