Life on Happiness Road

 

Is there is a magic potion or formula on Earth for happiness? Truly, every person will have their unique set of circumstances, with some common experiences, along ‘the road’ or ‘process’ for attaining and maintaining happiness. I believe true happiness, while consisting of short-term feelings of joy, is long-lasting. In fact, as promised by God to those faithful, happiness is everlasting and eternal.

Goal: State of well-being and contentment; experiencing joy; felicity, aptness; obsolete: good fortune and prosperity.[1]

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The perspective from a half dozen sources are incorporated into this essay.

In this day and age, too many equate success with happiness. While prosperity or notoriety may accompany being happy it no longer a prerequisite.

In my opinion, spiritual people have a huge advantage in achieving happiness. Those that believe that all good things come from God and God wants the best for us, our higher power will bless our lives as we receive God’s grace.

Research in the field of positive psychology and happiness often define a happy person as someone who experiences frequent positive emotions, such as joy, interest, and pride, and infrequent (though not absent) negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and anger (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Happiness has also been said to relate to life satisfaction, appreciation of life, moments of pleasure, but overall it has to do with the positive experience of emotions.[2]

A key to these explanations is that positive emotions do not indicate the absence of negative emotions. A “happy person” experiences the spectrum of emotions just like anybody else, but the frequency by which they experience the negative ones may differ. It could be that “happy people” don’t experience as much negative emotion because they process it differently or they may find meaning in a way others have not. In fact, using the phrase “happy person” is probably incorrect because it assumes that they are naturally happy or that positive things happen to them more often. Nobody is immune to life’s stressors, but the question is whether one sees those stressors as moments of opposition or moments of opportunity.

According to research, happiness isn’t just a state of mind. It affects your heart rate, your body chemistry, and it could contribute to substantial physical health benefits over time. British results showed that people with higher happiness ratings not only had a lower heart rate, but also had lower levels in their saliva of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, and less concentration in their blood of a plasma that’s connected to heart disease.

While some of the differences between happier individuals and their less happy counterparts were small, the researchers point out the potential impact of these seemingly minor variations over an extended period of time. “If differences of this magnitude are elicited in everyday life when people are exposed to daily hassles and challenges,” they write, “the result could be a marked difference in cardiovascular disease risk.” They also note that lower levels of cortisol are related to reduced long-term risk of abdominal obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and immune system problems.

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For years, research has shown that reducing depression, stress, anxiety, and other negative states decreases the risk of heart disease and other maladies.

This study has gone a step further by linking a positive emotional state to physical health benefits. Indeed, when the researchers measured their participants’ levels of psychological distress, they found that the physical health benefits of happiness occurred independent of whether or not participants showed any signs of depression or another negative state. This suggests that there may be a distinct biology of happiness that carries its own set of health benefits, beyond the benefits of simply not being depressed. [3]

There are some key factors to keep in mind:

A) Focus on the right things and not critically compare.

  • Each one of us has something to be joyful about, the problem that destroys the feeling of being filled with joy is comparison – when we begin to compare our lives to others and not look at what we have been currently given.
  • It is of high significance in the aspect of discovering joy that we do not look past our gifts and blessings but rather appreciate them and figure out ways on how we can multiply them.
  • Happiness-Joy starts from within, it is a decision one has to make on how they are going to perceive things in their life.

In as much as success may bring as happiness, let us not forget to smile all the way while we strive towards what we desire. Happiness can also be realized one step at a time, one decision at a time, one goal at a time.[4]

b) A ‘mental diet’ for a healthy attitude is very important in life.

The human is a fragile being led by fear, that could engulf himself. Happiness eludes him as he tends to blame other people, the environment, or even fate for this. Woe often she creates the illusion that she is completely helpless to determine her own direction of life. Happiness lies within the human being not riddled by fear, guilt, fate, and bad weather.

Only he can create it. How he succeeds will depend on his attitude and efforts to nurture it. For some individuals, the sense of happiness is brought by material things a new car, winning money, and other people, activities, health. However, only a few keep this feeling for a long time. After some time after the stimulus that caused the feeling of happiness, one wants something new. Feeling a routine, things and people get upset, need innovation. This is because people don’t appreciate what they have.[5]

c) Happiness is not merely a static psychological state.

Aristotle shares a crucial part of happiness, which is staying active. How many “happy” people do you know who sit at home all day, everyday? They might be content or “ok” temporarily, but are they truly thriving in happiness? Happiness is often found in the doing of what you’re passionate about and in building connections that are meaningful to you. Research has supported this with findings showing that strong social support is correlated with a number of positive outcomes. You might be in a rut now and you might have moments where you lose your connection to life, but you always have the opportunity to rebuild that connection.

So now it’s your turn to begin finding the happiness in you. What brings you joy? Maybe it’s a night in watching TV. Maybe it’s a night out at a new restaurant in town. Maybe it’s staying up late watching a movie with your significant other. Maybe it depends on your mood. Wherever your happiness resides, go enjoy it.[6]

d) Be realistic and manage stress.

As the founder of Daily Love, Martin Kipp has said, “I don’t expect to always be happy, I simply accept what is — And that acceptance is key. This is what self-love is all about, really, acceptance and the ability to love yourself right where you are.”

Research suggests that happiness is a combination of how satisfied you are with your life (for example, finding meaning in your work) and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis. Both of these are relatively stable — that is, our life changes, and our mood fluctuates, but our general happiness is more genetically determined than anything else. The good news is, with consistent effort, this can be offset. Think of it like you think about weight: if you eat how you want to and are as active as you want to be, your body will settle at a certain weight. But if you eat less than you’d like or exercise more, your weight will adjust accordingly. If that new diet or exercise regimen becomes part of your everyday life, then you’ll stay at this new weight. If you go back to eating and exercising the way you used to, your weight will return to where it started. So it goes, too, with happiness.

In other words, you have the ability to control how you feel—and with consistent practice, you can form life-long habits for a more satisfying and fulfilling life.[7]

e) Love is what bring happiness.  Loving others and activities.

Unfortunately, if we lack love, we are less likely to have inner happiness or less capable of bringing happiness to others.  We might live doing only what we want in order to get momentary satisfaction, not happiness.  If what we want is of selfish, greed, jealousy, hatred, favoritism, prejudice, we are likely to end up hurting others.  Because we all do it so we all suffer.  To stop suffering and have happiness, we have to forget ourselves and come to God for love.  Forgetting ourselves seem like a big loss but is truly a great gain.  Forgetting ourselves means we are not going to do what we want if it is of selfishness, greed, jealousy, hatred, favoritism, prejudice and therefore we do not hurt others.

Forgetting ourselves get rid of all the times we think of ourselves, of what we want, of how others have hurt us which take us away from reality, make our minds tired, make us suffer. Forgetting ourselves alone doesn’t bring us happiness in itself but is a necessary step.  The next step to happiness is love.  We can get love from thinking about God.  When we think about God, we know and feel love and when we ask for love, God then gives us love.  If we don’t think about God, we are not going to know or feel love.  When we forget ourselves and have love from God, it’s like we lose ourselves but gain far much better, happy selves.[8]

That is the essence to true happiness.

          Scientific American published a special issue, “The Science of Happiness.”[9] A common theme was kindness, gratitude and optimism. A happy person within a social circle quickly influences those around him or her to be happy, extending to three degrees of separation.

Our modern lives are cluttered with circumstances to be unhappy, jet we can become more resilient to stress and nourish our minds similarly as we take care of our bodies through healthy eating and exercise. Long- lasting happiness states are possible by practicing acceptance, gratitude, reexamining attitudes, feeding your sense of humor, smiling, and learning how we might better engage in activities that we love, and find positive outlets for love of our environment, interests, people and God.

——————

[1] Merriam Webster Dictionary

[2] Lyubomirsky, et.al., 2005

[3] Michelle Flythe, The Biology of Happiness, Mind & Body blog, Greater Good Berkeley.EDU

[4] Humanity Lives On; You Are Not Alone

[5] Easy Diet Blog on Word Press.Com by ILONAPULIANAUSKAITE

[6] Rubin Khoddam, PhD, Psychology Today, June 2015.

[7] Acacia Parks, Ph.D, Happify Daily.Com,

[8] TrueHappy.Net, Have Happiness?

[9] The Science of Happiness, Scientific American, October 29, 2011; https://www.scientificamerican.com/report/science-of-happiness/

https://maxsscoutservicesllc.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/dont-believe-the-rumors-and-spread-the-stigma/

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Part V in a Series: Psychoanalytic Analysis of a Major Life-Changing Event [that of my ex-lover]

May Day 2018                                                                             5/18/18

Fridays used to have greater meaning for me and my buds. Now that I am approaching old folks age, I can still remember some of the details.

About 20 years ago, my best buddy was my spouse and we were very content to order an Avanti pizza, rent a movie from a local Blockbuster shop, and hang out in the living room as a family. This had been going on decades or so until we began watching the Friday night cable TV and rented movies, the kids would go out and play with their friends, as we separately went to the study and worked on the computer and Internet. Sadly, this got old too soon.

Nevertheless, we seemed successful to take this time to recharge for the active weekend and going back to work on Mondays.

My ex-wif seemed to enjoy giggling and flirting with our divorced next door neighbor along the fence line. No foolin’, I was able to witness it by looking out the kitchen window while I toiled on washing the pots and pans… silly me, I didn’t think too much of it.

 

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Hanging Out – Shhh… Julius Caesar is Napping

About the time our family had achieved “empty nest” status interpersonal relations in the household hit an all-time low during 2005 or so. Some of us were willing to work things out and the other parts of us were ready to give up, ‘cut bait’ and go fishing in some other water hole.

I felt like I was a lucky one who had Country Corner (pictured above) across the street for me to ‘chillax’, smoke some stogies, drink free excellent coffee and have intercourse (conversations) with neighbors and make new friends. Nowadays, the kind proprietors who operated the corner store have passed away (2017-2018) and are having intercourse amongst the angels in heaven.

Excuse me, I have to walk the dog… to be continued…

 

copyright 2018

Max’s Scout Services and Communications of the Americas, LLC

[ for musement only ]

Dear Abby, What are We Going to Do with Our Roommate “S”

Dear Abby:

A few minutes ago, [11 a.m., 5-2-18] “R” returned to this property. He went out back and grabbed mop heads and BBQ equipment. He also demanded that I write him a check, this one for $50.

Another unsettling event [6:30 p.m. on April 21) happened while I was lying in bed, someone came into my room without knocking. The familiar man was followed by “M”.

‘M’ mentioned that he would be moving back here. ‘M’ did not say that he was moving in immediately.

Is this property becoming a care home, like “A” has on Evergreen?

When I moved here in November, this property was an unlicensed SLE with a resident House Manager. I can handle change but it is really hard for me now as I try to rehabilitate my health.

For the record,

  • On Monday I had an Lumbar-5 procedure on my left side.
  • Tuesday, I received a cortisone shot in my right shoulder.
  • Thursday, I received Orthovasc silicone injections into both knees.
  • Next Tuesday, I get a second opinion from a psychiatrist at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
  • Ten days ago, I had skin cancer removed from my left cheek (face, not butt ;<) ).
  • This coming Tuesday, I will be returning from same-day surgery. PAMF is doing an endoscopy and I will need to rest for 24 hours afterwards. (oops, Dr. Scott found an ulcer in my small intestine).

A couple weeks ago you offered to move me to the rear BR that was occupied about 2 years by “R”. Almost every day, I have done something to try to clean up the room. It is entirely unfurnished, so I have looked into renting furniture from Cort and getting installation from Xfinity/ Comcast. I’d estimate that rental contracts with Cort and Xfinity would cost $230 and $160 each, respectively. Ms. A. H.” want to rent it furnished. Well, I am have accepted your kind offer.

As one with a recognized disability receiving SS income and trying to supplement my income by writing and publishing, these potential rental arrangements may or may not be viable.

In the meantime, I invited my acquaintances – Matthew and Marie – to take a look at this property. Both are able to take care of themselves, become great housemates, and work for the owner. [I wrote the above a couple hours ago. What follows below was written after 9:00 p.m.]

“S”, in my opinion, is not at all ideal for this household. Furthermore, I from weeks of experience know that he will be a terrible roommate or housemate for me.

The over-riding concern is not his lack of personal hygiene. Not the fact that he appears to be completely deaf and dumb (unable to speak). Poor Scott is ill and not able to take care of himself. In the past, “S” has made no effort to go see doctors or a dentist.

In fact, “S” had agreed with “R” to go to the dentist at UCSF and an appointment was made for February 20. “S” stayed here the entire day.

Dental health may be a minor health issue for “S”. I believe his mental and physical health is very poor. Who will be responsible?

I do not know of anyone who could tolerate “S’s” behavior.

Gross behavior, making noise, and being unwilling to communicate (in writing) or otherwise are additional issues.

Frankly speaking, “S” habitually cuts farts, making no effort to leave the room, go outside, or go sit on the toilet.

“K” said he would manage “S”. During the first 4 hours, I have not seen anything “Ka / Ke” has done to help “S”. Something as simple as using the shower or eating dinner has not been offered to “S”. Now, “K” is out-of-town for weeks, I assume.

Living around “R” was very difficult. Sure, he was a “bully” but he tried to be considerate and urge others to contribute to maintaining the house. With “S”, I have seen little effort put forth on his part to maintain the physical conditions of the house during the weeks we roomed together during January, February, and March.

Note that “S” left suddenly on his own. Packing up and leaving about 9:00 p.m. Why? I believe, to avoid communicating with others and refusing to compromise and more successfully assimilate himself into a shared living situation. I ask for your help in any way that you can. Thank you.

His judgments and behavior are troublesome for the rest of us.

Other annoying and nuisance things that occur daily is “S” walking around half-naked, not washing his hands before preparing food in the kitchen, exposing others to his dermatitis problems with his feet and hands, peeing while the bathroom door is open, slamming doors, sliding the noisy back door during sleeping/quiet hours (10 pm to 6 am), not flushing the toilet, leaving water running in the shower and bathroom sink, laughing ‘diabolically’, putting soiled dishes and silverware back into the kitchen cabinet, rambling verbally on-and-on, and doing things without asking others if it is the right time to do whatever.

Lately, I spend practically an hour a day cleaning up things “S” should be doing in the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, back of the house patio, and the front yard and patio. For instance, I have to rewash dishes, pans, and silverware that “S” uses and attempts to wash and dry. His smoking behavior is not friendly particularly for the family with children that live in 1559 Shoreview. Moore is out of town and cannot intervene. “K” is out of the country and cannot provide care for Scott’s needs.

His diet is questionable given his overweight. “S” mostly consumes white bread, American cheese sandwiches, toast with butter, and sometimes eats the meals delivered Monday through Friday from Samaritan House’s Mobil~Wheels program. A couple days ago, “S” threw five salads from Draeger’s (worth about $11 to $15 each) in the garbage, without consulting with anyone.

Last night, “S” was up during dark hours smoking in the back seating area. I awoke and found a mess of smoking materials in the front patio smoking area.

He (“S”) utters sounds [sounding like a dog, goose, or goul) while sitting by himself that are both intelligible and scare some passersby along Shoreview Avenue. His attempts to say high and be friendly are largely misunderstood and affects other residents’ interrelations with neighbors and strangers walking by.

In summary, he needs better medical care. I have lived with schizophrenics before and his overt behaviors are symptoms that his prescription medicines are NOT effective. Any future delays in seeking proper medical care only make matters worse.

“M” has been a ‘God’s send’ around here. He does not deserve to assume responsibilities for Scott’s physical, spiritual, and mental health.

As a house manager, “M” has much to be responsible for already. Is this now a ‘care home’?

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I hate to think that either “M” or “K” are educated, qualified, and licensed to supervise occupant’s health and personal needs.

It is not fair to them to have “S’s” issues dumped on them.

Today, I learned that a local restaurant gave “S” a job washing dishes. Yet at home he doesn’t. Such is irony. Can we discuss what needs to be purchased for our home? Not likely. But I tried on Sunday.

How can “S” keep a job, keep a place to live, and become healthy? These ought not be our responsibility nor our worries.

Sincerely,

David A. Dailey, Occupant in Room B, 1561 Shoreview, San Mateo, DADailey@gmail.com;

Part II of a Multi-Party Psychoanalytic Review of Significant Life-Changing Event [of an ex-lover]

After an afternoon’s rest, it is simpler to reflect on the past, ‘what ifs’, contemporary music, doing a bit of cookin’, and achieving a better sense of PEACE. I credit Pastor Father Fabio Medina (St. Anthony’s Menlo Park) for reminding me recently that a person needs to first be AT PEACE before one can understand The Word and the world.

If we are successful at PEACE and understanding, we can better explain what it ALL means: Life, the Gospels, and our pathway in the future. I wish youth could do this and furthermore find their ‘calling’ in life utilizing the talents, time, and treasure they have to offer mankind and their immediate community.

Some Americans, I have to accept, are stout Democrats. But why would a stout Hillary Clinton supporter marry a Republican that doesn’t believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?!? I suppose, only God knows.

Hillary Supporters
Where are the eyes and ears of Hillary supporters?

In my latest ‘epistle’ I addressed the issues I should have regarding an ex-wif finding another mate and better ‘put myself in her place’ in order to settle matters between the two of us and a third person, namely our daughter.

Here is an excerpt of my earlier writing:

Naw, she (the EX) could not understand how elated I was that she would be able to retire next week and not have to work in a preschool daycare center until she aged to 80 or so. My vows specifically stated ‘until death do y’all part’ and I had still felt responsibility for her health insurance premiums, mortgage payments, property taxes, raising our daughter, and the re-sale value on a $2 to $3,000,000.00 house in beautiful County of San Mateo.

Our children are the very most people in our lives; well, this is true 80% of the time.

Excuse me, I need to go check on the Lasagne in the oven and go take a cat nap.

 

copyright 2018

Max’s Scout Services & Communications of the Americas, LLC

[ for musement only ]

 

Celebrate Black History Month and Special Thanks to Inventors

American George Washington Carver is probably the most prolific inventor . . . what he did with peanuts and sweet potatoes/yams.

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My favorite has got to be J. B. Rhodes, who in 1899, invented the water closet.

Secondly, I am forever grateful for J. Standard who invented the refrigerator eight years (in 1891) before the modern toilet was available.

The contributions of African-Americans goes on and on. Thank God for their contributions to society!

Resolutions?!? Smitheroochians

Why make resolutions that cannot be achieved?!? Thus, I am picking good things that are achievable (although numbered, these are in no particular order or priority; they are all important). Here are my eighteen resolutions for 2018:
Questions and Answers signpost
1. Just once, when I get a bad haircut . . . be HONEST and tell the hairdresser so.

2. We can be proud about our own and loved ones’ HUMILITY. This has worked for the Dalia Lama, Buddha, and Jesus Christ.

3. TRY to make a good habit = a No Fault Attitude. Practice apologizing, even when I am not at fault. If I do it three times, it may become a habit.
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4. LOVE one another more. Encourage two pairs of people to develop a more caring relationship.

5. Keep in mind my own SAFETY. As a reminder, look at my four fingers and thumb to ‘fight to save’ all five digits.

6. Pick Six . . . Do something good for a FAMILY member that is unsolicited.

7. Accept LUCK. If 7 isn’t my lucky number, obtain a new one.

8. Use the good SENSES I have going for me. Common sense is one, too. What if I went blind tomorrow? Continuing practice walking in the dark or doing simple tasks with my eyes closed.

9. Do not go more than one day in-a-row without prayer, thanks, or meditation.

10. Perform random acts of KINDNESS at least ten times in 2018. Keep track of them but don’t tell others in order to get credit.

11. Be a better sport. CELEBRATE at least eleven times this year after my favorite team loses. This is achievable because my favorite teams lose often.

12. GIVE UP something I like for a week; Once a month.

13. GAIN 13 pounds. Last fall, I was more than 20 pounds underweight.

14. E – E – E – E. Eat and exercise every day. This should be EASY.

15. Reduce ‘Dumb Phone’ use. Go a couple days without phoning or texting my best friend (of course, warn them ahead so as to not generate ‘any bad blood).

16. BUILD on Teamwork. Once and a while, ask for help even if I do not need it.

17. LEARN two new ways to cope with pain.

18. Remain OPTIMISTIC even though the POTUS behaves poorly, those around me do not experience success, and those close to us pass away.

copyright 2018 – Max’s Scout Services & Communications of the Americas

Holidays this Monday, March 13

There are at least six holidays to choose from and celebrate Monday:

  • National Napping Day (useful with the new daylight savings time)
  • Earmuffs Day (comes in handy with heavy snows in the East and Midwest)
  • Jewel Day (sounds like it could be expensive)
  • K-9 Veterans’ Day (“arf, arf”)
  • Open an Umbrella Indoors Day (watch out) or
  • National Good Samaritan Day

Whatever your pleasure, have a terrific Monday!

aloha
Show the 99% the Aloha Spirit