View Full Version : What's the theory behind happiness?

26th May 2005, 21:17
So I'm doing the dishes at 22.45 (I dislike doing dishes) and suddenly realise that I am happy.
Not just content, or pleased but just plain very happy.

Now obviously everybody can make a list of stuff that makes them happy. And it will contain some similar stuff and some very individual things. (no, there is no need for you to list outlandish sexual practices or gardening fetishes here thank you;) )

What I am looking for is a bit of theory, an explanation.
So you have all these circumstances in tip top shape and sometimes you're not happy at all inspite of that. Other times, not everything is perfect, yet you know in your bones that you're unequivocally happy.
How can that be? :confused:

26th May 2005, 21:44
Madame, your current disposition wouldn't have anything to do with... Twingo and I were transported home at midnight on/in huge flatbed truck by even huger rasta-haired driver from Suriname. Stopped by his Mum's eatery for fortifications. Great food, swinging place, hilarious clientele, didn't arrive home til nearer 0300. What he told his boss I have no idea. And what if one may ask, did Mme. Falps have to tell Monsieur Falps?! :E

There are those that say that happiness is indeed just another theory. Experts explain it all by chemical balance or should that be imbalance at least in my case? Whatever, I'm pretty sure these days that if someone somewhere is feeling happy, there must be someone else, elsewhere who is feeling down. Not Einstein, but airship's theory of happiness... :sad:

26th May 2005, 21:54
Not strictly on-thread, but I think happiness has a lot to do with effective stress-management techniques. My personal favourite is this:-

Imagine yourself to be in a beautiful place. You can feel the grass under your feet, the sun on your face. Birds are singing. You can see trees nearby. In the distance there is a beautiful view of mountains. There is a slight breeze, and all is peaceful. You can hear water gently bubbling past close by. The water is clear and fresh. It is so clear that without any difficulty whatsoever you can make out the face of the person whose head you are holding under the surface... :E :eek: :D

26th May 2005, 22:01

You are fed, watered, and with a roof over your head.

Food and shelter.

= happy

Onan the Clumsy
26th May 2005, 22:02
I actually don't believe in happiness :sad: existence maybe, but not happiness. Outlandish sexual practices and gardening fetishes help a little, but they only go so far.

...having scrubed on my ignore list helps as well

phoenix son
26th May 2005, 22:03
Hmmmmm, tricky one Flaps,

Sometimes you don't need the finer things in life to put a smile on your face, it can be the simplest, most basic ones that do it for you.

I am sitting here as I type with a nice glass of Sith Effrikan Pinotage, listening to random tracks (currently Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, followed by The Libertines then The Killers) on my mp3 player...Simple pleasures, but hugely important to me at this point in time...

Simplest pleasure of all? And the one that consistently beats everything else hands down? The unquestioning, uncomplicated smile on the face of my 10-month old son every morning when I see him for the first time...:ok:

26th May 2005, 22:09
Just wait until he starts teething, phoenix sonny ... :E ;)

tony draper
26th May 2005, 22:17
The brain is a clever organ, it rewards and punishes us, if we require fuel it makes us feel uncomfortable,when fuel we have taken aboard it rewards us with a pleasurable full feeling ,likewise when we need to eliminate waste,again discomfort and a pleasurable experience when the deed is being done, of the need to propargate the species,one shall say nought,it being obvious.
This punishment reward system is done in a very clever manner, frinstance the endorphines that give us the feeling of pleasure is not released into the system it is ever present, likewise the feeling nasty chemicals are also lurking at all times,what Mr Brain does is release a chemical that unlocks a particular receptor in the brain which allow pleasure pain thingies to latch onto same,these two contrary chemicals are always kept in balance,tiz the keys that unlock the receptors that are measured so one is more dominant than tother
Feeling happy for no apparent reason is dangerous, report back to the laboratory for re programming at once Mamasan Flappy.

27th May 2005, 01:03
I don't analyse it, I just enjoy it while it lasts.

Don't worry, be happy... :ok:

...or pay a visit to the laughing policeman.

27th May 2005, 01:22
Spot on Mr Draper. :ok:

27th May 2005, 01:26
Spot on Onan I say - nail on the head IMHO. :)

Herr D, as always has a, wisened, sensible solution to the matter - reprogram.

The happiness chip must have become faulty due to a bit error and a poor error correction algorithm.

These poor imitation chips that do not meet the parameters of what us UK folks had and enjoyed, cause much anguish - tuning of resonance, capacitors and such.

It simply is not cricket what, what

27th May 2005, 07:01
these two contrary chemicals are always kept in balance,tiz the keys that unlock the receptors that are measured so one is more dominant than tother

Right Drapes, Horkie says you're right so that must be the case then. ;)
But I don't get it.
With your chemicals doing the high-wire act and supposedly balancing eachother out, why is one sometimes happy and sometime sad, even when one has eaten, shat and has had sex?

Hmmmm? ;)

27th May 2005, 07:24
Î think it all comes down to how profound the "worries" are that you have at that particular time.

Small worries like "Forgot to get bread for breakfast" doesn't really show on the scale.

Whereas not knowing where the money will come from to pay for food for the family can be considered a deep concern.

If there are nagging long term "worries" they will be ticking over in the back of your mind - could it be that that triggers the "unhappy key"?

Whereas, loads of positive things such as having succesfully completed a training course, survived a breakdown on a motorway and discovering your daughter has a preliminary >80% exam result after having Russed herself silly for a few days could be releasing more "happy keys"!

Balance between the worries and successes.

Extreme wealth is no substitue for being satisfied that you are "doing well in life".

Lack of wealth does not mean you can not be content with your situation and thus happy. :)

Currently one is bouncing along a line between the two.
Sooner I get a job, sooner the happy keys will kick in! ;)

Loose rivets
27th May 2005, 07:36
Happiness? I remember happiness.

Twas when my bones were joined by supple stuff, and the girls would give me a second glance. Twas when I could lie, covered in grease, under a car half the day and then put on me best bib and tucker and party all night. Twas when Mrs R brought me tea and toast in bed, after a long night flight...and stayed. Twas when the kids were pleased that I lost me job...so that I would be home to play with them more. Twas a smooth landing or a neat little circuit running for the first time in the hobby-shop. Twas the first time mastered a hard plumbing job, or doing a decent bit of tiling. The joy of polishing a decent piece of wood.

When one day I came by a mass of money long before I deserved it, is what happiness was not about. Angst, alienation and fretting was what that gave me. If I daydream now, it's about the ramshackle old red-brick house that I lived in before I ‘moved up in the world'. It had no cavities and no foundations...just ivy to keep the damp out. No rooms had carpets that reached the walls, but there were more varieties of apple in the garden than one can find in all the world now.

Happiness is about setting attainable goals, unless the chase and battle of big business is what drives you. But one should never confuse the thrill of winning, with happiness.

Happiness is getting the balance of smiles and tears just right. A lot of brain chemistry is shed while crying. That may be why humans should do it, but in this modern world, find they can't.

27th May 2005, 07:54

I am not sure if you are talking to me again or not but I will answer you anyway

"So you have all these circumstances in tip top shape and sometimes you're not happy at all inspite of that. Other times, not everything is perfect, yet you know in your bones that you're unequivocally happy."

It has been postulated (ok it was on an episode of Red Dwarf) that happiness is a virus. A positive virus. This explains why even when your life is going pear-shaped around you, sometimes you cannot help but feel good.



tony draper
27th May 2005, 08:10
The Big Place with all the tiles is full of folks wandering about with large zappy grins a perminant fixture on their faces Mamasan Flappyness, leastwise it was until care in the community was mooted.
There is more to life than happyness, when one becomes older and wiser one finds the pleasure centers can be stimlated by a good grump,frinstance, a blistering tirade agin the stupidity of youth can raise one to heights of extasy unatainable by eating fornicating or waste eliminating.
The secret of happyness is grumpyness IMHO

27th May 2005, 08:22
Happiness is....

The perfect ILS...followed by the rumble of the U/C as it carresses the touchdownzone or....

A deeeep hot bath..with at least 3 or 4 cold Carlseburgs..at the ready or...

Vanilla Hagen Das or...

Bon Jovi's..livin on a prayer..as your doing 90mph on a quiet stretch, with a couple of sweeping bends or

The scent and love of a good woman:} or

All of the above combined in some funky post modern dream sequence


27th May 2005, 08:34
Having gone through the depression illness some time back I do appreciate the state of happiness.

We're supposed to be happy. However these days we're bombarded with external things that are supposed to make us happy. They'll please us for sure but happiness is something that cannot be bought nor can any one else give you.
Not saying that the love of someone won't please you but if you're not happy, it won't ease that depression.

Happiness is a state of grace. A reflection of contentment and peace within. If you like, an acceptance of yourself and the world around. Another analogy is the aircraft's dynamic stability. Things will bump it "off course" but it will tend back to the stable condition.

This condition of happiness is essential for us to continue to weather the storms that life will bring.

On aside, don't worry flaps, your roster will come out soon and the happiness will go :D

27th May 2005, 08:46
Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory...

27th May 2005, 09:00
'Tis a dichotomous situation, evincing as many replies as repliers. That's yer first clue.
'Happiness' is unique. To each his/her own. One can offer hypotheses, to garner a greater perception of your own state of being, based on individual experience. What insights are given can point you to the general schedule of reasons yet to truly comprehend happiness in yourself requires a separation.
Physical stimuli are part of the equation. We are more than flesh and electrical impulses, however, and it is that intangible 'self' which feels the happiness/joy/contentment.

What the essence of true happiness is lies in the three 'forms' (for want of a better classification) of love .
Porneo, where one seeks pleasure solely for oneself.
Phileo, where one gives in order to receive and, thence, gains pleasure.
Agapé, where one simply gives without thought of return or repayment.

I say that to say this. Happiness is somewhere in there a right balance of those three, at our very spiritual core. And we feel the greatest happiness when we, through giving of same, recognise the fruits of that happiness in the lives of others.
Especially those nearest to us. For we are designed to be social, in spite of the humanistic dross trying to drown it out.

the subsequent and inevitable outpour decrying this very notion will be evidence enough of how ingrained the world is in its antipathy to higher laws. . .


Doors to Automatic
27th May 2005, 09:08
The key to a happy life is a low overhead

27th May 2005, 09:29
. . . and low combat egress on full AB. . .


27th May 2005, 09:45

you asked for a theory, so here's one: "Happiness" is a female concept - you can't organise it or pay for it, it happens when it shouldn't and doesn't when it should, you can spend your life chasing it, and this can lead to the reverse effect. Men generally don't do the happiness thing - or to take a female perspective, they're way less in touch with their feelings than women. This can actually be a good thing, as life can be so frustrating and Murphy's Law constantly applies.

There's some validity to this, even if you look through the thread - Blacksheep's "don't analyse it, just enjoy it while it lasts", Onan doesn't believe in happiness, and Scrubed with "You are fed, watered, and with a roof over your head. Food and shelter = happy". See where I'm coming from?

I'm certain I'm not the only male here who has been driven mental on many occasion by wife/girlfriend etc announcing that they're "not happy", or being asked "yes, but are you really HAPPY?", you know there's a good chance of a force 10 sh*tstorm coming your way.

So imho, "happiness" is feelings based, fleeting, and actually brings "unhappiness" as a result at times as you're chasing the unattainable in a Pavlovian fashion and, because, as Forrest Gump says, "sh*t happens."

I'm not trying to get up anyone's nose with this, just a thought from years of observation!

27th May 2005, 09:55
Well you need to go back to "Happiness 101" its not theory its practise, like doing the dishes............:hmm:

27th May 2005, 10:54
Washing dishes - mind in neutral - reflect on the past weeks "adventures" - understanding, loving husband - flapette gets 5/6 school grades - life is not so bad after all ;)

High Wing Drifter
27th May 2005, 11:01
Happiness = the meeting or exceeding of expectations.

Apparently, Bangledesh hosts the happiest population in the world.

tall and tasty
27th May 2005, 11:05
I think there are different levels of happiness.

The total overwhelming joy when you have your children and able to watch them grow and learn and marvel at things they have not experience and able to help them when they need it.

That is a totally different feeling of happiness when you smile cos you got a wolf whisle as you walked to work today!!

But saying that happiness can be sitting on a warm beach in the sun and totally relaxed with the rays beating down on you or something as simple as movenpick carmaleta shared with someone special sitting by lake Geneva watching the world go by and forgetting the troubles of the world for just those few minutes

But at the end of the day it is the way you percieve things around you.

I can have totally happy memories about certain places. In fact one place will always make me smile but at the same time tinged with sadness as a sad event happened there at the some time there.

But it is also to do with how you handle things in your life



27th May 2005, 18:28

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas and quirky flippancies.
Much appreciated and much food for thought.
You have again reminded why JB is actually worth the effort. ;)

High Wing, have a look here (http://www.nationmaster.com/red/graph-T/lif_hap_net&int=-1)

27th May 2005, 18:33
Bear 11.. hahaha.. spot on! :ok:

("But are you really happy...???")

Don't question it, just pop another cold one.

Beer that is, not the .... other.

Solid Rust Twotter
27th May 2005, 19:31
Bear11, have to agree with that.

For me, good cuppa, left alone and having the hounds around.:ok:

tony draper
27th May 2005, 20:47
The thing to cultivate is calmness,keep a even keel, a copeceticity, a levelness of mood, extremes, ie extacy or deep anger produce a overshoot of the opposit, a undamped oscillation ,extreme joy the organism desperatly tries to bring you down,deep gloom a overload of cheer up chemicals pumped out by the limbic system,these are primitive emotions,stamp on em.
If you drop a 12 llb hammer on your bare toe,do not hop around shrieking like a loon,grit your teeth,a mild expleteive may be mouthed such as "Oh buckets of hens feathers" or the like ,likewise if your six numbers come up on the lottery, sit down calmly and say,"Hmm it appears one has won the lottery" none of this is difficult it just requires a little aplication.

27th May 2005, 21:33
Happiness? I'm just a bloke with simple tastes.

After a few drinks in the quiet bar of a sumptuous hotel, we are advised by the head waiter that our table for dinner is ready. We are shown to a candle-lit corner. We begin with champage, as we choose the starter and the main course. As the champagne flows, it's glorious bouquet and it's nose-tingling sparkle lifts our spirits and the troubles of the past few days melt away. The food arrives, exquisitely cooked and presented. We eat from each other's fork, savouring every delicious morsel. We gaze into each other's eyes, hers are deep, deep blue, perfectly complementing her dark, flowing hair and her lightly tanned skin, freshly blushed from the sunny afternoon's drive in her Mercedes convertible. As we finish the meal and with crossed arms sip brandy from each others glass, I realise I have never been happier. She suggests we retire early as she would like to try the scented massage oil she bought earlier. She insists on settling the bill on her platinum card, despite my modest protestations that I really must pay for our meal one day.

As we enter the lift to the penthouse suite, she takes my hand, placing it on her bosom and leaning towards me, she gently kisses me full on the lips. Her sweet breath and her soft lips are bliss, heaven, totally filling me with absolute happiness.

She hesitates by the door to the room and her hand very briefly brushes the front of my trousers, bringing me a tingle of expectation.

She slips inside the room, then quickly turns to me and pauses. She holds up both hands, palm towards me and tells me to wait for one minute and she lightly closes the door, leaving me alone in the corridor. The door opens and she reappears, dressed only in a skimpy black lace basque, stockings and suspenders, beckoning me inside the room.

Just then my mobile phone rings; I had stupidly forgotten to turn it off.

"Hallo, luv. Where am I? Late on a job; Yes, yes, I'm just on my way home now. Yes dear - I'll get the fish and chips. Be home in twenty minutes to walk the dog. How's his diahorrea today" :\

The door slams....... I know I'll never see her again :{

Bloody mobile phones :*

27th May 2005, 22:02
Sounds like the onset of menopause Falps. Wait for the swing back the other way. :ugh: