The thread on envy made me think about how there is something undeniably tragic about human joy. Once we get accustomed to the object or subject causing us joy, our positive feelings gradually decrease. It seems as being able to experiment joy requires ongoing work. We may be very enthusiastic at the idea of being in a relationship with someone, and experience great joy in the process, only to feel our joy diminish once we are in the relationship since a long time. We might be extremely enthusiastic at the idea of getting that big house we always wanted, only to realize a year after we have purchased it that are initial joy has faded and we are now used to our good.
Happiness demands reminding ourselves constantly of how grateful we are to have what we have. How many of use are not fortunate enough for our good health? For the fact that we leave in a country without war? Knowing that we will probably never be tortured? That our loved ones do not face a big threat of death?
However, easier said than done. I've tried to come up with my own ways to be happy and keep that positive feeling up. Here are some of the ways I've found, there's a little bit for each type (I/E, S/N, F/T, P/J):
- Make a positive comment about someone that genuinely popped up in your head (don't make one just to make one, it will come out fake!)
- Delight yourself in something simple that you have: a glass of water, some bread, a nice bath, etc. and experience consciously what you're doing (i.e. This is such a great bath! It's awesome to have a bath at home).
- If you compare yourself to someone that you feel has more than you, remember that it's relative and that there are also many people that have less than you
- Delight yourself in small achievements: cooking a meal, coming up with a new idea, thinking about a new possibility, pinpointing a feeling you have, understanding what motivated you, clearing up after a meal, etc.
- Stop doing something that you usually do for a couple of days. When you do it again you will remember how satisfying it is. Example: don't use your computer at home for three nights in a row.
- Read a new joke each morning
- Make a list of 5 people close to you and put in 5 positive traits they each have
- Make a list of 5 important things you achieved in the past year
- Do something funny, weird and irrational that you never usually do (Ex: go to sleep in a hotel one night, call a taxi to go to work instead of taking your car or public transport, etc.)
Add anymore ideas you have! Comments welcome.