There is no universal definition of happiness

ArlenJ.com
April 19, 2020

The timeless children’s song “Happiness Is…” shines a spotlight on the simplicity of such a complex concept.

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, knowing a secret, climbing a tree,
Happiness is five different crayons, catching a firefly and setting it free.

Children have uncorrupted mindsets that can turn the most minuscule, trivial activities into joyous occasions full of laughter and smiles. Animated brainiac Lisa Simpson profoundly stated the negative correlation between intelligence and happiness.

Lisa’s theory appears to be align with real-life, particularly as we age from teen to adult. A 2017 meta-analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research sampled 1.3 million people in 51 country. Each of the seven studies defined psychological well-being in different ways. But when all of them were graphed together, a U-shaped curve appears with the X-axis being happiness and the Y-axis being age.

People tend to be happy in their youth, miserable in their working years, and recover to happiness again in retirement. Researchers found the study inconclusive, unable to find a definitive answer as to the U-shaped curve.

There is no readily-available data on the state of American happiness during the coronavirus lockdowns. But a survey by Australia-based Essential Research last week found that Aussies reported an average 6.7 average score out of 10 for their happiness. That the exact same number from May of 2019. Of course 85% reported concern about the economy.

Lockdowns are forcing everyone to spend more time at home, with their families and with themselves. Now is a good time to evaluate all aspects of life.

Re-Prioritize your life

A single man can be happy living alone with a high-paying, fulfilling job and a few dogs. Another man can be happy with a beautiful wife, healthy kids and a modest job that affords them an annual family vacation. Ask yourself – are you tired? There’s a difference between good tired and bad tired. The previous means you expended a lot of energy on a fulfilling and/or worthy activity. The latter is a chronic condition that means your priorities are out of whack.

Anger is the worst emotion for good health. Forgive friends and family for incidents that took place years ago. More importantly, forgive yourself for mistakes and bad judgment. Cut negative people out of your life and replace them with people who are happy or are working towards it. Men have egos. We always want to be right. But harboring negative emotions and people take years off the end of your life.

Reconnect with god

Some people never had a connection with God. But there are many Americans who went to church regularly (at least twice a month) as children and stopped in adulthood.

A 2019 Gallup survey found that only 50% of American adults are members of a church. That’s down from 70% in 2000. A 2017 LifeWay Research survey found that 66% of young adults (age 23-30) stopped attending church regularly at some point after their teenage years.

Pastor Chris Brooks of Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. told USA that he is not surprised by the drop-off in young adults. He said that demographic decides that the church is no longer an important part of their self-development.

“But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.” Luke 9:11. God always welcomes you back to the church.

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