CH 8 The Formula to the Balance of Happiness

The sense of happiness depends on how we are feeling. All positive emotions add to the happy state and all negative emotions reduce the chances to feel happy. Being content is not in human nature. However that is the source of all the glory that humanity has achieved, it also causes all the misery that exists in the world.

Life is not perfect. In fact, it’s not even smooth or easy. It’s funny that all of us are in constant stress over this consistent fact. To put it simply, life is never the way we want it to be, and this is because we always want something better then what we already have. A better location, a better job, a better house, a better set of clothes, a better environment, a better family (if that was even possible). The list is never-ending, so are the desires.

I discussed on the factors that influence our happiness in Ch 3 to Ch7 (links added below) of this blog. Now I would like to go back to the equation I introduced in Ch1 Fact-ors that influence our Happiness. Where assuming all factors are equally important and are contributing 25% each positively to our happiness, i.e.

Self(25%) + Home(25%) + Social(25%) + Family(25%) = Happiness(100%)

We may attain a state of 100% happiness, well that would be close to Nirvana. This is the ideal, hypothetical and in-fact impractical situation. But let us keep a benchmark of 60% to be reasonably happy, anything more than that is towards Bliss and less than that is the scope of improvement that we should focus on for our reasonable happiness.

So let us get real with the equation. One can have the varying status of contribution and satisfaction on each factor. Not all factors may contribute equally, Self maybe 30%, Social 30%, Home 25% and family maybe 15% for some people as a factor of importance and a very different balance for someone else. Similarly, satisfaction levels will be varied from person to person and from time to time.

Let’s say, for me, all factors are 25% important and I am 10% happy with my health and well being, 10% happy with my job and social status, 20% happy with my family and 15% happy with my home, husband and marriage. Adding all I have 55% happiness and 45% scope of improvement in my happiness.

Self(10%) + Home(15%) + Social(10%) + Family(20%) = Happiness(55%)

But had it been in my hand, I would have already improved my situation. Well that’s not entirely true, of the 45%, probably 30% is beyond my control, yet I can work on the rest 15%. If I could make improvement of only 5% in any one of the factors, I will be reasonably happy, which in turn might help improve another couple of percent on the health factor.

Just to mention here, the grading and % check is as per self-assessment and there is no certified tool to measure exact happiness levels. After all, it is a feeling and can’t be measured by anyone other than the person experiencing it. The key is to identify and work on the improvements that can be done to increase the percentage.

Most of the time we are lacking one or more of the factors contributing towards our happiness. Some of us have non-supporting families, others have toxic relationships, someone has a non-rewarding job, and someone is too sick to enjoy life. Even the one who has all the riches lacks something somewhere. So to maintain a balance in happiness, we will have to keep our desires listed and focus flexible on improvement.

In the next few Chapters in the sequence of this post, I shall try to discuss the variations of the equations with respect to some of ‘what if’ situations. Of which a few that I have personally faced and some other which I have known about from other people’s experiences. I am expecting a lot more of ‘what if’ situations in comments from the readers.

Thanks For reading. Previous Chapters links added below.

Stay tuned, Stay Happy …!!

Ch 0 The thought of being happy

Ch 1 Fact-ors that influence our Happiness

Ch 2 Why focus on Happiness at all ?

Ch 3 Taking care of ‘SELF’ is not Selfish

Ch 4 THE ‘SOCIAL’ (un)HAPPINESS PART 1 : JOB

Ch 5 THE ‘SOCIAL’ (un)HAPPINESS PART 2 : EXPECTATIONS

Ch 6 THE HAPPY HOME !

Ch 7 Family: The Ultimate Support Group

Ch 9 Happiness Without Self ?

CH 7 Family: The Ultimate Support Group

Family accepts you no matter what is your situation. We might be soaring high on our career and life, or be beaten down by recession or physical injury. Family is always there to cheer or support. Whoever can’t do that for us, are actually just relatives or acquaintances, not family.

Family in most cases includes parents, siblings, spouse, children if there are any, close friends and pets. However it depends person to person who all come under this ultimate support group.

It is said that you will know your true friends in your worst times, well same is true for the family. Not always we find the support or happiness that we are looking for in the immediate biological relations. There are other emotions like fear of added liability, where children abandon their parents, risk to social reputation where parents hurt their children or simple jealousy where siblings don’t get along. We can’t change other people perspective, what we can do is to understand it, and set our expectations accordingly.

There are people we lovingly term as ‘family beyond blood’, friends that compliment or sometimes even substitute for family. They may be school friends, neighbourhood friends, College friends, office friends or acquaintances turned friends. There are generally common interests or common problems that create and strengthen the bonding, based on understanding and support. Our lives grow parallel, which gives a lot to relate with each other.

Last but not least are pets if you have any. They are the unconditional source of love and affection. No matter what you are going through in life and who have left you, pets will love you all the same. They do add a liability of as much of child, being dependent for food and comfort. But they return 10 times towards our general happiness and wellbeing.

Lastly, I want to add is like any other relation, the family also needs to be valued and nurtured. Although the family will forgive easily and will never hurt you. Yet it’s not wise to hurt or hate them if they fall short of expectations. It’s also our responsibility to love them unconditionally as we expect to be loved by them.

While Home is the base of happiness tower, Family is the iron and cement that holds it together. Will discuss managing the factors of happiness to help maintain a degree of happiness in upcoming posts.

Thanks for reading. Please share your views in comments.

Stay happy, stay tuned !!

CH 6

CH 8

CH 6: THE HAPPY HOME !

The people we live with, together with the dwelling place makes the home. The definition evolves over the course of life. For me, it’s my small rented apartment, my husband and our fishes. It was my hostel rooms and roommates from my graduation until I got married. And it was my parent’s place, my parents and big brother before graduation.

A happy home is the ultimate bliss, that not all of us value enough when we have it. It is the base of the tower of happiness we are trying to build and hold. The good part is easily taken for granted. We would hardly thank our parents for being loving, caring and taking all the efforts to make our lives easy. A good roommate is valued in hostel life only after we get an irritating fellow to live with. An understanding partner is expected to understand even more. It is very important that we value and respect the people in our home and make efforts to contribute similarly to their happiness.

For those whose home is a happy place, they don’t need to visit a temple to find peace from the chaos of the world. Homes which lack in peace and where the people fight with each other, the happiness of each inhabitant is compromised even when they are directly not part or cause of the distress. Under such condition this base of happiness tower becomes weak, and we struggle to find balance in life.

The importance of dwelling place is no less. A clean and tidy place, with good ventilation, bright lighting and open space can add a lot to the peace and happiness of its inhabitants. Compared to a clumsy, unkempt or dark and damp place with an unpleasant aroma. While best of electronics appliances or cosiest of bed and sofa or expensive decorations can add to the look and comfort of the house. Its the efforts taken to maintain neatness, supplies, a healthy and positive environment by everyone that live at the place makes it the home. An easy tip to add positive energy is to have as many house plants as practically possible. They do increase a to-do item in daily routine, but at the same time also add more oxygen and natural beauty to the home. Slightly difficult one is to add pets to the family, they are unconditional source of love and perfect stress-busters.

It takes hard work to maintain a pleasant home, but it’s worth every effort.

Thanks for reading. Please share your views.

Make happy and stay happy !!!

CH 5

CH 7

The handicapped fish…

My husband have great love for aquariums and fishes. We have 4 fishes, they live happily in their modest abode, swimming is all directions, spreading happiness.

Pets can be real stress buster, with all their innocence and basic need of love and food. Fishes are least maintenance pets. You can watch an aquarium for endless hours without getting bored.

One unfortunate day one of the red cap got caught in the filter suction. My husband rescued her from the filter but she lost her forearm (front right wing) and the injury left her weak and dis-balanced. We placed her in a separate bowl with extra medicine hoping to help her heal.

We monitored her, she was alive, breathing but not trying to move. Next few days her situation didn’t change. We had to lift her up and take to the food which she would feed on. Her wound started to heal. But she won’t move on her own.

After a week I started to think that probably she is lacking motivation to move. She still have four other wings and a long tail in more or less perfect condition. But she was not making enough effort to learn swimming with her imbalanced body.

I am no expert on fish psychology but may be she was too focused on her one broken wing or depressed from the fact that she have to stay apart from her friends. The fact was her friends would have killed her while she was not able to defend herself by moving around. So putting her back was not an option.

I tried giving her a little physiotherapy by putting her in a tub with more flat surface and chasing her around in the water. Well she did responded by swimming to avoid me, yet without registering the fact that she could do the same without me chasing her. May be she is just lazy. After all she gets her food in her mouth without lifting a wing.

She is still recovering and I am still hopeful to rehabilitate her with her friends. But unless she make some efforts of her own, it seems quite distant.

In our life we often have something that goes wrong and we tend to focus all our energies towards feeling sad and low about it. While ignoring many other aspects of life that can lift our spirits. A little effort in right direction may probably help balance the loss and put us back on track. Also there are always friends or family ready to help you bounce back. Never loose hope, never loose faith and don’t become lazy.

stay healthy, stay happy !!!