Does happiness need sadness? The yin to the yang, the water to my fire. Do we only notice the happiness when we are not happy? We look back and think at about how happy we were – although we didn’t take time to acknowledge this at the time. At the time we were too consumed in trivial matters to notice our beautiful happiness.
Is there a medium state between happy and sad where we sit most of the time or is it a continuum? A scale from zero to one hundred, that we all move up and down throughout our lives, changing slightly every second.
Could happiness be just the state you reach when your sadness scale is at zero? When you have nothing else to bother you and your mind is at peace are you then happy? When all the emails have been forgotten, when all the complaints are distant memories and all the bitterness has disappeared. For a moment are you in perfect one hundred percent happiness? The issue with this is maybe (like me) if you notice you are happy you remember suddenly that you are annoyed by something. ‘I know there was something that was bothering me, what was it again?’, damn it, I am back to 78% happy.
Happiness is unique to everyone. My happiness is not the same as yours and I shouldn’t presume that I know how you feel when you are happy or sad. It is a mystery of the human mind, we cannot conclude consensus although we often presume it. Like colour blindness for example, what I see is not what others see, we are not sure exactly what colours we each see. Descriptions of colours are similar but the minutia are different. In happiness the minutia is everything, and a single grain of rice will tip the scale.
One event can happen to a human that can push them off the edge of happiness into the pit of sad despair. Sliding down the slope gathering negativity as he slides deeper. He can forget what happiness even looked like.
This doesn’t seem to happen with happiness, no one event can bring you long lasting euphoria. Momentary euphoria maybe but not a sustained period. So, is the road to happiness a classic one step forward two steps back? Or a constant greasy mountain climb that we can never stop on because we will start to slide backwards towards sadness. Is life a constant battle to maintain happiness with new hipster practices – yoga, positivity, mindfulness and meditation?
Sadness to happiness might be like hunger to eating. Hunger makes eating pleasurable, it is ‘the best sauce’. There is little enjoyment eating if you are full. Hunger when it is elongated is starvation. Like hunger, a little sadness could be the key to wonderful highs of happiness. Like starvation, too much sadness is without the happiness on the horizon is life threatening.
Happiness could be mastering your sadness. If sadness is a constant then it is our reaction to it that defines our mood. Having a perspective on all sadness could be the key. Having strategies to remind you how to be happy. My favourite of these is gratitude. Focusing on what is amazing in your life and giving thanks for it.
Can you be happy and sad at the same time? Aren’t you forgetting all the emotions? You have made it all a bit too simple John. What about fear, anger, excitement and surprise to mention just a few? Do they add or take from happiness or sadness? Is there a very complicated set of vectors that take your mood in several directions at once? That sounds too complicated, I prefer the more black and white theory of – happy or sad. Unfortunately, the human mind just isn’t that simple, if it was, we would have figured it out by now.
Many questions but not many answers I am afraid. Maybe someone has the answer to eternal happiness, but that sounds pretty boring. I need a bit of spice in my life. Go on figure your happiness out for yourself, no will else is going to do it for you, sorry.