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Does happiness really come from within?

Is happiness an internal concept?
In other words, does our perspective and outlook on life determine how happy we are?

or

Is happiness affected by our external circumstances, such as environment and company that we keep?

What do you think about the saying, "happiness comes from within?"

silvereyes 8 Dec 19

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45 comments

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8

A bit of both, I think....

7

The countries ranked the happiest in the world reveal that it's both.

I go for both individually and societally

6

you must be happy within and it will radiate through you and on to others

5

Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy in any circumstances, or choose to be unhappy. I always try to remember life could be so much worse.

And I have depression and anxiety. I am terrified I am going to lose my job. However, no one knows because I always choose to present myself as happy. Or happy-ish. I 've been worse and I've been better, and I know I am better off than many. I've also been medicated and called them my happy pills. Happy pills messed up my decision making skills. So I battle the depression and anxiety unmedicated, and as much as I can I make a choice every minute that I could be worse off so I'm going to be happy. Some days it is harder than others, and I just hope I can hold on. But my kids are great, my bills are pretty much paid, and I have what I need. I will say YMMV, but this is me.

5

When I was overseas doing a dangerous job (at the age of 19 to 21) which scared the hell out of me, I learned Zen meditation from an old monk. (BTW Zen is non-theist.) That helped me calm down and quit using drugs to stay functional. Years later, I had an "enlightening" experience that introduced me to genuine inner happiness. It's a way of shutting out the outside world, and sorta "holing up" in an inner shell. It doesn't make the bad monsters of the world disappear, but it does give you a period of inner peace for a while. So, I like to think I have "Happiness in a Box" for use whenever it is needed. It lets me rest and restore, and gives me time to think in relative peace and quiet.

5

Maybe a little of both..

5

We cannot always choose the stimuli around us, but we can train ourselves to choose how to react to it. I guess I'm saying, we can choose to be happy, but it's not always easy.

5

I think happiness requires a baseline of external condition — e.g., not suffering — but beyond that, I think it's mostly innate. I'll dig up a TED Talk I really like on happiness and post it here.

[ted.com]

4

I think happiness comes from within but that's not to say that external or environmental factors don't/can't contribute to your happiness.

4

within!

Is happiness an internal concept.
In other words, my perspective and outlook on life determines how happy I am.

3

Happiness is a social construct the true definition is temporary absence of pain.

Bah! I have moments of pure happiness all the time because I allow myself to look for & enjoy them. I was molested & abused as a child, first hubby was a heavy drinker & beat the shit out of me regukarly. 2nd hubby seemed much nicer, but turned out to be a narcissistic secret serial philanderer who just about killed me emotionally because "he's such a nice guy, it must be you". Also numerous serious illnesses, several joint replacements, including the one that went badly wrong, estrangement from only daughter due to her abuse of substances and me, etc etc e5c. Which does not make me special, but could be used as an excuse for being miserable.....I guarantee you will not find anyone who gets more enjoyment out of every speck of life! My mother once told me, "You make your own Heaven or Hellright here every day." And wow was she right! Thanks Mom! Wherever you are......

3

Happiness or the better term Joy comes from within. No matter the circumstances you are thankful. Like when I noticed, I have a flat tire while my car was parked in the driveway. I'm thankful that I was safe and didn't have to change the tire in the middle of the night out in the middle of nowhere.

Whereas, If circumstances and events affect your happiness, it will always be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows in your life. It is like things will always happen, there will always be something... you can't control it, but you can control how you react to it and therefore you have the narrative of how your day went.

Totally agree!

3

I take my cue from the movie "Life is Beautiful": happiness is not (more accurately, should not be) affected by external circumstances and comes exclusively from perspective and outlook.

@silvereyes

I would say this depends on the person which again points to the personal nature of happiness:
Some people are happy doing nothing, sitting on a beach, drinking margaritas.
Others are only happy when they are active, climbing mountains, sweating buckets.

So to me, an environment doesn't have an intrinsic effect on happiness... the beach would make a mountain climber unhappy; a mountain would make a sun worshiper unhappy... but it's rather our perspective and outlook that makes some environments more happy to us than others.

3

Most of Happiness comes within, according to a study done at the University of Toronto, in which I sense in agreement.

About 60percent of Happiness is personal choices
About 30percent in inherited from your parents and family.
About 10percent is situation

Watched the study on some TV program.
All I remember were percentages like that. If you google and sort through UofT happiness studies, you will find it somewhere.

Time=Money=less happiness.

3

For a healthy brain, it essentially is a choice. So long as your dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin levels are doing well the ability to feel happy is mainly a matter of perspective. And a person can also choose to engage in activities that assist in boosting the transmission of these "happy chemicals". But some brains are out of "balance", and no matter what you "choose", happiness just isn't possible without medical help. And even WITH medical help, it can be difficult, as the exact causes of clinical depression are still being studied.

Much like diabetes, there are multiple ways functionality can go wrong. Type I diabetics simply don't produce enough insulin, but Type II diabetics have cells that are resistant to insulin uptake. We have medications that can help correct serotonin and dopamine levels, but until we know more getting the correct medication is largely trial and error.

3

Better be because never found happiness lounging outside of me and never last but is very enjoyable!!!!

3

Another of those broad spectrum questions that can only be answered by the individual to their personal experience. I rarely feel down or sad or lonely. So rarely that it could almost be considered to be never. I don't need external input to make me happy, but when input is there it does boost the level a bit.

3

Both

3

It must.

Just as most suffering comes from within.

3

I definitely think it comes from within. You need to overcome those external circumstances like illness and financial loss-by accepting deep inside your situation and moving forward as best you can.

3

I would say so. Life can be complicated, but I think it is up to the person to decide if they will let that define them and be able to see the good and happiness in life. I hope that came out right.

2

I'm happy keeping to myself. I don't need to be surrounded by people to be happy.

2

Happiness is both internally an externally generated. It's never completely in your control but you can always do your best to be positive. Then again happiness is a perspective some people enjoy feeling bad in a way and the best way to feel bad is to do nothing because nothing will happen to you.

2

It's a combination of things. It comes from our attitude, perspective, experiences combined with how and who we are that makes us unique. In a sense, that determines our happiness be it from external or internal reactions that makes us feel the way we do.

2

In the form of endorphins or if your into pain in dopeamine.

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