But maybe not grinning like a loon happy, at least not all the time. We want some kind of balance, right?
So what is happy? Is it feeling like a room without a roof? Hmm, maybe not, but great song.
Happy seems to have been coming up a lot in the podcasts I listen to lately, and it's on my Facebook feed. Once upon a time, when I was a professional researcher, I was looking into the usefulness of studying 'happy'. Well, I stepped out of that arena, and other people are taking it forward. One of those people is Matt Killingsworth. As part of his PhD, Matt designed an iPhone app called 'Track my Happiness'. If you have an iPhone, you can get it here. If you don't have an iPhone you can get it by email, here. Matt has finished his PhD now, writing a paper on how focusing on what you're doing makes you happier. He's done a TED talk on it too, it's below, if you're interested.
Matt has finished his PhD now, but the app is still available. Why? Because he's still researching happiness. It is well worth taking part in his research, because it's not hard work, and it is beneficial.
I'm half way through being a participant in Matt's research (your involvement is over a month), and it hasn't actually made me more happy, but, it has made me notice things. Firstly, it's made me notice that I'm more happy than not most of the time. This helps me get things in perspective when I'm sad, or even despairing. Secondly, it makes me notice things about my behaviour that aren't making me happy. In particular, I have noticed that I'm not getting enough sleep (I've not done anything about it, but I'm aware). Thirdly, taking part in this makes me take a moment (each survey takes about a minute to complete - three times a day), to think about what I'm doing, and how I'm feeling every day. That gives me a chance to be mindful, and to count my blessings.
We're all aware of the idea of counting our blessings, but
Other posts you might like:
The book challenge
Words at 25/2/14 - 57,853 (up 5,200 since challenge began)
Where I'm at in First Draft - beginning of Chapter 11.
What I did last - named Chapter 11.