What percent of ‘happy’ are you? % ?

This morning I took some of my readers’ advice and did some yoga (whoooole other post since I’m a newbie.. quite hilarious..) and read some pages of a magazine to wake myself up and to fuel my ‘get-going’ attitude.

One article in particular caught my eye. It was a snippet on happiness and advice that doctors give their patients regarding happiness. Yes, I know an entertainment magazine with no inherent medical credentials isn’t exactly where to go to get solid research, but still – it got my brain thinking.

“Doctors call being happy all the time ‘mania’- it’s just not normal. Normal for most people is to be happy about 15 percent of the time, and to be mood-neutral – that is, satisfied with your life – 70 percent of the time. Women today think they can only be happy if everything is right: They’re in a great relationship, healthy, thin, financially secure, the house looks perfect, they’re successful, the kids are doing great in school.”

I understand some of what this doc is saying – but I still call bullshit. Being happy all the time does not have to correlate to ‘mania.’ For crying out loud, the definition of mania is WAY beyond happy – it’s impulsive – and that’s a poor correlation. How can they put a percentage on happiness, anyway? Is there a concrete definition of happiness to where you can scientifically measure it? Because 15% of the time is pretty darn depressing. And this horse-poop about women only being happy if EVERYTHING is right is really irritating. I remember the most happy times in my life were during the exact opposite of all these ‘right’ things – when my house was a mess and I don’t know what I’m doing with my life – but found myself in complete bliss watching the sunset with a fishing pole in my hand, exhaling all of the uncertainties. I get we as women do have a tendency to worry more about these things, I am definitely guilty of this – but I don’t think that it should be said that we as can’t be happy because of them.

Also, screw mood – neutral. I mean, yes – it’s great to be at peace or ‘satisfied’ with life. Absolutely. But to say it’s normal or right to spend 70 PERCENT of your life in the ‘mood-neutral’ mode vs only 15 PERCENT in the happy mode? No thanks. I’d rather not be complacent. I’d rather feel the passion, romance, heartbreak, adventure…. And who said satisfied can’t be the same thing as happiness?

Anyway, the point of my blog is to try to teach myself and others that by seeing the blessings in your life -trying to laugh- that you can be HAPPY while poor, HAPPY while NOT in a relationship, HAPPY when your dog is barking and baby is crying and your house is a mess. I definitely fight with depression and anxiety, and have been through more these past few years than I’d even imagined – but when I step back and look at the love and support I have, I’d say my percentage is significantly higher.

What do you think?

There are 6 comments

  1. R. Todd

    Funny, I wrote a blog about (not) being happy yesterday. Content… yes. Happy… not so much. I think they are different, at least in my head (even though the definition for content includes happy). Something I have struggled with for quite some time now, even when focusing on the good things (blessings) in my life. Got to get back to doing yoga myself.. if nothing else, it is hysterical for those watching.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CherryOrchardHomestead

    After several months of yoga, I can finally touch my toes. Clearly I am yoga queen.

    I think the problem with the article is that they are using a very limited definition of “happy”. You are only “happy” if you are way over the top, giggling, frolicking-through-meadows, overjoyed. Being content and enjoying the ride, my definition of sustainable happiness, almost certainly falls into their definition of “mood neutral”.

    And total BS on life needing to be perfect to be happy.

    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I also have a problem with this “study”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    I totally agree with you, Renee. That article was complete bullshit. (not that I read it, but from what you said.) My blog post called Happiness and also the one called Finding Your Own North Star address how I feel about happiness. I love what you said about you life being a mess but being happy looking at the sunset with fishing pole in your hand. Those moments are so precious and when you add them up you get a pretty high happiness%. I have even discovered that I can be depressed and still be inwardly happy. Ew, that article pisses me off about women and about mania.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy

    Hi Renee, I like your post. I 100% believe that you can be happy and satisfied in all seasons regardless of how things look externally (weight, marriage, job etc). It’s not about ‘faking it, till you make it’ either! Thanks for writing! Also thanks for liking my new post at http://amyhefferan.com. Have great day. Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. C Taylor

    I agree. After all, there is always something you can be happy about in your life even when you feel like everything is falling a part (it may not be huge but definitely a way to keep yourself from digging a hole).

    Liked by 1 person

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