Sunday, November 28, 2010

Criticism & Happiness

                         The behavior of being happy is common worldwide but some people are forced to think optimistically, because in their mind they have a fixed presumption that thinking this way would make them happier. There is an idea which says that everyone should be happy, but each person is different and not everyone has to feel elated. There are studies that show happier people have several kinds of symptoms such as sense of an irrational life and more. Also, having the idea that being happy is essential can lead people to purchasing products allowing the marketing industry to grow in profit on peoples’ negative thoughts. Humans are made up of many types of emotions and have different lifestyles that could cause them to feel sadness, angry, depress, or just content there is no reason why everyone has to be happy.
            There are many kinds of disorders with their own symptoms and even happiness has some indication of abnormalities. According to a psychology's founder, Martin Seligman, "it is our negative, pessimistic, thoughts that are maladaptive and happily, as it turns out, vestigial: Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood, and famine, we have a catastrophic brain. The brain works is looking for what's wrong" if our brain is already looking for what is wrong not everyone can be completely happy all the time (Ehrenreich 74). Also, Richard P. Bentall points out that happy people have, "a lack of contact with reality" (70). In their minds they have a much more positive look at things then what people who are less happy. They may detect some of the conflicts in reality and decide that they rather be in a more pleasant environment than reality. And this is the point where people start to believe they are great, superior in their achievements, and "believe that others share their unrealistic opinions about themselves" which is not reality (Bentall 70). Happier people try to hide their insecurity, where people lack the confidence to do things with their top most abilities. Many people feel insecure sometimes in their life and it is fine to feel that way. There is no need to undergo the emotion of joy if there isn't.  On the other hand, it may cause depressive realism, which is where depress people are more accurate in perceptions and judgment. They see things in an overly negative illumination unlike the non-depress or happier people (Bentall 70). Because those who are depress may have been the cause of painful events going through a divorce, loosening their job, a love one passed away, just going through tough times. They see and accept the hardships out there in life, and know that not everything is ideal. 
            People are always thinking or looking about that there is something wrong with them.  Thinking they are always the one who is complaining about some sort of physical or mental pain. Thinking they are the one who has a less happy life than their friends or co-workers. When considering these problems they would actually look it up online and try finding solutions. There could be nothing wrong with them, but once they take those quizzes about their problems whether theyare depress, obese, etc you fall into a trap. As a result starts looking up more solutions or cures and ending up buying the products that are offered. Barbara Ehrenreich states, "Google offers more than a million entries on 'positive thinking' covering almost any kind of challenges you might encounter" these entries or products  does not fully perform the task many people may think it may do for them (72). It may leadpeople into thinking that there is really something wrong with their life or their health. "In 2000, the self-improvement industry -- including books, CDs, seminars, and coaches -- took in $3.35 billion. In 2005, it grossed $5.62 billion, with the coaching market alone growing by almost 500 percent." this is the cause when more and more people start thinking and feeling negative about themselves, purchasing more than what they really need or none. The ones benefiting is the markets, there could be no other reasons for the self-improvement industry to sell these products but making money and at a very high profit, only for their own gain (Ehrenreich 72). Everyone does not have to be happy all the time, and if they were it would only make them less content.
            There is nothing wrong with being a little less happy than those who are always happy. People who are always happy may think this way because they believe it will be good for their health and a better life style, but in a 2002 study in the Times article it was found that, "mildly depressed women living longer than nondepressed or more severely depress women" (Ehrenreich 75). Nobody has to be depress to live longer, but it is fine to feel depress from time to time. Everybody has to go through some sort of obstacle; there are no perfect and constantly blissful lifestyles. Barbara Ehrenreich had breast cancer and she had a different life than most other healthy people, and she said "I got through my boat of cancer in a state of constant rage…" she cannot feel happy and joyful having such a grave disease (76). Even though, she had such a disease she could still reach the feelings of happiness just like anyone else and any other emotions too. In addition, Anne Becker states, “[if someone] become super happy, there are forces that will bring [him/her] back to a more average level [of happiness]" also known as hedonic leveling (Becker 58). An example of hedonic leveling is if someone won a free BWM they would be extremely cheerful, but they would not be happy forever, as time passes that happiness will start to diminish.
            Everyone do not have to be happy, they could be experiencing other kinds of emotions. And if people were force to be happy that would not be real happiness. Also, there is no reason to cause people to think this way; the results of forcing others to believe they must all be happy will lead people into buying unnecessary products, and development of server symptoms.   
Elation is something that would be experienced at different times in people's lives, because everyone is different.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I am Grateful for...

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
-- Oprah Winfrey 

            I am grateful for my parents because they brought me into this world. They help support me through my life loving me unconditionally. And to the rest of my family members, because I am never bored with my cousins around even if we have nothing to do but sit and talk. I am also thankful for my friends, because they give me another reason to go to school, beside just wanting to go to school and be educated. They've made my days enjoyable and exhilarating. In addition, my best friend because she's stick through me since first grade till now even if she's irritating sometimes. I am also grateful for my brother because he's pleasant and sweet at the right moments. I am grateful for my education and all the brilliant teachers I had and will have in the future. They taught me so much I don't know if I can contain it all. Lastly, I am grateful for everything that makes me happy.   

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cultivating Happiness in Friendship

Not everyone you meet is an enemy, you may meet a brainless scarecrow, a heartless tin man, a cowardly lion on the way, but the girl in red shoes will form and hold a relation, bonding everyone together with a little work. Relationships hold many shocking and exhilarating mysteries and there are many different types of relationships, but they all have a similar goal. The goal that everyone wants is to form a strong, loving, and blissful relationship, but there is no perfect relationship. There is always something that can be worked on to bring more happiness into a relationship. Anne Becker states in her article that, “If you become super happy, there are forces that will bring you back to a more average level [of happiness]" and that is something no one want in their relationship (Becker). A relationship that is universal to everyone is friendship and it is necessary to cultivate the connection holding the friendship together so it will grow.
          One factor to cultivate a happier friendship is by spending more time together. Most people start from elementary school then to middle school then to high school to college and so forth making more and more friends. As you move on in life keeping in touch with all the friend's you've made is important. Having friends but not interacting with them does not make them your friends, it only makes them your classmates, or co-workers, or just a person you meet and nothing more. But by interacting with them and communicating with them more, makes them your friend. Some friendship click and some never work out, but once a friend always a friend if the friendship is cultivated.  Being around your companions makes you happier, "[spending] meaningful time with friends… [is] necessary" (Shahar 111). How else would you keep a friend then spending meaningful time with them. Friends are there for a reason, a reason to hang out together, go to the mall, watch a movie, have lunch, play sports, and much more. In my own circumstance, my friends and I hold a small Christmas gathering every year. It is a way to catch up on what everyone is happening in everyone's life and to spend time together. There is always laughter and it ends with hugs and kisses. It is different for everyone, but this is how friendships stick like glue.  
          Another way to improve the happiness in friendship is to get to be known for what kind of friend you really are. Friends are there to help and care for one another. Why make friends if you are afraid to share your core-self with them, your inner characteristic that makes up who you are. They are there so you can share exciting events with them, both good news and bad news. Making a friend at first may seem hard but keeping a friend is harder. People of all ages start out by introducing themselves to new people and then start forming friendship bonds. What comes after is the harder part but at the same time it strengthens the friendship. Getting known is not always an easy step, like in an educational environment. There are always groups that people form, they put themselves in similar groups, or with people who are like themselves and that is one way of making friends and getting known. Others may start to get known by,  "…[discussing]…[working] in groups of four to six, even just once a week, understood material better and felt more engaged with their classes" not only does this help them in their school work, or other work, it is a way to get recognized (Zernike). It is a way to get out of the shadows and make friendships that would last a long time. To keep a good and joyful relationship for a long time is to let them, "[understand] [you] values, passions, concerns, and hopes" and for you to understand theirs' too (Shahar 120).
          One of the most important things in a friendship is to accept friends for who they are. In some situations, there are people who may befriend someone for their wealth, or fame, or popularity, or for some kind of benefits, but then that is not real friendship. There will be no happiness in a type of friendship which you’re only in it for some sort of gain. Real friends are the ones who are, "willing to step in and take your keys when they think you have had too much to drink. These are the types of friends that challenge us and help us grow" (TheHappyRock). Everyone may have a friend that they dislike whether they talk too much,  pick their nose, say things at the wrong moment, or is very forgetful, but that is who they are so, "accept your friends, quirks and all, and recognize when they need a little help too. Because you never know when you'll need them around to rescue you from some flying monkeys" (Beliefnet).
          Friendship like any other types of relationships could be made easily and broken effortlessly, but as long as people nurture their friendship it would last forever. Not only would it last, but everyone would be a bit happier. When friendships are form there is, "loyalty, forgiveness, honesty and dedication" (TheHappyRock). The friendship will form its own characteristics bringing happiness to friends. Everyone must work hard in keeping that tie within their friendship. Like happiness that everyone desire, friendship is also necessary in life. With a little work there will always be happiness in friendship lasting eternally.

Total Words: 925

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happiness in Relationships

Spending more time with love ones

            It is very important to spend quality time with your love ones, but sometimes it is really difficult to make time, but we should try to make time. When I was younger I use to have more time than I do now with my  grandparents. Nowadays, visiting my grandparents once a week is hard. But I try to visit them or call them, just to let them know how I am doing and to see how they are doing. When it comes to our love ones whether it is our family, friends, romantic partners spending time is significant. By spending time together we are able to learn more about each other. By learning more things about each other we grow to create a stronger bond. And sometimes we just want "to share the events and thoughts and feelings in our lives" and spend time with them because we care (Shahar 111).

Cultivating vs. Finding

            Cultivating, is to improve, to work on, to make, to create better growth in whatever we may be working on such as in a relationship. By doing this it helps create an even stronger bond between the 2 couple, groups, etc. There is always something in a relationship that can grow, something that can be cultivated on. There is no finding, meaning that there is one person out there who is for everyone. If there was, there would not be any divorce or fighting. Everything would be like a fairytale, where the one looking for love ends up with the one right person and lives happily ever after, but there is no happily ever after. Because there is still more work to do, even if someone found their true love. They would have to start cultivating their relationship to have happiness.  

Sacrifice vs. Sharing
            Stated in the article Happiness in Relationships Tal Ben-Shahar, gives a really clear example of what sacrificing is. Sacrificing is something that a person gives up for their love ones. What the person is giving up could affect their core self. The example that was given was how a "woman permanently giving up work she loves and cannot find elsewhere so that her husband can take a job abroad-because if her work is fundamental to her core self, if it is part of her calling, then abandoning it is detrimental to her happiness" (Shahar 117). On the other hand, aside from sacrificing there is also sharing, like the saying "Sharing is Caring." I think that for someone to share something they care about the person they are sharing with. You can share your thoughts, or hopes, or dreams, or fears with the ones you love. By sharing your also letting the other person know how you feel, and that you are able to comfortably share with them a part of you. Just by sharing can bring happiness to both people.