Author Topic: Happiness is An Attitude  (Read 1235 times)

CanuckExpat

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Happiness is An Attitude
« on: December 30, 2017, 05:48:32 PM »
In this article a clinical psychologist talk about her experience evaluating patients who had spinal cord injuries. All had life changing injuries (i.e. inability to walk), but even with similar injuries, some were happy, and others were miserable:
Quote
Those who were happy reported thinking such as "Yeah, this sucks, but I still have dreams. There are still things I can do. And I'm going to focus on those things." Those who were miserable made statements such as "This is so unfair. My whole life is ruined. I will never be happy." In obtaining the life histories of the patients, I saw that those who were happy had full and active lives, they had friends and jobs and were involved in activities. Whereas those who were miserable, often did nothing but stay in bed with little social contact and had more problems with bed sores and other ailments due to the inactivity

She tallks about her takeaways from the experience, and the entire article was a good quick read. It reminded me of some of the things in these two MMM articles:
What is Stoicism and How Can it Turn your Life to Solid Gold?
What is Hedonic Adaptation and How Can it Turn You Into a Sucka?

Margie

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 07:53:57 PM »
Thanks for posting this!!!   I needed it today!

Long story short - I have a chronic illness that will one day put me in a wheelchair....early after my Dx I was working through all my emotions that come with such a significant Dx and had someone say to me that they did not understand how I could still laugh and smile....I was literally stunned and obviously you have to play the cards you are dealt!  I am typically the glass is half full kind of person....

Anyhow, on to today - my kids got new bikes for Christmas and I can truly say the only time I do a little pity party for myself is around biking...I miss it like crazy...

Happiness is definitely a choice and of course some days are a bit harder than others but I just do not see any benefit to focusing on the bad

Have a Happy New Year everyone!
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ElleFiji

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 07:59:08 PM »
I see this every day! And it actually affects physical outcomes in degenerative disc disease. So important to keep reframing
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Hargrove

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 08:58:57 PM »
Thanks for posting this!!!   I needed it today!

Long story short - I have a chronic illness that will one day put me in a wheelchair....early after my Dx I was working through all my emotions that come with such a significant Dx and had someone say to me that they did not understand how I could still laugh and smile....I was literally stunned and obviously you have to play the cards you are dealt!  I am typically the glass is half full kind of person....

Anyhow, on to today - my kids got new bikes for Christmas and I can truly say the only time I do a little pity party for myself is around biking...I miss it like crazy...

Happiness is definitely a choice and of course some days are a bit harder than others but I just do not see any benefit to focusing on the bad

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Wow. My hat is off to you.

My SO has a good friend with MS, and it's humbling to hear how well people tackle these things. Perspective should make us all slightly more appreciative.
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Daisy

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 10:01:22 PM »
I had a huge health scare last year. It could have potentionally ended my life on the spot, or worse I could have been left in a vegetative state. I miraculously recovered and I'm very grateful to have very little traces of it left.

While I was in the hospital recuperating, I kept telling everyone "I'm going to come back better than before!". Apparently I was saying this with slurred speech and I didn't realize how bad my speech sounded. Everyone around me nodded when I would say this, not really knowing how I would recuperate.

One of my doctors told me later that my positive attitude led to me having a will to survive that truly aided my recovery. I can't take full credit for this. My father is an infectionally positive person and instilled this in us since childhood. He was truly my inspiration during most of this ordeal.

I am one of the lucky ones. I'd like to say that even if I would have ended up in a different state I would still be positive, but I am not sure. I definitely respect those who do.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 10:14:08 PM by Daisy »

Hargrove

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 07:51:19 AM »
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/insider/when-old-news-is-good-news-the-effect-of-6-elderly-new-yorkers-on-one-middle-aged-reporter-85-and-up.html

One day in his apartment, Fred Jones asked me my definition of happiness, then gave me his own. “Happiness to me is what’s happening now,” he said. The apartment, a cluttered wreck that was up two flights of stairs he could barely climb, was an unlikely place to look for happiness, and Mr. Jones, whose health was failing, was an unlikely spokesman. But he never dwelt on his problems. “If you’re not happy at the present time, then you’re not happy,” he said. “Some people say, if I get that new fur coat for the winter, or get myself a new automobile, I’ll be happy then. But you don’t know what’s going to happen by that time. Right now, are you happy?” Whenever I asked him the happiest time of his life, he said without hesitation, “Right now.”
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golden1

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 09:31:46 AM »
This is the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy, that your thoughts effect your moods.  I also believe your moods effect your physical health.  It is really all connected. 

Zamboni

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Re: Happiness is An Attitude
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 09:54:56 AM »
I would go with "Happiness is a choice." But then I know enough about brain chemistry to know that we can't always control emotions . . . chemicals in our brain have a lot to do with it. We can do things to change those chemicals, but there are limits to our control. So it is easy for me to have sympathy for someone who is struggling with depression while also asking myself "can I choose to feel differently about this?" when I think I'm getting pissy. Also, knowing about the brain chemicals that I can only control to some extent let's me give myself a pass when I've having unusually negative emotions about a situation that doesn't bother me most of the time.

Positive/negative/neutral are attitudes.