Tag Archives: pleasurable

Happiness- a learned phenomenon?


What makes us happy when everything adds up to unhappiness?

The age old question. What is happiness? Is it a feeling, an object, attaining a certain status? Can it be measured? Can it be learned?

Isn’t happiness relative to the human being? What I derive happiness from is different from what you may derive it from. Hence it seems from this statement that happiness can be measured. If happiness can be objectified it follows that more of that object will increase our happiness. What are some things that make us happy?

Flowers; smelling nicely scented flowers always bring a smile to my face; waking to a fresh picked bouquet of jasmine flowers started my day on a happy and stress free note, having a bouquet of appropriately arranged (colors depend on the which colors make you happy, for me its vibrant colors i.e. sun yellow. bright pink, tree green, bright blue etc.) placed in my house makes me happy when I look at it. Music; listening to upbeat music always puts me in a happy mood. What are other things that make you happy, comment on this and let me know.

So it follows that if someone places a bouquet of flowers by my night table for me to wake to the scent to, if I place a bouquet of pink and yellow flowers on my table, or if I listen to Batameez Dil (Hindi song) or A thousand years (English pop song) I will be happy? Not really. Happiness then can’t be objectified? I think it can, to a certain extent. Swinging on a swing, listening to upbeat songs, eating thick cheesy vegetarian pizza, and regressing to a child- like state are things that make ME happy. But they can only supplement my happiness that is already there. Do you think if I come home from being humiliated and disrespected a bouquet of strategically placed bright blue and pink flowers are going to change how I feel? No, Objects (flowers), actions (swinging or eating a potato patty), attaining status (getting an A in class or getting a promotion), and other materialistic objects or gains can only give us ephemeral happiness. These things cannot change our mood but gives us pleasurable experience which can help elevate our mood.

Our mood is our emotional state and happiness vis a vis joy, pleasure, satisfaction, etc is one of the elements that get us into a good versus bad mood. Happiness thus is a state, made up of various elements including joy and pleasure that helps us project a good mood. Happiness is subjective, formed by each individual’s beliefs and interpretations, and thus and thus cannot be measured. Different things give us feelings of happiness, our interpretation of external stimuli: swinging on a swing (joy), seeing Mom, (delight), eating pizza (pleasure), hearing Rafat Ali Khan (pleasure) , seeing and smelling bright/ fragrant flowers (pleasure) or writing poetry (content); these things produce feelings of happiness within me, and although these feelings of happiness i.e. joy. pleasure, delight etc. can combine to make me happy and therefore in a good mood, there is not one stimulus that can always guarantee a feeling of happiness. Swinging on a swing will not give me joy if I just had an argument with a friend, writing poetry will not provide me with a feeling of contentment if I am sleepy, eating pizza will not be pleasurable if I have a stomachache etc.

If nothing can guarantee to give us happiness, is it a hit and miss equation? Is there something that can provide us with a static happiness?

YES. I just discovered and will share it with you.