Are You a Happy Person?

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2014-05-28 15:01:47 -0500
Started 2014-05-24 20:04:59 -0500

I came across this great article on things that Happy people DON'T do. This was a little eye opening specially looking at myself of late.

Things like:
"Happy people DON'T overreact to the present moment. Many unhappy people are prone to thinking, This is horrible or My life is ruined, when something bad happens to them—even if it's really just a run-of-the-mill unpleasant event that mostly will have faded from their consciousness in a few months. Happy people typically do a better job of remembering that unhappiness usually mitigates over time. That reduces the odds that the unhappy moment will snowball into a long-term funk.

Better: If you catch yourself fearing that a recent negative event is devastating or permanent, ask yourself, What can I learn from this? and How can I become wiser and/or stronger from this? These questions encourage the mind to consider a time when we will have moved past the problem."

Some very good tips on how to get out of the kind of funkiness that brings us down.

41 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-05-26 21:43:20 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,

Thanks for sharing this! I think it's human nature to "catastrophize," and turn little things into bigger things. I wonder if those among us who are happy haven't learned to recognize that we don't have to think that way. If we make everything bad, then life can feel pretty bleak.

I really like the idea of asking what we can learn from the curveballs that life throws our way. We always have opportunities for growth if we are willing to learn.


GabbyPA 2014-05-27 07:54:17 -0500 Report

That is why I liked this article, because it offered suggestions of things or better choices if we find ourselves in the "not so happy place"

I just thought it would be good for us, because when you deal with a chronic condition of any kind, by nature, we get tired of it and can get negative.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-05-27 21:30:36 -0500 Report

Good point, Gabby. It's easy to fall into negativity when you're just tired of working so hard at something. But we do have a choice.

jayabee52 2014-05-28 15:01:47 -0500 Report

Dr Gary, When I was a Certified Nurse aide I worked in a hospital occasionally. In the hospital cafeteria they had a sign which read: "Life is 5% what happens and 95% how you react to it!" I try to keep that in mind most of the time as it helps me get a better perspective on what is happening in my life and how I respond to it.

MaChteld 2014-05-26 07:22:31 -0500 Report

When I say that I always smile. At least I try anyway when I'm around friends. Of course there are times when that won't be appropriate. I also have sympathy with people who suffer from bipolar or any other form of depression. I suppose everybody gets depressed at times. When that happens to me I try to cheer myself up with a song. I sing when I work and then I find it more enjoyable. Or I play a happy song. Works for me! My motto is. Happiness is not in doing what you like but in getting to like what you are doing.

Nick1962 2014-05-25 19:26:57 -0500 Report

While outwardly I don't appear to be, by Dr. Baker's account I am, and I guess I'd agreed to that.
Would disagree with his assertion that "happy people generally do a lot of socializing". My "circle" of friends gets together about once a month at best. The time we spend apart gives us plenty to talk about when we do get together, and for many of us, those evenings are more memorable and treasured.

jayabee52 2014-05-25 18:46:16 -0500 Report

Howdy Gabby

Thanks for sharing. I am of the opinon that while Dr Baker's article has a lot to it, I also beleive that those who identify themselves as happy are happy in their own way.

For instance: under the bullet point: " * Happy people DON'T use negative language. They rarely chastise themselves or insult other people, either out loud or in their internal self-talk."

I consider myself a moderately happy person, but sometimes my self talk can be rather negative. I find that negative self talk that I do, helps to keep my ego in check. I find that if I don't, I allow my impulsive utterances (due to my ADHD) to proliferate. And that is not good for anyone, either for me or for the person I inadvertently (from my point of view) insulted. Sometimes my impulsive utterances even makes it onto the pages of DC, and I have had discussions red-flagged (reported as offensive)

That is only one of the ways I differ from Dr Baker's assertions. Should I choose I could undoubtedly find more ways that my happiness is different than that he describes.

But overall, a very positive article!

James Baker.

GabbyPA 2014-05-26 07:45:40 -0500 Report

My self talk is one of my biggest hurdles. I can be pretty brutal on myself. Things I would never say to another person. I have to watch it, because I can be my own worst enemy.

Glucerna 2014-05-26 17:42:47 -0500 Report

Learning to use positive self-talk is a habit I've found really helpful. One technique that you might find useful is to write down three positive choices you make every day. Some people call it their positivity journal, or blessings journal. When we purposefully focus on finding the positives in our life, it helps us get into the habit of more automatically focusing on the positives. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Glucerna 2014-05-25 17:51:30 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing this article Gabby. I follow the Happiness Project at to get daily reminders of how to increase my happiness. We're all going to be unhappy sometimes, but figuring out how to be happy more often makes a lot of sense to me. ~Lynn @Glucerna

haoleboy 2014-05-25 17:20:38 -0500 Report

I don't do the things talked about in the article, but do not consider myself "happy". To be perfectly honest I was having a discussion about "happiness" just the other day and concluded that I do not know what it means.
I don't think I am "unhappy" either … if that is possible.

peewee0618 2014-05-25 14:52:54 -0500 Report

I consider myself to be a happy person. I am not alone, I have a great job and even though I have health issues and problems, I have learned to take things in stride.

GabbyPA 2014-05-26 07:47:18 -0500 Report

That is one of the best things we can do. The ups and downs come, it's what we do with them and taking things in stride means you just keep on going, not missing a step.

GabbyPA 2014-05-25 08:16:01 -0500 Report

Let me summarize the article. If you don't read it, you miss a lot of good points.
Happy People DON'T:
1. blame other people for their problem
2. overreact to the present moment
3. use negative language
4. feel trapped
5. focus on a single passion or relationship
6. dwell on past failures
7. spend more time than necessary around ­unhappy people
8. gossip
9. procrastinate

The article offers suggestions for each item. I consider myself a happy person in general, but this helped me to see some things I had let drag me down a bit.

jigsaw 2014-05-25 06:07:13 -0500 Report

Good article, and taking responsibility for both good and bad in our lives can be a crucial investment. Learning to take constructive action, even when things are uncomfortable, is good medicine as far as I'm concerned.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-25 20:31:33 -0500 Report

Jigsaw I think he left out that happy people can also be self centered. They only care about their happiness. Happy people will do all of the things listed if there happiness means more to them than anyone else.

jigsaw 2014-05-26 07:58:45 -0500 Report

I don't think that that a self centered person can remain truly happy for very long. You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.

GabbyPA 2014-05-26 07:55:07 -0500 Report

I don't think true happiness can dwell in self centeredness.

True Happy People DO
1. Take responsibility for our problems and face them
2. Are calm in the face of challenges and take care of them
3. Use uplifting language
4. Find solutions
5. Focus on others
6. Learn from past failures
7. Spend time with people who will share in happiness
8. We console, counsel and help others
9. Do things so we can cross that off and do more

These things cannot be part of a selfish lifestyle. I think you will find that most happy people find great pleasure in helping other people by paying it forward, doing random acts of kindness and just being the smiling face you see in a stranger. I do have to protect my happiness by not doing the things that are in the article.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-25 02:50:31 -0500 Report

I'm happy, it takes less muscles to smile then it does to frown, and I don't want any more wrinkles, LOL. But honestly, I am happy and thankful for my life everyday. Not to say that I don't have any problems, especially health. But I love myself and my life, and I know that God loves me too.

MaChteld 2014-05-25 02:44:31 -0500 Report

I would like to think that I'm a happy person. Someone once asked me. Why are you always smiling? I just always have something to be thankful for!

mobydick9 2014-05-25 01:24:31 -0500 Report

Thinking out loud "Happy that I am not alone in my ordeal and although others are suffering more from their illness and yet enjoy life better then I people inspire me their experience help me to feel better and be positive" end of my immediate thought on the subject

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2014-05-24 21:42:08 -0500 Report

I work with the public over 40 hours a week therefore don't find a great need to socialize. I prefer having "me time" which makes me happy. Also, spending time with my pets makes me very happy. I don't believe everyone's happy is attained the same way. I think sometimes we just have to smile through the pain or whatever it takes to maintain our happy.

camerashy 2014-05-24 21:27:00 -0500 Report

I guess I'm a very happy person. Happy but miserable. I have about 15 tick bites, and the darn things itch like crazy.

jigsaw 2014-05-26 11:57:34 -0500 Report

I wish you would make up your mind! You must have a few tears in your pantyhose!!! Maybe you should by a new pair! (-;

Type1Lou 2014-05-25 10:20:42 -0500 Report

I discovered I had some neuropathy in my feet when I got bitten by fire ants on my toes and didn't feel it…could there be a "positive" side to neuropathy?…I think I'd rather feel the bite but I also think of myself as "a glass half-full" person.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-25 02:43:55 -0500 Report

I have run in to some of those little blood suckers too, also chiggers (redbugs). If you find out how to make the itch quit let me know. I love to hike and it seems like they when I'm there. We have to really watch out for ticks, because they could give you tick fever, so as soon as we get home from hiking it's straight to the shower.

camerashy 2014-05-25 17:01:06 -0500 Report

The only thing that works on me is Noxema. It has camphor in it, but other stuff too. I didn't think to bring any with me to the woods, but after I'd been home a couple of days I put it on the bites and they quit itching.

GabbyPA 2014-05-25 08:09:10 -0500 Report fun. I use clear nail polish on them. It covers up their ability to breathe.

camerashy 2014-05-25 17:03:25 -0500 Report

Chiggers are like ticks, only red and smaller. They don't get under your skin, but their saliva doesn't go well with our anatomy, and a fiery itch results. I know going out in the summer in panty-hose is hot, but chiggers can't get through them. The most of my chigger bites were on my legs. Noxema helped there, too.

jigsaw 2014-05-26 07:39:57 -0500 Report

That's all you wear in the summer, just pantyhose to go out? No wonder you have bug bites! Bet you look hysterically funny, running around in nothing but pantyhose slapping those mosquitoes, popping off ticks, and plucking those chiggers! Oh, and scratching like crazy too! Good thing you're camera shy!!!

camerashy 2014-05-26 13:42:56 -0500 Report

Oh, you are a hoot! I don't wear the panty hose. Jeans and a t-shirt, boots, and tick spray, which doesn't seem to work.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-26 09:37:32 -0500 Report

LOL jigsaw. Thank you for giving me a good laugh! You can be quite the comedian. LOL I laughed so hard, and I was in need of a good laugh. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

robertoj 2014-05-24 20:38:41 -0500 Report

I'm a happy person now that I'm not completely self centered. While not ignoring my faults and difficulties what others go through matters. If my own failings can help others then I'm willing. It's funny that when I was in excellent health I was a hypochondriac. Now that I have real health issues I deal with the ups ad downs seriously without taking myself too seriously. It helps to learn from my friends here. I hope they know who they are (hint: they post and comment often).

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-05-24 20:29:20 -0500 Report

I wonder where he got his information. Did he do a study? If so, how many people were in the study? .

Some of what he says make sense while some doesn't. Even happy people are not happy every day. I am basically a happy person. I don't over react to most things and I learn from the past.

I wonder how many people actually say what have I learned from this or how can I be wiser or stronger from this.

The best way to get out of a funk is to refocus your energy. The longer you staiy focused on what is bringing you down the longer you will be in the funk. You have to look at the problem, face the problem, the solve the problem. This is what makes a person stronger and wiser.