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truecomedian's avatar

Is happiness an emotion?

Asked by truecomedian (3922 points ) November 13th, 2010

Someone told me that it was and I said it wasn’t. I think it’s more of a condition resulting from doing the right things. A state of mind. I don’t feel it much so I don’t know, guess I’m kinda an 90’s black clothes wearing throw back with no place to hide. I don’t really care what anyone says good or bad, nice or mean. Fuck it.

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12 Answers

Carl_Rogers's avatar

Emotions are states of mind. Thoughts and emotions are intertwined. Doing positive things helps a person achieve a perceived sense of fullfilment. Black clothes can be very chic….hope you can do something fun for yourself this weekend

truecomedian's avatar

@Carl_Rogers
Thanks that was awesome.

tigress3681's avatar

Emotions are caused by chemicals released into the blood stream and or neurotransmitters. The feeling of happiness typically results from things like norepinephrine, dopamine, seratonin, and others. You are correct in that actions outside of the body (such as doing things well) can stimulate the release of those chemicals. FYI even something as simple as forcing a smile can make you happy!

kenmc's avatar

Of course @Carl_Rogers is the one to answer…

Coloma's avatar

No.

Happiness is being content.

Content with who you are, what you have and how it is, right now.

It is not an emotion, it is a state of mind.

I recently pondered that one of the homeless populations in the city resided in the most beautiful riverside park.

Maybe they are on to something. ;-)

KhiaKarma's avatar

Happiness runs in a circular motion
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea
Everybody is a part of everything anyway
You can have everything if you let yourself be
-Donovan

You should check out this book

BarnacleBill's avatar

A great book on tape to listen to is Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. It’s not at all a self-help book, so don’t dismiss this recommendation. Gilbert looks at how our brains create “happy”. According to Gilbert, happiness is a subjective emotional state.

In an important sense, “Stumbling on Happiness” is a paean to delusion. “How do we manage to think of ourselves as great drivers, talented lovers and brilliant chefs when the facts of our lives include a pathetic parade of dented cars, disappointed partners and deflated souffl├ęs?” Gilbert asks. “The answer is simple: We cook the facts.”

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wundayatta's avatar

Happiness can be a choice. A choice about how to feel. You can feel happy about your life, or not. If you appreciate your life, it is easier to feel happy. If you are resentful and disappointed, you will feel unhappy.

Happiness is a feeling. Feelings are emotions, it seems to me. Sadness, boredom, excitement, satisfaction, etc, etc. All feelings. Also emotions.

Joybird's avatar

Emotions are complex behavioral responses. Their identification requires the ability not only to observe one’s own responses but also to describe accurately the context in which the emotion occurs. Thus, learning to identify an emotional response is aided enormously if one can observe and describe the even prompting the emotion; the interpretations of the event that prompt the emotions; the phenomenological experience, including the physical sensation, of the emotion, the behaviors expressing the emotion; and the aftereffects of the emotion on other types of functioning.

Happiness is one of many emotions. Other emotions include: anger, joy, sadness, love, shame, fear, contentment, and a long list of other emotions.
Emotions are one of two types of information. Rationale is the other. Together we use them to form wise decisions.
This is part of the teaching within Dialectical Behavioral Treatment. This concepts are used to rehab maladaptive thinking and behavior.

Emotions are used to communicate and influence others. Emotions organize and motivate action. Emotions can be self-validating and therefore when carried to an extreme and treated as facts they can become an impediment to optimal functioning.

Reducing emotionality is a skill base that relies on treating physical illness, eating nutritionally well balanced meals, avoiding mood altering substances, getting enough sleep on a regular schedule, getting exercise, and build mastery by setting goals and doing things that make us feel competent. When these things aren’t occuring we are unlikely to experience a sense of well-being and the emotions associated with that. We may experience emotional lability.

Someone here mentioned forced smiling to alter emotion. That’s not really accurate. Forced fake smiling has an effect of making us feel worse. Opposite to emotion action means doing something entirely different than forced faking it. Opposite to emotion action could mean putting a pencil between your teeth and biting down lightly on it. This creates a very small mona lisa type of smile which is neither forced nor fake and causes a feedback loop in the brain releasing some neurotransmitters that make one feel better. Another opposite to emotion exercise is to do what you are afraid of doing over and over. For example asking people out or getting up and speaking in front of groups. When sad or depressed you may want to get active, and involved instead of giving in to thoughts of isolatig. When angry you may want to try having empathy for the other person instead of attacking or attempt to do something nice for them instead of being mean or gently avoid them instead of attacking.

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