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teresa proctor

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Is happiness internal or external?

Can happiness be influence by your external circumstances or is happiness internal? If happiness is internal, where is it's location? How or can happiness be influenced, externally or is the influence strictly internal?

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    Aug 22 2013: Both;
    A flow of unhappy external events will, drag down internal happiness. No matter how strong it is, and vice versa.
    You can only use denial for so long; you can't live in your head/thoughts consistently.
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      Aug 22 2013: Hi Don,
      Based on my own experiences, I do not agree that a flow of unhappy events will drag down internal happiness no matter how strong it is. I don't see "denial" of anything as a way to experience happiness or contentment.

      23 years ago, my mother and father died, I was ending 24 years of marriage, diagnosed with cancer and sustained a near fatal head injury....all within a short period of time. I see this as a "flow" of challenging external events.

      There certainly were times of feeling ALL emotions, including unhappiness, confusion, frustration, etc., all of which are fear based. Part of my "foundation" for life however, is curiosity, acceptance and unconditional love. So, interspersed with the fear based feelings/emotions, I also recognized the love that was extended to me by so many wonderful people. I recognized my own strength, and my curiosity allowed me to learn SO much about myself, other people and the life experience, that I see this time of my life as a gift, which provided many opportunities.

      I did not deny anything, welcomed ALL feelings and emotions while facing the challenges with open heart and mind, willingness and desire to learn, grow and evolve.
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        Aug 22 2013: Colleen you have admirable and inspirational strength, thank you.

        On Denial; there are several form it can take, some health and other unhealthy and even deathly. Drugs and alcohol only make problems worse, but on the other hand denial and semi-denial can be a useful tool. Sometimes we need to postpone internally working thought issues until we are ready, and temporary denial can help us postpone. I think is superbetter.com is a healthy style of semi-denial, and people have been using online-gaming to escape/denial real life and if done right that is also healthy.
        Personally I used semi-denial for a few years to help me stay happy, after my MS dx. 11 years ago. I take the drugs and put it out of mind the rest of the time, and thus Semi-denial. Now I educate myself, diet, exercise, etc. etc. but at first I was not ready mentally or spiritually to deal with it. And denial kept me from falling into depression.

        But back on topic, real life issues can influence happiness. But that is not to say real life issues have total control over happiness.
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          Aug 22 2013: Thank you Don, and I think/feel we all have more strength than we sometimes think we have. You have demonstrated that with your challenge as well my friend.

          I agree that there are different forms that denial can take. Postponing something, to me, feels different than denial. For example, there are times when I feel that I just cannot deal with all the emotions involved with a situation at the same time. I may face some, and postpone others. As multi sensory, multi dimensional humans, we can experience many different emotions at the same time. We can choose to go deeply into some, or all of the emotions at any given time.

          Sometimes, during the recovery from the head injury for example, I simply could not face thinking about or feeling what my life was going to be like. What if I can never walk again....what if I cannot function at all, which is what the prognosis was. 5 months after the head injury, I went in for cancer surgery.

          Sometimes, I told myself, at that moment, that day, that's all I had to do was rest and heal. When I could walk 2 steps, I congratulated myself and celebrated the accomplishment. And the next day I went 4 steps.....8 steps......on and on....and I congratulated myself with every single step......and that's all I could do that day. I accepted where I was, and continued to believe I could do more the next day.

          As I healed physically and emotionally, I was able to take more and more steps, and delve into all of the emotions on deeper and deeper levels. I remember a couple times, way after the fact.....maybe 2 or 3 years later, laying on the floor, totally "spent" from crying, and feeling many emotions that I "postponed". If I had gone to that depth during the most challenging times, it would have taken energy from the body/mind that I needed to heal.
      • Aug 22 2013: Colleen, yes, this is exactly why I posted this question. I am right there. I too believe happiness is internal and it is our conditioned self, which crates all types obstacles and stories to keep us from our inner happiness. The conditioned self loves to keep us searching, buying, tells us we need to earn happiness and you must be worthy of deserving happiness. People have literally searched the world for happiness only to learn and understand they are the sole source of their happiness. I believe 100% Happiness is internal and if you have a strong foundation, nothing shakes your inner happiness, Soul Joy.
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          Aug 22 2013: Teresa,
          I think/feel that we are all "worthy" or "deserving" of happiness/contentment no matter what the external life adventure we are experiencing.

          I wholeheartedly agree....people often search for happiness outside themselves, when it is in us to "be" the source of our own happiness.
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        Aug 22 2013: You are correct Caesar, that some people wear masks. I do not agree that anyone can "undermine" the happiness of another person. My message continues to be that we create our own happiness/contentment.

        If external factors can influence you enough to "undermine" your happiness/contentment, I suggest that you are depending on external factors for your own happiness, which doesn't usually work very well, and as you insightfully say, "is not genuine happiness".
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        Aug 22 2013: You are absolutely correct Caesar Ducant, that some people do indeed attempt to undermine other peoples happiness because they pretend their lives are not what they are and cannot stand it when other people are genuinely happy.

        No, I have never done that..have you? If it makes no difference to you, as you say, why do you ask the question?

        No Caesar, I am not passive aggressive....are you? Are you projecting your own "stuff"?
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        Aug 22 2013: I totally agree Caesar, that self introspection is good for all of us.

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