Happiness Page

On this page I want to talk about happiness only and leave the main page for all other matters of the mind. Eventually I will be adding more pages for different subjects to make it easier for readers to follow their main interest.

When we talk about happiness, quite a few questions arise:
What is happiness and how do we define it?
How does happiness feel?
Why are some people happy and others not?
Is "someone up there" who decides who is happy and who is not?
Does a happy personality exist?
Are happy people more successful than unhappy people?
What are the benefits of happiness?
Can we learn to be happy?

I will briefly answer these and other questions and I would like you to also comment on them. You will find my answers also in my book Happiness Discovered, in which I write extensively on the subject and also explore the biology of happiness, the philosophy and psychology of it. Happiness Discovered is also a guidebook to happiness that shows that everybody can increase their happiness potential.
Happiness Discovered by Udo Stadtsbuchler

Download PDF at U.S.$ 19.95 go to: http://happinessdiscovered.110mb.com/
Buy the book at U.S.$ 24.95 (read excerpt) http://www.amazon.com/dp/1451578784
Buy the book at U.S.$ 24.95: https://www.createspace.com/3443453
For e-readers at U.S.$ 19.95 (read excerpt): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20529

Now also available from www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.de as well as from selected book stores and by mail order in Australia and India

Definition of Happiness

There are quite a few definitions of happiness. Some say that its base is in spirituality or religion. Others say that to find happiness one needs prosperity or at least financial security. Proponents of this idea are mainly economists, who dabble in philosophy or psychology; there are quite a few of them. Again, others say that love is the ultimate happiness. Contentment, goodness, pleasure, are some more definitions for happiness, and there are many more still.

Who is right? Who is wrong? The simple answer is that they all are right and wrong. You see, there is not one single and universally valid reason for happiness. Happiness is an individual dimension of an experience, with the emphasis on individual. The individual finds his or her own happiness. Therefore, you want to find your very own trigger for your happiness. It could be that you agree with the economists and financial success makes you happy. Nothing wrong with that. It could also be that you find your happiness in love. There is definitely nothing wrong with it either. Whatever makes you happy is the right trigger for you. There just cannot be a wrong trigger, or a wrong cause for your happiness. Other people may disagree with you and find your happiness trigger pathetic, deplorable, reprehensible, or disgusting. It does not matter, if it makes you happy, it is the right trigger for you.
In Happiness Discovered, I have listed the five most common triggers that people have named as their reasons for their own happiness. I also show how you can attain anyone of these triggers, and it may serve you well. On the other hand, it may not. It could well be that you can find your happiness elsewhere, but you do not know where. In Happiness Discovered, I have provided tools that you can use to find your happiness trigger.
Your happiness is your responsibility. There is no one "up there" who bestows it upon you, there is no universal spirit that can present you with an abundance of happiness. It is in your very own hands to be happy or not.
We inherit from our parents not only some of their external features, but also some of their personality and energy. There is the possibility that you inherit some of their optimism and happiness, or their pessimism and unhappiness. In addition, during your childhood you copy some of their behavior, which could be happy or unhappy. Therefore, we can say that happiness can be partly nature and partly nurture. Does it mean that you are stuck forever with what you have inherited or copied?
No, it does not mean it at all. You can learn how to increase your happiness potential and indeed your happiness.

Let us talk about it next time.

16.November 2010

Those of you who are reading my Personal Matters know that I am facing two separate challenges; both have to do with my physical health. Some years ago, when I first started thinking and talking happiness, many people asked me if it was possible to have a life threatening illness and still be happy. My answer then was always that in theory it was possible indeed, but that I did not really know how it would be in real life. At that time I was the healthiest person imaginable.
Now I know with certainty that it is also in real life possible to be happy when one has to deal with severe illness. Six years ago I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, which was quite some emotional shock for me. However, I can not remember one single day of despair or unhappiness whilst I had to undergo all the various pre-operation tests up to the actual operation. All the time I was focused on a positive outcome without a shadow of doubt that it could be different. I was so determined to get well quickly that I managed to shorten my stay in hospital to four days instead of the predicted 2 - 3 weeks.
Some months ago I was again diagnosed with cancer and you can read the story of it in Archives. I am going to see the oncologist again the day after tomorrow. Regardless of it, I was never unhappy for one single day. Of course the diagnosis was a nother shock for me and most certainly I did not burst into uncontrolable laughter when I heard the bad news. But once I had rationalized the matter it did not affect me negatively any more.
A few days ago I had a mini stroke, which is a warning signal that a massive stroke may well be underway within the next few months. I am going to discuss this with my doctor tomorrow. However, it does not affect me negatively at all. I am in very good spirit and enjoy myself tremendously. My wife plays a big role in it too. We have fun and there is a very good deal of laughter in our home every single day. One could say that ours is a very happy household.
In my book Happiness Discovered I wrote a chapter on happiness and health, and I wrote at length about behavioral medicine, or as it is now called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). I quite clearly demonstrated, based on quoted research and evidence, that positivity and optimism is a great contributor to getting through illness or recovering from it.
However, it is not only the knowledge of PNI that makes me react in this way. It is more so my involvement
in happiness research, happiness thinking, happiness talking, and happiness writing that has done it.
I have become a man who is full of optimism and positivity. I am happy.

Available in print and for Kindle from Amazon
for most other e-readers and PDF from smashword.com
as well as from most good online and mainstreet bookstores

06. December 2010

Before continuing reading here, I suggest you first read my post in Personal Matters where I explain the outcome of my latest cancer test.
Now you know that the test was negative. This means that my intensive mind work, together with the help of diet and using elements of the Budwig diet, had been successful. Before I embarked on this challenge, an old and very dear friend and colleague said to me that it was futile to eradicate cancer once it is established in the body only with dieting. I did and still do agree with her, even though there are quite a number of diet plans that maintain that this is indeed possible. However, I think that they all have only anecdotal evidence and cannot replicate these anecdotes of success over and over again. I am sure, even so I cannot prove it, that more cancer patients did not get cured by whatever diet they used, than that did get cured.
In all probability my method cannot be replicated over and over again either. Take my diet plan; I first tried one that was recommended in an internet cancer support group. After a few weeks I gave up on it, because it just did not feel right. I swapped this one for the Budwig diet, but I modified it somewhat to make it feel right for me. This feeling had nothing to do with taste and preferences, because most of it still tasted awful. It was the kind of feeling that one can experience that tells one that something is right or is not right.
Let us turn away from whatever kind of diet I used and let us have a look at my mind work. Because I feel and also believe that it was this kind of work that contributed most to my success.
At the core of my mind work is happiness. I mentioned before that I am a very happy person and this happiness did not diminish one tiny bit when I was diagnosed with having cancer. Some people told me that this is not possible and that I must have experienced a shock that took away my happiness. Yes, I was a bit shocked, but not to such an extend that I became downbeat and pitiful. And I knew it right then and there that I was not going to succumb to cancer, but that I would breeze through these episode and become healthy again. I said I knew it  and I meant it. I did not mean I believed it or even firmly believed it; I absolutely knew it. Having this knowledge made it that much easier to not only introduce my other tools to fight this illness, but to also use them every single day. I think I spent about two hours a day working with these tools; definitely every morning for 40 - 50 minutes, and every evening for another 30 minutes. During the day I used them many times, for a few minutes each time.
Some of the exercises worked on my self confidence and others were directly geared to the illness. But they all had one thing in common: to keep me happy!
Everyone who knows about Behavioral Medicine, or Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) as it is now known, knows about the benefit of positivity and happiness when combating illness. You can read about it in Happiness Discovered, where I dedicate a whole chapter to it.

Happiness Discovered by Udo Stadtsbuchler

Download it in PDF at U.S. $19.95 go to http://happinessdiscovered.110mb.com
Buy the book in print or for Kindle from Amazon
or in print from Create Space https://www.createspace.com/3443453
For most other e-readers (EPUB etc) at U.S.$ 19.95: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20529
Now also available from www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.de
and in most good online book stores