Studies have shown (some study somewhere always shows something) that happiness is relative, by which I do not mean your relatives make you happy. I mean that your happiness with an experience depends on what you’re comparing it to. Is right now not as good as the best time in your life or is it much better than the worst time in your life? There’s your relative scale for happiness. I’m wondering if that’s why older people are so often reported to be more content. We’ve lived through such hell that a stretch of relative calm and well-being seems like nirvana. My personal approach is to look at anything that’s making me unhappy and think (1) Can I fix/solve/stop this? and (2) If I can’t, is this worse than the worst time in my life? It’s never worse than the worse time in my life, so happiness returns.
How did you find comparative happiness this week?