Mental Incapacity is Ecstasy

This almost looks like an endorsement for brain damage or perhaps for drug usage, but I wrote it that way to question the whole idea that “ignorance is bliss”.

I actually believe that the wiser someone is the happier that they are.

The funny this is that this has been disputed by many people especially by my friends whom I consider to be wiser than me!

Still, I have to say, that I have found happiness most of all through a great deal of practice and effort.

I think that the main reason that people don’t tap into happiness research today as well as using the techniques that are available from ancient times is because they are either not aware of them or do not believe that they work.

Thus, I see, in a sense, that some faith is important. That is faith in ourselves and our abilities to make ourselves happier.

Today I found out some interesting things about happiness.

For one thing, I was confused by the hedonic treadmill which states that when you reach a certain level of success, you reset your mind to accommodate for it, and you are no longer happy with it.

This does apply to things like money and weather.

However, it does NOT apply to other things like relationships and hobbies in part because these things are choices and take effort.

See, knowing this, one can make choices to increase one’s happiness. I am definitely focusing on my hobbies and healthy friendships with as many people as possible.

In the past, I believed that I only had so much “friendship energy”, and I had to conserve for the best people in my life.

Now I just take people as they come.

Another big part of happiness is one’s set point.

There is some base level of happiness (or unhappiness) in all of us. I have seen some people, like Kim in the band Matt and Kim, who smile all the time for no good reason. This has inspired me to try to more like her.

Through reading research, I learned that one’s base line happiness is called the “set point” and that this can be changed through only a few ways: drugs (temporarily like ProzacTM), meditation, and cognitive therapy. The latter two are permanent that is, one’s set point naturally stays higher even after you quit. Prozac is like most drugs in that it makes you feel better when you are on it, and when you aren’t you’re back to where you started unless you use the Prozac high to practice the latter two skills.

I do both of the latter everyday. In fact, I almost (almost!) welcome insomnia as it gives me a chance to meditate.

These days I’m doing more cognitive therapy than meditation, using my mind to try to figure out why I choose to feel the wrong ways.

All of this is knowledge and wisdom, and back when I was younger and dumber instead of working on myself, I’d lash out at the world.

This ignorance was not blissful at all.


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