Happiness, Part Three

July 3, 2022

Anna Bernsteiner (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer

 

[Link to first article]Click here[/Link to first article] for part one, and [Link to second article] here[/Link to second article] for part two.

 

These interviews were lightly edited for clarity and readability.

 

Nicole

 

Nicole is 21 and originally from New Zealand. I met her a couple of months back and was surprised to have so many things in common with a stranger. She is an incredible person, very adventurous and open-minded. In her free time, she likes to hike, meet up with friends or travel. She currently works as an au-pair in Seattle.

 

If you could do anything without limitations right now, what would you do?

 

I’d probably travel or see family. I haven’t seen them in quite a long time as I live in Seattle and they are back in New Zealand. 

 

How would you describe happiness in your own words?

 

Happiness is a mix of things. It can be a person, a feeling or something I enjoy eating. Or even an experience. 

 

When or where do you feel happiest? 

 

When I’m with my family or doing an activity that I love. 

 

When you hear or see bad news, how do you cope with that negativity and stay positive?

 

I turn to being around people to keep myself busy and not think about it too much. 

 

Would you say you are happy right now? 

 

Yes and no. No, because I haven’t seen my family in so long and it’s hard cause I can’t go back and see them. 

 

What would you tell someone who is struggling?

 

I know it doesn’t seem like it, but it will get better, you just have to keep pushing. 

 

***

 

Alma

 

Alma is 22 and lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her home a little outside the city has a bright red and white colour typical for the area. In her spare time, Alma likes to work out, travel and be on fika (a Swedish coffee break) with family or friends. Alma is an amazing friend, very smart and curious. She works as a customer service representative at the moment, but her dream is to be an interior designer.

 

If you could do anything without limitations right now, what would you do?

 

Travel. Just leave and enjoy each and every moment.

 

What makes you get out of bed in the morning when you are having a hard time? 

 

I try to find something positive each day and focus on that rather than the negative! 

 

What does happiness look like for you?

 

I would say happiness is feeling satisfied with life and having something to look forward to.

 

When do you feel happiest?

 

When I’m with my family and closest friends. When I’m out traveling and when spring and summer starts. It gets really dark during winter in Sweden, and it makes me happy when the sun finally pops back out! 

 

When you hear or read bad news, how do you overcome negative emotions?

 

Trying to accept what has happened. It’s okay to cry and show your emotions. What helps is to talk with family or friends and do what makes me happy. I like to go on walks or exercise to get my mind off of things.

 

Would you say you are truly happy? 

 

No, not 100 percent, but there are moments here and there that make me happy. I’m not yet in a place that makes me really happy and satisfied with my life right now. 

 

If not, what is missing?

 

I’m struggling with being alone and having a hard time knowing what I want for my future regarding work, school, etc. 

 

What would you say to someone who is struggling right now?

 

It’s okay not to be okay, and it will get better. Be around people you love and do things that make you happy.

 

***

 

Elisabeth 

 

Elisabeth is a 75-year-old grandma of 12. She enjoys baking, going on her daily walks, spending time with her grandchildren and knitting socks for the whole family. She has been married for over 50 years and still lives close to where she was born in a small town in the Alps. 

 

If you could do anything in life without being held back, what would you do?

 

[Long pause] Nothing. I’d just be right where I’m at. 

 

If you had to describe happiness in your own words, what does it look or feel like to you? 

 

Being at home with family. I don’t need to be anywhere else. It’s hard to describe it. You just feel like it or you don’t. 

 

What makes you happy? 

 

Family. I’m baking a cake right now, so I’d say that. My home. That I’m healthy is also a huge part of my happiness. 

 

What are thoughts, people and things that get you out of bed in the morning when you are going through a difficult time?

 

I have things to do, and that’s what I am getting up to do. Also cooking for my husband, he doesn’t really know how to turn on the stove [giggles].

 

When you hear or see bad news, how do you cope with that negativity? 

 

I get out of the house and I walk for an hour. Just walk, it’s also okay to cry if you are having a rough day. I sometimes do that. But walking is always a good idea. 

 

Would you say you are happy right now? 

 

Yes! I’m happy. I’m not sick. What else would you want?

 

What would you say to someone who is having a rough time? 

 

Go out and take a long, long walk. I walk every day. Keeps me healthy. Think about what you can control and change, and do that instead of worrying about the things you have no control over. And go have some coffee and cake. 

 

 

Hi, I’m Anna, I’m a student and I write blogs for Low Entropy. In my free time I like to explore new countries and cultures, try new foods, languages and meet new people, and I try to write interesting articles 🙂

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