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Chapter 1 Shades of Mood


Usually, we relate happiness with social constructs like success, money, relationships, spirituality etc., and humanity has been striving hard around these constructs, also we have made lot of progress in these; however, whether modern man is happier than the ancient, is difficult to say. And if it is not so then it could be that we are running on a tread mill, striving hard and reaching nowhere, still in the same room, on the same machine.    

This whole notion of happiness requires serious scrutiny and we intent doing it through biological lense. However, before taking the biological dimension in discussion, we will look at some more general things around the notion of happiness. In this first episode we will try to look at various shades of mood.        

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Some people believe happiness is an illusory thing and it cannot, and shouldn’t be chased. Others believe that human endeavor’s core driver is happiness, whatever we do, is to feel good; hence, happiness is the central thing. There is a set of experts who think happiness is a complex and confusing thing, for them it’s easy to talk in terms of the inverse of it i.e. ‘suffering’ as suffering is easy to observe and decipher. Well, despite all the ambiguity and difficulty in this exploration, we will keep talking in terms of happiness directly, to keep it straight. 

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Ok, so let’s begin by looking at different shades of mood.

We all have different experiences with our mood. Sometimes we feel calm, contended, blissful. There are times when we are thrilled and feel excited, when the time just flies. Many adventure loving persons like being in this zone much more, whereas, bliss could be zone more preferred by grown-up or elderly people.   

All of us are familiar with bouts of boredom, when psychological time becomes almost standstill and it becomes quite a task killing it. Boredom is a huge indicator of one’s mental health. A healthy and happy person, or society, would have almost zero requirement of entertainment.   

We all also get in the grip of stress too. In fact, it is often difficult to make things move in capitalistic world unless some amount of stress is attached. Now, small episodes of stress add to the productivity, continued underground stress is often detrimental to physical and mental health. 

Contrary to the shade of stress is the shade of depression, it is when fear or failure takes a deeper seat and one just don’t want doing anything. One doesn’t even want to show-up or talk to people excepting one’s confidante. Current trends indicate that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience major depression in their lifetimes.

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So, we can primarily see 5 shades around our mood:

  1. Bliss
  2. Excitement 
  3. Boredom
  4. Stress 
  5. Depression 



What is your current shade? 

Do you keep oscillating in many of these shades? 

Does this oscillation help you experience a particular emotion better, or makes you tired?   

There have been scientists, painters and musicians who were bipolar or remained under major depression, and yet they created marvelous things. There are super successful CEOs who mostly look stressed. 

It also appears as if majority of humanity has gone into boredom, people are bored of their jobs, of their relationships, and even of their hobbies. Many of us need continuous supply of entertainment, breaking news and other amusing stuff. Only few of us are intrinsically excited about what they are doing, most need a continuous external validation. 

Contentment, calmness or bliss is something rare to be seen. Most of us are too fragmented to sense this zone. Being in this requires one attaining the wholeness, which is possible only through dropping the self, whereas, modern man’s most endeavors are directed towards strengthen the self, strengthening the independence, strengthening the separating.    

Large chunk of humanity oscillates in Excitement – Boredom – Stress, and some only between boredom and stress. Benjamin Franklin said “Many young men die at age 25, but are not buried until they're 75.”

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It is important to know the larger shade of your mood, it is also important to quantify your emotions and the cognition. Cognition is a measure of problem-solving ability, particularly the ability to solve complex problems. And it is possible to improve cognition, and once cognition is improved, confidence gets improved and one acquires a better shade. 







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