Comments about ‘Friday Minute: Friday Minute: 5 habits of happy people’

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Published: Friday, June 24 2011 6:00 a.m. MDT

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Babs
South Jordan, UT

Love this article,....so basic, so simple, so true. We just need a bit of self control to practice these principles. Thanks for putting the guidelines into five steps, easy to remember.

Utah Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

I think your article and assumptions are correct. Just don't make the mistake of the reverse logic - that people who do these things are automatically happy. Having suffered from severe clinical depression most of my life, doing things that happy people do has never guaranteed happiness for myself (although it does help somewhat). Depression is a biological problem that many people suffer from - regardless of what "happy habits" they have. Not to mention the struggle of happiness that others in difficult situations have - abuse, loss of a loved one, etc.

Don't get me wrong - I agree with the article. It is just that there really are some unhappy people in the world who need a whole lot more than just a few good habits. Their solutions are anything but simple. The number of these people who exist in society is enough to refrain from labeling them an exception.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Utah Fan: Very, very insightful comments. One unfortunate quirk of the LDS culture is that if you follow a certain recipe, you will be happy. And if you are not happy, then you must not be doing something right. I know a lot of very wonderful, devoted people, LDS and non-LDS, who strive to follow all five of those habits, and yes, they still struggle with depression. Emeritus General Authority Alexander B. Morrison wrote a book in which he tries to debunk the myth that depression is a sign of unrighteousness. Yes, this article is very good, but Utah Fan's perspective is a very important part of this dialogue. Thank you for sharing.

Maryquilter
Farmington, UT

I agree with the article. I have battled chronic, clinical depression all my life, and my children as well. Of course our situation is more complex and requires therapy and often medication ( I would not be alive today without them). I don't think, however, that the author is saying that if you follow those 5 suggestions then you will automatically have a blissful life. We all face tremendous challenges, but I believe those who follow these practices have a much better chance at dealing positively with those challenges and experiencing joy in spite of the sorrow and pain. I don't think this article is aimed at those of us facing severe depression. I also feel we are sometimes a bit defensive when we read things like this, when perhaps it is not necessary. I am glad the Church has made huge strides in recognizing depression and talking about it, and helping us to seek help to deal with it and never to feel ashamed. My wards have always been extremely understanding in releasing me from callings if they become too overwhelming or reducing the time I need to spend in serving.

Utah Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

@Maryquilter

"I don't think, however, that the author is saying that if you follow those 5 suggestions then you will automatically have a blissful life."

I don't think the author meant that either. Unfortunately, there are some who do think that and I was throwing caution against that.

"I also feel we are sometimes a bit defensive when we read things like this, when perhaps it is not necessary."

Myself making a point of view is not being defensive.

"I am glad the Church has made huge strides in recognizing depression"

Agreed. And the Holy Spirit is by far the best "medication" for my depression.

"My wards have always been extremely understanding in releasing me from callings if they become too overwhelming or reducing the time I need to spend in serving."

I need to move to your ward. :) But, assuming you are female, my experience is that Church leaders have been far more sympathetic towards women who have depression than men. Of course, this is just my own personal observation, and there certainly could be variations.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

I also want to point out that being a member of the LDS Church has been the best thing for myself, a person with depression. Some critics of the church have pointed out that being a member causes depression. They point to studies that they think confirms this. But, they over-interpret whatever studies they think supports their theories. In my life, when I have been the most active in the church, I have had less severe battles with depression. Nothing is more depressing to me than going a week or two without some spiritual or church or temple activity. I hate it when I have to travel or am sick and I need to miss church.

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