The Formula for Happiness #IWSG

I was cruising Facebook a couple weeks ago and succumbed to clicking on a how-to article about happy marriages. Being a happily married person, I just wanted to see if the article got it right, or if it was a bunch of empty acorns. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who linked it or what the title of the article was, but the basics boiled down to one formula.

Expectation – Reality = Frustration

On the scale of life, when frustration dips, happiness lifts.

This isn’t a new concept. I can tell because I Googled the formula in an effort to find the article again.

What do you think? Have you noticed you are happier when frustration is at a low?

Perhaps I have low expectations (my writing) or maybe a high reality (my marriage), but this month, I’m pretty happy.

Is there something frustrating you? Do you notice a correlation between frustration and happiness? What are you expectations this month, and how is your reality looking?

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You can find the sign up for the IWSG here. We owe Alex J Cavanaugh a huge thank you for thinking this blog hop up.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

25 thoughts on “The Formula for Happiness #IWSG

  1. I have a few things frustrating me (But of course I do.) and I think it definitely has a correlation with my particular happiness at any given point.

    It’s great that you’re pretty happy this month. 🙂

  2. Yeh for being happy! I find the more little things I can let go, the happier and more relaxed I am.

  3. As a science-minded kind of guy, I always love seeing complex ideas expressed mathematically. I have to agree that my happiness quotient is inversely proportional to my frustration. It’s also worth noting that the equation can run both ways. If I’m in a happy mood, problems don’t seem nearly as frustrating as they might be otherwise.

  4. I never thought of it that way, but yes, it does ring true. I’m happy with my marriage, and frustrated with my writing at the moment. It does make me grumpy during the day when I need to be working.

  5. It is very rare that I get frustrated, I handle situations pretty well generally. The only time I get frustrated is when the person listening to me refuses to understand what I’m trying to say or is not open to see my point of view in the same way I am open to their point of view. But like I say this is a rarity. I don’t get frustrated with my writing. It’s either working or it’s not and when it’s not I take a break and don’t beat myself up over it.

  6. Yup when life frustrates me I am not as happy. However, overcoming frustration can feel really good. I need to do some of that.
    Happy Writing,
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  7. I buy that formula. I have a pretty real marriage as well.

  8. I allow myself five minutes to be angry/annoyed/frustrated over something and then accept the fact that it happened and (most likely) can’t be changed. This leaves more time for happiness. So yes – definite correlation!

  9. I’m quite happy to have low expectations for my writing. I’ll still have fun writing even if it doesn’t work out commercially, and if by some miracle it does work out, then I’ll be happy to accept that too.

  10. I think frustration goes with being alive and trying to accomplish something.

  11. I can accept that to an extent. Thankfully I keep my expectations low. XD

  12. Technology often frustrates me. Why can’t it just WORK?! So, that aside, I think I’d do very well in a technology free environment. =) Or at least, I minorly technological world.

  13. I think I always have something frustrating me. Sometimes it’s just a bad work day. Most of the time it’s the novel. But when I figure something out and that frustration dips, I definitely feel happier! So I think you’re right.

  14. I get frustrated easily and have been trying to manage that better, and I definitely think I’m happier. Just working on not being such a nutcase freaking out every second has been a big help LOL.
    Good to read that you are feeling happy! 🙂

  15. I carry a bucket of Frustration on me at all times. You never know when you might need it.

    Also, according to that formula, decreasing reality will decrease frustration. Drugs it is!

    Alternately, increasing expectation will increase frustration. That seems like an even worse idea. I will definitely take the drugs, please. 😉

  16. Hi, Loni,

    Intersting… I definitely am a lot less happy when I am frustrated. When I get frustrated I become very irritable and cranky… That is NOT me, so I try to pull myself out of that frustration as quickly as possible.

  17. Ugh! One of these days I’m going to follow up on my threat to join this monthly group and write something.

    So frustrating situations arise from taking reality from expectations? I get the concept… But I could argue that if you take your expectation and add the reality of life, that would lead to frustration.

    Glad you’re doing well. You always seem happy to me. (Don’t hog the happy juice!) ?

  18. I try not to get frustrated but it seems inevitable (a) as a writer. (b) being disabled. Nut frustration causes stress, and that’s bad. However, I can say that like you, I’m happy at the moment.

    Mainly because our move to Boise has become reality with a house purchase imminent.

  19. I am never happy when frustrated. Frustration stinks! Especially in a marriage, heh.

  20. This cold is rather frustrating, but other than that… I tend to get into states where I’m more content than happy.

  21. I’d say it’s a safe assumption that frustration breeds unhappiness. And frustration is bred by having expectations that reality cannot live up to. But without overblown expectations how do we work towards anything? So it; can be a double edged sword/constant cycle…

  22. I definitely think there’s a correlation. Last month was seriously frustrating and it had me in tears more often than I’d have to admit.

  23. Yeah, happiness and frustration are not good neighbours. My relationship has its ups and downs, but I don’t feel frustrated with The Boy often, which is a good thing.

  24. If I remember right, Shakespeare said “Expectation is the root of all heartache”. I read that a while back and I’ve tried to take it to heart. I think it’s impossible to have no expectations at all, but I do try to catch myself when I’m developing expectations that could lead to disappointment, and reel them in. It sometimes works. -_-

  25. Yay for having low expectations (to a degree anyway) and high reality (always!). I do think people get caught up in comparing themselves to others which results in higher expectations and lower (feelings about) reality. How are people buying homes, having children, getting married, traveling, achieving their (monetary, career, whatever) dreams when I am struggling to get by? I definitely think all of that leads to frustration and disappointment. You really have to keep your mind in the game and consider that you are only seeing the best of the best online.

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