I'm not sad, really I'm not. I'm just not that happy either, and a significant amount of my time goes towards thinking (probably not very cleverly) about how I can be happier. If I was genuinely happy, this time could go towards improving the world instead. There has been some talk in EA about how to help very sad EAs, e.g. talk around mental health, but helping the "not sad but not happy either" contingent seems somewhat neglected, and could have community productivity benefits, especially as the group is probably fairly large. There has actually been some work on EA community productivity, but I think it forgets that just being happier can be an effective way to become more productive.

What would such work look like? It could be a critical review of the literature, cutting through the bullshit, and coming out the other side with evidence-backed actions to do to live a happy life. Or it could just be identifying a particularly lauded self-help book that helps lots of people. Alternatively I like the idea of just asking the EA community how they achieved happiness - might lead to some interesting answers. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to being happy, but maybe there are still some generally useful insights.

Some things I'm wondering and for which there might be clever answers:

  • Should I make meditation a big part of my life?
  • How do I finally stop being single and find someone to have a relationship with after having been single my whole life?
  • Should I just quit drinking once and for all, even if I'm not a big drinker?
  • Should I forget about everything else until I've found the most meaningful, high impact job I can find?
  • What should I do in the periods when I'm just browsing reddit?
  • Should I find one hobby to become obsessed with or have multiple hobbies?
  • Should I become a fitness freak?
  • Should I just focus on growing my confidence and then happiness will follow?
  • Are these even the right questions to be asking?

I don't know if anyone can really help me or other "not sad but not happy either" people without actually knowing me or them well. But I'm interested to seeing what people have to say to all of this (which has kind of been a dump of my thoughts and feelings at this moment in time and may be a bit nonsensical...).

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:20 PM

I don't know too much about this topic, but this might provide some useful resources? :) This is a really important topic, so hopefully someone in the community will be able to review the research at some point! 

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