Bad day, Deep thoughts

Using “the happiness equation” to solve my crabby mood

I seriously debated not writing a post this morning because I am CRABBY. Went to bed crabby, woke up crabby. Dang it. Was hoping it would magically disappear while I slept.

Why am I crabby, you may ask? That is an excellent question. I am crabby because my evening last night didn’t go exactly the way I wanted it to. Writing sometimes helps me work my way out of a funk, so I am going to give it a go. 🙂

The Happiness Equation

According to the book I just finished, Solve for Happy, the “happiness equation” is this:

Happiness >/ Events – Expectations

*That is supposed to be “greater than or equal to”. Can’t for the life of me figure out how to make that symbol on the computer.*

Breaking that down more for you:

“If you perceive the events in your life as equal to or greater than your expectations, you’re happy- or at least not unhappy.”

Quick example:

If you expect full sunshine on your wedding day but an unexpected rainstorm moves through, you would be devastated.

However, if the weather forecast called for a hurricane on your wedding day, but then only a light rainstorm blew through, you might be elated!

It’s really all about the perception. The way we think about it. In both cases, the exact same rainstorm moves through the wedding, but in one you feel sad/angry/betrayed by the weather gods and in the other you feel grateful/blessed/overjoyed.

Applying this to… ME

Okay, so now let’s try to apply this to my crabbiness.

What was my expectation for last night??

I had a specific plan for how I wanted the evening to go. I’ll spare you all the details, but long story short, my “master plan” completely fell apart. Instead, it seemed like time was on turbo speed, blowing through my carefully scheduled “time blocks” on my Google calendar. Messes seemed to exponentially expand around me, people in my household were not behaving just as I expected they would and I kept running into random issues everywhere I turned. Cap the night off with a very frustrating technical issue with this lovely blog that I felt (and still feel…) inept to handle, and I was just done.

Using the equation, my “expectation” was not met, so I felt unhappy. Very simple.

If this same exact sequence of events occurred on a different evening, but on a day that, let’s say, my child had narrowly escaped getting hit by a car, I would have been thrilled with the outcome of my evening. Thank God! We are home, together, safe…who cares what else happened?? Who cares about some computer problem or mess in the kitchen?? My child is safe.

In both instances, the actual events of the night would have been exactly the same. So…. clearly the only thing actually changing is MY THOUGHTS. Very interesting.

Okay! I’m feeling better already by reminding myself that this is literally all in my head. Upwards and onwards to a better, not crabby day. 🙂

Hello, I’m Flint. I love good books and I’m never crabby.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for boys that still yell, “Mom! Come tuck me in!” when they get into bed at night. Holding on to that sweet sound as long as I can…. ❤ (usually sweet sound. Unless I’m already in my own bed, in which case it can be a little exasperating. 😉 )

1 thought on “Using “the happiness equation” to solve my crabby mood”

  1. I’m also feeling pretty crabby and I was very crabby yesterday. I had a day full of meetings and a ton of work came in so I worked an hour extra which I felt bad about because I don’t get a ton of time with my son and I don’t like him seeing that mommy is working when he gets home from daycare… but I knew that if I didn’t get a few more things done last night, today would be extra rough. I had a big presentation at 2 and while everyone said it went well, I could tell my voice was a little shaky, which is not like me but I was presenting material that I NEVER present. So I just felt off and crabby and then I had another flare so that did not help matters! I think I am really approaching burnout but I feel like I can’t take time off from work since we are busy and my maternity leave isn’t far off so I feel like I need to work now to make up for it…

    But the whole expectations thing really does impact our happiness! So I try to have low expectations but sometimes that still doesn’t work out.


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