The Happiness Continuum

The Happiness Continuum

Happiness is a shared aspiration. It is an infectious joyous feeling. When we are happy or happier it lifts the ambiance and everyone gains. Happiness is not a fixed state of mind but is on a continuum of potential change. Likewise, those dark sad days are not permanent either.

Whether we are feeling very happy, a little happy, occasionally happy or downright cheerful, there is always the possibility for increasing happiness. This is the happiness continuum. Deep down we know that our temperament can always improve. As the pendulum shifts and our experience informs us, our moods may not last very long. Even in a state of ultimate euphoria, self-sabotage, fear and loss can get in the way. Are we fully entitled to be happy when there is so much injustice and suffering in the world? Are we allowed to be happier than our friends and colleagues?

The ethos of the book is that when we are encouraged to laugh at this seemingly ludicrous and contradictory state of affairs, we benefit both physically and psychologically from doing so. Higher levels of happiness can be attained through increased self-awareness, self-regulation and acting on one’s conscience.

The title of the book Almost Happy is ironic. It is a tease, a jest, inviting you to re-evaluate your position on the happiness continuum – from miserable to content to elated to ecstatic. Perhaps we are never at peace with wherever we are on the happiness continuum? When we are less than happy we want more, when we are super happy we fear losing it, however when we embrace the notion of being almost happy we are paradoxically compelled to settle into a state of acceptance, grace and gratitude in the broadest sense. This gives us an opportunity to move up the happiness continuum and be way, way happier.

Almost suggests we have nearly arrived but not yet committed to a fixed position. Its versatility can be applied to any absolutes, softening it and inviting change and growth. If we add the almost prefix to any of the mid- to upper levels of the happiness continuum, almost still stands. For example, almost content, almost amused, almost elated, almost blissful, almost euphoric, almost perfect.

Here are some fun almosts playing with the paradox of absolutes. In order to get the joke, you will need to imagine almost as an ironic adjective:

Almost active; almost alive; almost amused; almost appropriate; almost art; almost authentic; almost available; almost aware;

Almost bitchy; almost blissful; almost blonde; almost brave; almost busy;

Almost certain; almost cheeky; almost chic; almost confident; almost content; almost consistent; almost convinced; almost cute;

Almost dating; almost dead; almost delighted; almost different;

Almost ecstatic; almost edible; almost elated; almost elegant; almost eligible; almost empathic; almost engaged; almost equal; almost erect; almost euphoric; almost exact;

Almost fabulous; almost fair; almost faithful; almost flawed; almost free; almost friendly; almost *ucked; almost funny;

Almost glad; almost god; almost gold; almost good; almost grateful; almost great; almost groovy; almost guilty;

Almost happy; almost helpful; almost hip; almost honest; almost human;

Almost impeached; almost important; almost innocent; almost intact; almost interesting;

Almost joking; almost jolly; almost jubilant; almost jumpy;

Almost kind; almost kinky; almost kosher;

Almost legal; almost logical; almost lost; almost loved; like almost;

Almost mad; almost married; almost merry; almost missed; almost modest; almost mortal;

Almost naughty; almost nepotistic, almost new; almost nice; almost normal;

Almost old; almost organic; almost organised; almost orgasmic;

Almost phallic; almost pissed; almost pleased; almost polite; almost popular; almost pregnant; almost pretty; almost profound; almost proud; almost provocative; almost psychic; almost punctual;

Almost qualified;

Almost rational; almost relaxed; almost reliable; almost religious; almost retiring;

Almost sane; almost satisfied; almost sexy; almost shy; almost silly; almost sincere; almost single; almost smart; almost smiling; almost sober; almost solvent; almost sorry; almost superb; almost sure;

Almost taxed; almost therapeutic; almost thin; almost thrilled; almost tidy; almost true;

Almost unique; almost united;

Almost valid;

Almost wanted; almost whole; almost wise; almost witty;

Almost done –

Almost zany.


– Almost Hephzibah


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