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I'm sure that major life circumstances (external events) greatly affect happiness levels - divorce, death of a loved one, major illness, losing one's job or home. People adapt but it could take years to return to previous levels of happiness, if ever (Lucas).

I got to this blog because I thought that by delving into research on happiness, I would find a way back to happiness; it's been five years since I lost it. What I've learned is that the authentic happiness I felt while married and raising a family - now replaced by singledom and an empty nest - will take great effort to achieve through activities that offer temporary relief and only a semblance of the real thing. Including exercising. While I was happy, I didn't need to question it, I simply felt it. I wonder why the loss of happiness feels like a major internal organ is gone, leaving a huge empty space inside? I suppose we need to remember that grief is also part of life, not only happiness.

Thanks for this blog, it's been helpful.