Tracking Happiness

A friend of mine Anu has this popular question to ask when she meets us “What am I proud of and grateful for?”. It’s an interesting question. While answering it last time, I realized its a proxy question for asking how happy am I. I don’t know what Anu thinks but I will ask her next time I meet her.

In general tracking happiness is very difficult. It depends on so many things, from sleep to how many good conversations you had in a day. But I have realized if I have a good answer to Anu’s question; it means that I am quite happy. So for last few weeks I have made notes every day (sometimes multiple times a day) using a single word,”What am I proud of and grateful for?“.

I use NomieApp on my phone and some CouchDB magic to create real-time word cloud of the words. Click on the image below to see real-time cloud.

measure_happiness

Nomie is available both on Android and iPhone, it allows you track anything you want privately. There is no server-side component. But you can backup the data to your Computer or Dropbox. If you are experimental then you can sync the data to a CouchDB instance in real-time. Syncing to CouchDB not only backups your data but also gives you API to play with. I use cloudant hosted service of CouchDB but you can set up your own CouchDB.

My setup is below

happy

Nomie updates all the data to a db called username_events, where username is your couchdb username. Now I don’t want to expose everything to the world and hence I filter the notes that begin with #grateful and #proudof, replicate them to another db called proudof_grateful. Below is the filter function

function(doc,req) { 
   if(doc._id.substring(0, 4) == 'note' && 
   (doc.value.substring(0, 8) == '#proudof' || doc.value.substring(0, 9) == '#grateful' )){ 
       return true;  
   } 
   return false;  
}

and the design document

{
  "_id": "_design/only_grateful_proud_notes",
  "language": "javascript",
  "filters": {
    "myfilter": "function(doc,req) { if(doc._id.substring(0, 4) == 'note' && (   doc.value.substring(0, 8) == '#proudof' || doc.value.substring(0, 9) == '#grateful' )                  ){ return true;  } return false;  }"
  }
}

On proudof_grateful I have CouchDB views that would count the words and give me word:no_of_occurrences as response. Below I have listed MapReduce functions with responses

#count_grateful
#map function
function (doc) {
  var s = doc.value.split(" ");
  if(s[0] == "#grateful"){
    emit(s[1], 1);  
  }
}

#reduce function
function(keys, values, rereduce) {
  return sum(values);
}

The response when you access the url https://your_couch_db.com/proudof_grateful/_design/summary/_view/count_grateful?group=true

{"rows":[
{"key":"Coffee","value":1},
{"key":"Family","value":3},
{"key":"Food","value":3},
{"key":"Love","value":2},
{"key":"Opportunity","value":1},
{"key":"Peace","value":2},
{"key":"Privilege","value":1},
{"key":"Sister","value":1}
]}

Similarly for counting #proudof words

#count_proud
#map function
function (doc) {
  var s = doc.value.split(" ");
  if(s[0] == "#proudof"){
    emit(s[1], 1);  
  }
}

#reduce function
function(keys, values, rereduce) {
  return sum(values);
}

The response when you access the url https://your_couch_db.com/proudof_grateful/_design/summary/_view/count_proud?group=true

{"rows":[
{"key":"Amma","value":1},
{"key":"Code","value":3},
{"key":"Cooking","value":1},
{"key":"Friends","value":1},
{"key":"Hack","value":2},
{"key":"Patience","value":1},
{"key":"Work","value":1},
{"key":"Workout","value":2}
]}

Now that I have all the data as JSON response I use wordcloud2.js library to draw word-cloud in real time.

To be frank it shows what I am really #proudof and #grateful for. All you need is a sense of achievement and something to be grateful for; so you are grounded. That for me defines happiness.

Let me know if you want to any help in setting up this for yourself.

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3 Responses

  1. Love this!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  1. August 10, 2016

    […] Happiness using @NomieApp and @CouchDB thejeshgn.com/2016/08/10/tra… #quantifiedself cc: […]

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