Looking for happiness? Just stop!

Looking for happiness? Just stop!
Looking for happiness Just stop!

Many people focus on finding happiness. But just as those who try too hard to be cool are never cool, if you're always striving to be happy, you will never achieve happiness. What's the problem? Perhaps you're just trying too hard!

Happiness is just one of the range of human emotions, and as with feelings of anger, envy and fear, we only experience it fleetingly before it disappears again. Happiness is not something you can achieve; it's something you experience within yourself.

The difference between pleasure and happiness

These days, people tend to confuse happiness with pleasure. So much marketing is aimed at achieving satisfaction - buy a new car and be happy, lose five kilos and be happy - but you can neither buy nor achieve happiness. It's something that exists (temporarily) almost as a side effect of other things going on in your life.

Bach flowers personal mix

Bach flowers personal mix:

  • Personal combination
  • Based on your symptoms and character
  • Bach flower remedy personally selected by Tom
  • Fast and good results
Discover how Personal Bach flowers remedy - Wizard can help you

Pleasure can be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily make you happy. It brings short term satisfaction and distracts us from negative emotions. But those who focus only on achieving materialistic goals are more likely to suffer anxiety, depression and unhappiness. Of course, it's also possible to seek pleasure through substance or alcohol abuse or extramarital affairs. While they may temporarily numb your pain, these damaging activities certainly won't bring you long term happiness.

Being happy isn’t the same as being positive

We're living in a stay-positive, roses and sunshine culture. When bad stuff happens, society often expects us to make the best of it. We're told to look for the bright side before we've had time to come to terms with the bad news.

Always being positive doesn't equate to happiness. You need time to process sad, upsetting events. When your grandma dies, people might tell you to be positive about it because she had a good, long life. But there's no need to paste a smile on your face. It's OK to grieve.

Self-help gurus sometimes make you feel bad because you're not happy all the time. But continually being positive is dysfunctional and means you are probably suppressing your real emotions. Being unable to express your feelings can store up health problems for the future - it's better to rage or weep for a while. It's hard, but you'll get through it. You'll know when you're ready to come out from under your cloud and move on. Bach Flower Mix 65, for dejection, supports you through challenging times, helping you to be more attentive to life and restore your self-confidence.

Happiness is a side effect of other stuff going on in our lives

Explicitly pursuing happiness can actually make you less happy. Real happiness can be measured how often we feel it rather than how happy we feel at a given moment. When people have experienced intense emotions of joy, whether by winning a gold medal or a lottery prize, these extremes seem to make it harder to feel pleasure in the small things that occur every day.

Happiness is what happens when we forget about ourselves and get involved in activities that challenge us. Whether you're raising a family, setting up a new business on a shoestring budget, or training for a marathon, you're in the zone, living in the moment. What you're doing might not be pleasurable at the time, but you're so wrapped up in your activities that gloomy thoughts and worries drift away.

None of the activities described above is invariably pleasant: they all make us struggle with high demands on our commitment, time and energy. Sometimes they make us angry or even despairing. Yet we look back misty-eyed at happy memories of times when we've challenged ourselves. But it's not becoming wealthy from the business you started, or successfully raising the perfect child, that makes you happy.

It's more about setting yourself high goals and attempting to become the person you dream of being, your ideal self. It doesn't even matter whether you succeed in those challenges or not. It's not the material result of your endeavours that makes you happy: it's being satisfied that you've done your best in trying to achieve your goal.

So when your only goal in life is to find happiness, you can't achieve it. We can only find happiness as a side effect of other things that are going on in our lives. The closer our activities are aligned with the image we have of our ideal self, the happier we feel.

A final thought

Happiness occurs when we're busy pursuing our dreams. It's no use to go looking for it. However many goals you achieve in your life, you will still feel happy and unhappy in the same ratio: there will always be just one more thing needed to make you super-happy.

The best advice about being happier is to know who you are and imagine who you dream of being. Then get moving and make changes towards achieving your goal. It doesn't matter if you don't succeed: it's the action that counts. Just get on with living your life the best you can and be happy.


Sources:

http://www.fulfillmentdaily.com/want-happiness-science-says-stop-looking/

https://doi.org/10/bcvq

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/cbt-and-me/201608/the-problem-positive-thinking

https://markmanson.net/stop-trying-to-be-happy

Share
Marie Pure

Other articles


Find out if you're suffering from imposter syndrome

Find out if you're suffering from imposter syndrome

Do you sometimes feel your achievements are not the result of your hard work and skill but are just luck? And do you fear that one day, someone will reveal you as an imposter or fraud? You might have imposter syndrome!

Read the complete article

Start of spring, a new start, a fresh start

Start of spring, a new start, a fresh start

Do you find that every Spring you feel that it is time to make a new start, to make a new you? This ‘spring-cleaning’ we all yearn for is deeply ingrained within all of us.

Read the complete article

7 tips to go from loneliness to happiness

7 tips to go from loneliness to happiness

Everyone feels lonely sometimes, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more difficult than usual to maintain our usual social contacts. Whether you’re confined to your home in lockdown, furloughed from your employment or working from home rather than going into the office, you may be missing the regular contact you previously enjoyed with family, friends and colleagues.

Read the complete article

is it wrong to feel happy

Is it wrong to feel unhappy?

Is it a serious problem if you feel unhappy? In order to have light, there should be darkness. Read this article to know more about feeling unhappy!

Read the complete article

Even the brightest minds have setbacks!

Even the brightest minds have setbacks!

We all want to be successful but many of us find the path to achieving our dreams is blocked by our fear of failure. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, go backpacking around the world or start up a new business, you need to accept that you might fail many times over before you achieve success.

Read the complete article

Stop procrastinating right now and do something!

Stop procrastinating right now and do something!

Read some tips to get the challenge you're thinking about out of the way. Now is the time to do something, you can start right now. Read on to know more!

Read the complete article

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice. 

Read the complete article

Simple tips to not be afraid of the future

Simple tips to not be afraid of the future

No one knows what the future holds, so don't waste time and energy worrying about it. Read our tips and find out how to stop being afraid of what might never happen.

Read the complete article

Let's go! How to make resolutions work

Let's go! How to make resolutions work

It's the same every year. We start well by making some New Year's resolutions but end up ditching them before January ends. So you how do you choose resolutions you can stick to?

Read the complete article

fear

7 tips to help your dog with a fear of fireworks

As nice as it is for a person to celebrate New Year, it's not so nice for a dog, especially when the loud fireworks go off the whole night. This is really frightening for many dogs. Read our 7 tips on how you can help your dog with his fear of fireworks.

Read the complete article

Free personal advice for your problem?

Are you unsure which Bach flowers can help you? Contact Tom for free advice.

tom vermeersch
Tom Vermeersch

Yes, I want free advice

No thanks, I will do my own research