The Potential Risks in the Pursuit of Happiness (UpFundMe Fundraising, Vol VI)

in happiness •  9 months ago 

It's a common and often closely held belief in our world that we "should be happy."

Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be happy! Happy feels good! Happy... well... makes us feel happy.

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Light on the water

When we Objectify Happiness

Consider, for a moment, times when you feel really happy.

For me, it is when my cat comes and curls up in my lap, purring, when I am watching TV. Or when I have cooked a new dish, and it turns out really well, better than I had even hoped for. Or when my kids come to visit me for the weekend. Or when I finished a really good piece of artwork. Or when I walk on the beach with my husband.

You can come up with your own list, and consider this small exercise.

When you look at the list, what do you see? I'm willing to guess there's a very high likelihood that your experiences of 'being happy" are fairly brief and fleeting moments, not a constant state of being.

What I have learned from talking to thousands of counseling clients over the past couple of decades is that the potential downside — and sometimes actual source of DEPRESSION — to being "in search of happiness" in our lives is that we end up trying to find a permanent version of something that's a temporary emotion!

And it simply doesn't exist!

And so, we end up frustrated, maybe stressed, maybe feeling like something is seriously wrong with our lives, maybe even seeking counseling and being advised to take mood enhancers for our "depression."

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Evening light by the ferry dock

Side Note: Those "Happy People from Denmark"

You have possibly seen articles and commentaries about how people from Denmark (or one of the other Nordic countries) are found to be The Happiest People in the World.

I happen to be married to someone from Denmark, and even though my husband has lived in the US for decades, we have occasionally talked about what's behind these studies, and their findings.

He insists — after also consulting with his relatives, who still live in Denmark — that the whole concept is pretty silly. Danes aren't any happier than anyone else. That the "happiness" described in the studies is really more like a sense of "life contentment and well-being" than actual happiness as most people immediately interpret it.

Then he points to Denmark's fairy high rates of both alcoholism and suicide.

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Sunset light

Forget About "Happiness," and Focus on Something Else!

In the vast majority of cases, this sense of "happiness" we seek is more likely a bi-product of feeling like we have a measure of control and security in our lives.

What I often tell my clients who are struggling with this issue is to focus on removing stress factors as well as toxic situations and relationships from their lives, to whatever degree they can.

Think about where you are focusing your energy. If you are repeatedly doing things — or finding yourself in situations — that cause you distress, work towards changing those, and it is likely the desired happiness will follow, as a result of not having to deal with them.

And remember this: "UN-happiness" tends to be just as temporary and transient as happiness. The problem is that we get bogged down in ruminating on the negative, sometimes to such an extent we forget the positive!

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day.

Bright Blessings to all!

(This is post VI in an ongoing effort to raise funds for the White Light Express to become a legal 501-c-3 Non-Profit Organization, using UpFundMe and Steemit. Every upvote we get brings us a little closer to being able to afford the legal expenses to take this next step for our 18-year old organization! Thank you in advance, for your support! As of this writing, we have saved 219.927 Steem Power, 484.568 UFM tokens and 1.55 SteemPower Investment tokens via @spinvest. Totals updated with each new post!)


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Since October 2001, the mission of the White Light Express has been to offer healing and transformation through focused positive intention, meditation and prayer. Right Thought is the first step toward Right Action and consciousness. We believe that “holding the vibration” is a profound task and our divine destiny.

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I enjoyed this post immensely. I really found this statement inciteful

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I really liked this realization, but the closer was the reciprocal idea!

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Which was of course followed by clear incite into both the cause and the cure...

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Great insight and useful information.

Thank you
✍️ Shortsegments.

I'm from Denmark and can confirm that most people here find it... odd! the be called the happiest people on earth. I think the idea of happiness in this rating is a utilitarian leftover from the eighteenth century. And it reflects that Danes are very pragmatic and utilitarian in daily life.

Interestingly the Danish word, Lykke that is always used here when referring to the happiness-rating, does not equal the English word happiness. We split it in two: We say: glæde for happiness, while lykke, mean a very, slow and peaceful sort of bliss, like when you have endured the endless quarrels with your children all day and then in the late evening go look at them sleeping. You can be happy about all your money and accomplishments, while lykke is more about being happy in spite of such things. The word is also the same as you have in English as luck :) So it is appreciating what came your way... you describe it yourself actually.

Like the word, hygge, which has recently been trumpeted being a secret recipe for happiness, lykke of course exists everywhere on earth. I have experienced hygge all over the world.

The happiness-stress you describe is as much a problem here as everywhere else. I know well-educated women with wonderful children and husband and car and dog and house and boat, whose life seem to be a living hell, even though it shouldn't be.

I have reshared! Nice to read a small text about something else than crypto and steem.

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My extremely busy and energetic daughter raising 4 kids, 6 dogs 2 businesses, a happy husband has a saying, "Not my monkey-not my circus!" While it sounds flippant she prioritizes problems according to 'how important they are to her and her family.'
She says she does not want to be a nosy parker or indulge in gossip.
If it's important address it at its source she reckons.
She, as I do, believe absolutely in a spiritual source that dishes out in lavish doses, love, grace, mercy, clear vision and wisdom. We call him Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
An excellent thought provoking blog.
Thank you.