How often have you caught yourself thinking that you will certainly be happy when your wish comes true, when other people agree to play along, or, putting it simply, when circumstances allow you to be happy? Or, on the contrary, you sort of reject happiness because you are sure that in the present dire circumstances nobody could be happy.
While these kinds of thoughts visit us fairly often, psychologists say different: when things that were supposed to make us happy finally come by, we find they make us happy for a short period only. But dire circumstances never tend to preclude happiness for as long as we believe they are capable to.
That is to say, succinctly, that expected joyous occasions and feared major crises fail to produce a really lasting effect. They are not so many sources of delight or grief as diving boards for further development towards these sensations. The important thing is that you build on them.
It’s impossible to be happy if the relationship breaks down
Once your relationship has crashed on the rocks, you – and everyone else – are highly likely to overreact. The feeling that happiness has blown with the wind, leaving us devastated and writhing in anticipation of a divorce, is overwhelming. We don’t think about it at that time, but we are sturdier than we believe, and psychologists aver that the lowest gloom point comes sometime before the divorce.
If the marriage was tumultuous, ex-spouses generally tend to feel happier after about four years following the split – even comparing to their feelings while the marriage lasted.
True happiness always requires someone to share it with
So many people hold that one cannot be really and truly happy without a partner by one’s side. Yet statistic reveals that it’s quite possible for single individuals to enjoy themselves as well as for married couples. Single people are known to stay involved in pursuits and relationships that bestow satisfaction and happiness in their lives.
Those who claim that staying single excludes any hope of true happiness and refuse to recognize the benefits of living alone (having more time to cultivate friendships, accomplish one’s own important projects, striking out on independent adventures, and more) might end up marrying just for the sake of marrying – which would make a poor result.
Happiness comes naturally to everyone
There is a predominant opinion that human beings are born happy. That is nice but hardly truthful. Nowadays about 20% of people struggle with depression, 10% of adults are suicidal. With our modern stressful life, psychiatric statistics intimate that there is a span in adult life when the risk of development of some kind of disorder runs up to nearly 30%. So, happiness is scarcely universal.
Now all those were medically registered cases – and if we consider conditions that do not quite qualify as psychiatric issues but aggravate people’s lives, sexual problems, domestic abuse, bullying, work-related stress, feeling of inferiority, chronic depressive states, and suchlike, we can feel besieged with all types of endless concerns. Then happiness emerges as an infrequent visitation in our lives.
It remains to throw in all sad people who look at others and assume they all are happy and content with life, while they are not. Of course, these thoughts only make them glummer.
If we want to live better we should shake off negative thoughts and feelings
In our society feeling good seems to be a prevalent notion: everyone seeks to be happy and rounded. To achieve this, the general advice runs to forgo all things negative and give yourself up to positive thoughts and feelings only. This is reasonable, it sounds right and it can help.
There’s hardly anyone around who wouldn’t agree to the idea of eliminating all unpleasant sensations. And yet we know that many precious things in life can bring in a wide gamut of feelings, unpleasant ones also included.
In every deep-going relationship, after all, is said and done, there is – and will be – a place for some disappointments and shortcomings side by side with bliss and all-embracing love.
It is not sensible to expect that your partner is so perfect and obliging that you will never have conflicts over anything or you will be able to avoid misunderstandings.
This goes not only for relationships, but for practically every major event or project in your life: periods of enthusiasm and deep satisfaction will be followed by spells of misgivings, fears, worries, and other subversive feelings.
I will certainly be happy when I have landed the job of my dreams
No matter how happy or unhappy we might be now, this idea is sure to take root in our minds. And yet – even if we were to accept the existence of this perfect dream job – we can discover, to our chagrin, that the happiness related to landing it is but transitory and bound to fade into the spate of everyday worries and concerns.
This sudden palling of sensations is actually quite logical since people possess the strong capacity of adapting themselves to the majority of changes rather quickly. It follows that the greater your expectations are the harder they will be impacted by the necessity to inure yourself to the new conditions. Soon they will be regarded not as exceptional, but as natural; not as a long-coveted objective, but as something justly deserved.
Attaining riches and success will surely make me happy
We all look forward to achieving a particular level of wealth and recognition, and with it comes the surety that once we have got there we are bound to be happy. Yet this surety is largely delusional; as our hopes come true, we are apt to feel empty, for the very good reason that we haven’t anything to wish now. Some people may feel depressed and bored by the need to adapt to the new circumstances and rearrange their lives as it behooves a successful and wealthy individual.
When people realize that money and success failed to bring about joy and happiness, they may fall into thinking that true happiness requires even more of those, and proceed to pile up riches and reach for greater success. In fact, the process has little to do with happiness; our achievements designate life conditions wherein we make ourselves happy by a sagacious disposition of our possessions.