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I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to raise a family, Jennifer soon announced the joyful news of her pregnancy. They felt blessed; every moment since their So Hard To Be Happy encounter had been nothing but pleasurable.

Everyone who knew them concurred that their lives as a couple had been replete with happiness. Tragically, it was not Old Lady Fucks Teen endure. She was sleeping fitfully and her colic stubbornly persisted. So Hard To Be Happy felt utterly demoralized as a new mother.

Her mounting sense of guilt and melancholy led to her admission to a psychiatric ward her first ever encounter with psychiatry ; the fear of her harming Annie or herself spread through the family and circle of friends. And then, quite shockingly, despite the most diligent medical and nursing care, Jennifer met her death after jumping off a second floor balcony. Her family and friends plunged into deep grief; the medical professionals who had looked after her were similarly bereft. Having worked as a psychiatrist for over four decades and got to know dozens of men, women and children of diverse backgrounds and with unique life stories, I have witnessed many a sad narrative, although suicide has mercifully been a rare event.

These experiences, in tandem with a lifelong fascination with what makes people tick, have led me most reluctantly to the judgement that while we may savor happiness episodically, it will invariably be disrupted by unwelcome negative feelings.

Still, most of humankind will continue to harbor the expectation of living happily and remain oblivious that this wishful fantasy is an unconscious way of warding off the threat of psychic pain.

Namely that clinging to the fiction of being able to avoid suffering and enjoying a continuing state of pleasure is tantamount to self-deception.

I have offered them the hope — but not a guarantee — that they have the potential to lead a more fulfilling life than hitherto by participating in a challenging, and at times even distressing process of self-exploration whose purpose is to enhance self understanding and acceptance of the reality-bound emotional state I call contentment.

As the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud emphasized in his essay, Civilization and Its Discontentswe are much more vulnerable to unhappiness than its opposite. So, am I simply a misanthrope? We only have to think about the 50 million people who are currently displaced and unlikely to find a secure haven anytime soon, or the 2. Given the formidable obstacles to chasing after happiness or promoting its sustainability if we are lucky enough to come by it, what options do human beings have?

I have not come across any meaningful approach to this question, even from the unswervingly confident proponents of the contemporary school of positive psychology. So, I espouse the following: Happiness, derived Beauty Salon Rouse Hill the Norse word hapmeans luck or chance; the phrase happy-go-lucky illustrates the association.

Many Indo-European languages similarly conflate the feeling of happiness and luck. In the story we started this article with, Jennifer may have persevered So Hard To Be Happy her baby slept peacefully and not been assailed by colicky pain in her first few weeks of life.

Contentment is derived from the Latin contentus and usually translated as satisfied. No multiple meanings here to confuse us. And, most critically, these assets So Hard To Be Happy valued and nurtured whatever the circumstances, or So Hard To Be Happy especially when they are distressing or depressing. I have had the privilege of knowing men and women who suffered grievously as children in the ghettos and concentration camps of Nazi Europe but emerged from their nightmare to face the challenge of seeking strengths, emotional and spiritual, within themselves.

With the passage of time, many succeeded in achieving a sense of deep-seated contentment. What these survivors have clearly demonstrated is that accepting and respecting oneself, coupled with determining what is personally meaningful, stand a greater chance of accomplishment, even if never completed, than a relentless and ultimately futile pursuit of happiness.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Share on Google Plus. Be the first to know about new stories from PowerPost. Stop trying so hard to be happy. You should seek contentment instead.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Moyan Brenn. Sidney Bloch is an emeritus professor in psychiatry at University of Melbourne. Opinion Rob Porter is my ex-husband. Opinion Trump tells a lot of little lies. This is the big one. The story must be told. Check your inbox for details. You might also like: Sign Up No Thanks.

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Why can it be so hard to be happy?

30 Jun I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to.

9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to. 30 Nov Everything we do in life is, at the end of the day, in pursuit of happiness. But trying too hard to be happy could actually keep you from experiencing real satisfaction. Happiness is not something that we can buy, sell, trade, or exchange. If we want to be happy we have to stop trying so hard and pay attention.

Why It's So Hard to Be Happy. The pursuit of happiness drives much of what we do, but achieving it always seems just out of reach. By Michael Wiederman. What would make you happier? Perhaps a bigger house or a better car; a sexier or more understanding mate; surely, wealth and fame. Or maybe you would simply be. 7 May Im always depressed and angry, have been for the last 6 years. Im 23 now, since about 17 i have had so many problems and mental tension. My mind never takes a break, im always worrying, or anxious or angry about something. I hate the fact that my life has barely changed in the last 6 years. I see people. 30 Jun I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to.

10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and.

 

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9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to. 7 May Im always depressed and angry, have been for the last 6 years. Im 23 now, since about 17 i have had so many problems and mental tension. My mind never takes a break, im always worrying, or anxious or angry about something. I hate the fact that my life has barely changed in the last 6 years. I see people. 10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and.:

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10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and. 30 Nov Everything we do in life is, at the end of the day, in pursuit of happiness. But trying too hard to be happy could actually keep you from experiencing real satisfaction.

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30 Nov Everything we do in life is, at the end of the day, in pursuit of happiness. But trying too hard to be happy could actually keep you from experiencing real satisfaction. Happiness is not something that we can buy, sell, trade, or exchange. If we want to be happy we have to stop trying so hard and pay attention.

Read more...

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9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to. 30 Jun I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to.

Read more...

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To answer the question, the reason why it is so hard to be happy is because we are never satisfied with what is, with what we have, with the way things are; it is simply in our nature to want more, to want better, for us to never be truly content. Good is never good enough, we always want more and better. Happiness is. 7 May Im always depressed and angry, have been for the last 6 years. Im 23 now, since about 17 i have had so many problems and mental tension. My mind never takes a break, im always worrying, or anxious or angry about something. I hate the fact that my life has barely changed in the last 6 years. I see people.

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30 Nov Everything we do in life is, at the end of the day, in pursuit of happiness. But trying too hard to be happy could actually keep you from experiencing real satisfaction. To answer the question, the reason why it is so hard to be happy is because we are never satisfied with what is, with what we have, with the way things are; it is simply in our nature to want more, to want better, for us to never be truly content. Good is never good enough, we always want more and better. Happiness is.

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30 Jun I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to. Happiness is not something that we can buy, sell, trade, or exchange. If we want to be happy we have to stop trying so hard and pay attention.

Read more...

It's illusionary. You should seek contentment instead.

30 Jun I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to. Happiness is not something that we can buy, sell, trade, or exchange. If we want to be happy we have to stop trying so hard and pay attention.

  • 1 7 May Im always depressed and angry, have been for the last 6 years. Im 23 now, since about 17 i have had so many problems and mental tension. My mind never takes a break, im always worrying, or anxious or angry about something. I hate the fact that my life has barely changed in the last 6 years. I see people. 9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to.
  • 2 10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and. Why It's So Hard to Be Happy. The pursuit of happiness drives much of what we do, but achieving it always seems just out of reach. By Michael Wiederman. What would make you happier? Perhaps a bigger house or a better car; a sexier or more understanding mate; surely, wealth and fame. Or maybe you would simply be.
  • 3 Why It's So Hard to Be Happy. The pursuit of happiness drives much of what we do, but achieving it always seems just out of reach. By Michael Wiederman. What would make you happier? Perhaps a bigger house or a better car; a sexier or more understanding mate; surely, wealth and fame. Or maybe you would simply be. Happiness is not something that we can buy, sell, trade, or exchange. If we want to be happy we have to stop trying so hard and pay attention.
  • 4 Why It's So Hard to Be Happy. The pursuit of happiness drives much of what we do, but achieving it always seems just out of reach. By Michael Wiederman. What would make you happier? Perhaps a bigger house or a better car; a sexier or more understanding mate; surely, wealth and fame. Or maybe you would simply be. 7 May Im always depressed and angry, have been for the last 6 years. Im 23 now, since about 17 i have had so many problems and mental tension. My mind never takes a break, im always worrying, or anxious or angry about something. I hate the fact that my life has barely changed in the last 6 years. I see people.
  • 5 Happiness is not something that we can buy, sell, trade, or exchange. If we want to be happy we have to stop trying so hard and pay attention. 30 Nov Everything we do in life is, at the end of the day, in pursuit of happiness. But trying too hard to be happy could actually keep you from experiencing real satisfaction.
  • 6 10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and. 9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to.
  • 7 30 Jun I want to share a personal view of what it is to be happy and how it differs from feeling content. Let me begin with a clinical story. They met at a party; it was love at first sight just like one reads about in romantic novels. They married following an exhilarating courtship, and since they shared an eagerness to. 7 May Im always depressed and angry, have been for the last 6 years. Im 23 now, since about 17 i have had so many problems and mental tension. My mind never takes a break, im always worrying, or anxious or angry about something. I hate the fact that my life has barely changed in the last 6 years. I see people.
  • 8 10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and. 9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to.

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10 Nov Most of us get happy all wrong. This is because we were raised to think that life is supposed to make us feel good. We were taught to avoid pain like the plague, because negative events cause negative emotions, and negative feelings are not meant to be felt. The result is that we grow up pain-averse and. 9 Jul There are a number of errors we consistently make when predicting what will make us happy. (I've embedded links below to explain them further.) Via Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to.

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