Please note: If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Your life matters.
Through television shows and societal expectations, we learn from a young age what “successful” or “happy” looks like. For a quick second, think about the first image that pops into your head when you think of happiness. For many, it’s a new car, a nice vacation, a significant other that’s a model, a mansion by the sea, and other extravagant ventures. To have these can certainly make life exciting for a moment and may even be a source of adventure. Unfortunately, many equate this with happiness, and are disappointed when they discover they’re still not happy. Why is this, you ask? Let’s explore.
According to Medium, author Bertrand Russell published his book in the 1930s called The Conquest of Happiness. In this book, he listed what many would view as “common sense” – but for him, these were some of the heaviest factors that were making people so unhappy. A total of 8 issues were discussed:
- Meaninglessness – having such a pessimistic perspective on life
- Competition – the fact that we often take ourselves too seriously
- Boredom – focusing so much on stability that we lose adventure
- Fatigue – from worrying ourselves so much
- Envy – through movies and social media, we begin to want what others have
- Guilt and shame – not standing up for one’s personal beliefs because they feel guilty
- Persecution mania – self-absorption, or the overall sense of “me” thinking
- Fear of public opinion – being afraid to have our own tastes, opinions, expressions, etc.
We become so wrapped up in these elements that it takes us directly away from happiness, but we also don’t “achieve” happiness because we treat it as a goal to obtain. Happiness is a state of ebb and flow, and you’ll never be 110% happy all of the time because it simply doesn’t exist. You can, however, begin taking steps towards your holistic health so that you’re better able to manage negative thoughts and emotions, which increase your chances of being content even through difficult times.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474