Happiness – Difficulty as a Constant – This is the Starting Place

In attempting to understand happiness, we need to look at un-happiness, or discomfort. It is true that much of life is unsatisfactory, filled with imperfections, discomfort and pain. When we fight with this, we only suffer more. We also cannot know happiness if we do not know sorrow. The beginnings of contentment arise when we can hold both of these notions.  Life is difficult and involves suffering, and embracing joy and sorrow equally is the beginning of greater understanding.

The actual word ‘happiness’ contributes to this problem.  Happiness implies a state free from pain or discomfort.  Yet, the pursuit of meaningful goals and activities – such as career aspirations, relationships and family – so often cause us distress and suffering.  We can be distressed by negative feedback, family members can become angry or distant, and relationship can be challenging.  None of this is not especially joyful.  Yet, we can derive a great deal of satisfaction from doing difficult things and our discomfort ought not lead us to giving up.  Indeed, if we were to give up, our lives are likely to be impoverished as a result.  Difficult tasks can be meaningful and bring us closer to something close to, but much more interesting than happiness.   

False positivity is another issue.  Not only is it grating but we can’t expect to be always smiling and always uplifted. This only leads to a feeling of insincerity and, worse, inadequacy. No one can be happy all of the time.  Yet, if we are receptive, we can cultivate happiness and joy.

We understand that trauma anxiety and depression can detract from wellbeing and treatment can help people get their lives back on track. Call to book with one of our psychologists. We know trauma therapy and we can help you with depression and anxiety.  We can also support you to find greater peace and wellbeing.  To speak with one of our psychologists, call to book an appointment 03 9077 0122 or book online at www.ccp.net.au.