The Elusive Quest for Happiness:

The pursuit of happiness is so often an elusive endeavour. Of course, we all want to feel happy. But the reality is that happiness can be hard to find. And then when we do find happiness, we can’t hold onto it, we can’t make it last. This is the truth about happiness. It is fleeting and ephemeral. In contrast, so much of our lives are complex and challenging. Life brings stress and distress, anything but happiness.

Many people are also afraid to be happy, to let go of worry or sadness. It can be hard to enjoy the moment. Old habits can die hard, and worry or despair can feel like familiar companions, almost as though they are part of who we are. Our parents too might have struggled to be happy, perhaps for good reason, but we didn’t see how to be joyful.

The 20 March is International Day of Happiness. We’ve created a series of articles looking at happiness – it’s causes and conditions. This is the first of five blogs examining questions such as what makes you happy? When have you felt happy?

The Centre for Clinical Psychology is a provider of mental health services, and these are important questions. How do we and our clients lead more fulfilling lives? Of course, it’s a bigger question than simply how do we support people to be happy? But it is true that happiness is mediated by mind and this short series of articles will explore happiness, including an examination of what philosophy can tell us and how to work with our minds to find greater happiness and ease.

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