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HealthThe pursuit of happiness can be catastrophic

The pursuit of happiness can be catastrophic

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News
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According to Maggie Mulquin, it can be destructive

Ironically, the pursuit of happiness is often stressful rather than satisfying. There are many individual reasons for the suicides of young athletes that we are witnessing. But we need to raise the question of how society can help prevent these tragedies. There is no doubt that our culture disappoints young people, and one of the important dimensions of this failure is our insistence on promoting happiness as a measure of a successful life.

This is what psychologist Maggie Mulquin wrote in her analysis for NBC.

Focus on happiness

it can lead to a propensity for perfectionism, as people try to maintain something that is actually a short-lived and elusive emotion, instead of approaching life in a way that creates resilience during inevitable ups and downs, she notes.

As the poet Robert Frost said: “Happiness compensates with height what it lacks in length.” The pressure to present to the world only the best of ourselves can prevent us from connecting with others who might see our shortcomings if we allow them to come closer. To be condemned or, even worse, to be repulsed if we present to the world something less than happy and orderly creates a fragile foundation for self-confidence.

We are constantly bombarded by advertisements and posts on social networks that suggest that happiness is at your fingertips – in fact, it is just a click away. We are told that we can change the furniture in our living room and our state of mind in an instant. This supposed decision makes our appetite for quick decisions stronger, and the failure we experience when a quick solution does not work is perceived as a personal shortcoming, because it is supposed to be so easy to get, explains the psychologist. .

According to Maggie Mulquin, the pressure that people feel to be happy, or at least look happy, can also be devastating to build a strong sense of self-worth.

Reducing happiness to something ostentatious

Is was reduces our ability to express the full range of emotions, which increases stress as we close parts of ourselves.

We live in a world of Hallmark cards, where every event seems to be reduced to a single emotion (all birthdays should be happy!), So people learn to hide their inner emotions instead of expressing them. trigger a downward spiral of emotions and increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety, “she commented.

Instead of promoting happiness as an elixir of life, our society should deepen conversations and explore how people can find satisfaction, the psychologist recommends.

In psychology, the state of satisfaction usually refers to being at peace with yourself. It does not carry the stigma of satisfaction with less, as the word is commonly used. In a psychological sense, being happy means being in harmony with yourself. Unlike happiness, the state of satisfaction is long-lasting and provides a solid foundation for mental health. Discovering what makes us feel satisfied and striving for it helps us protect ourselves from stress in its many manifestations, the expert said.

People who feel connected to a goal, passion, or other person have a stronger sense of well-being. This is a more lasting state of mind than ordinary moments of happiness. Establishing a deep connection with something or someone strengthens self-confidence. This is the seed of determination that can help someone get out of bed in the morning, even when they feel depressed. For those who do not feel satisfaction, their longing makes them vulnerable to quick decisions and despair, to the constant pursuit of the next blow of happiness.

Promoting a sense of satisfaction, not happiness as a goal to measure a satisfying life, must begin early. Usually under “happiness” people imagine a list of achievements, not a state of mind. Many patients struggle with the burden of disappointing their parents by not finding the “happiness” their parents wanted for them.

The misconception that the antidote to stress is happiness

It also reinforces the misconception that only an individual’s inability to cope with it leads to mental illness. Social messages prescribe what happiness looks like – from certain body types to six-figure salaries. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, economic and social structures continue to spread the dangerous myth that individual change, unlike social change, is the solution to the problem of unhappiness.

There are more feelings in the world than happy and sad. As a society, we must encourage and support people to express a wider and more nuanced set of feelings than the current one allows.

There will be no progress in overcoming the mental health crisis if adaptation depends solely on individuals, instead of advocating for change in society.

It is a big step in this direction

to get off the train of happiness and start promoting the value of being happy. Satisfaction comes from a life measured with satisfaction, in a community that wants to know people as they are, not just when they are happy.

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