Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hidden #CausesOfUnhappiness

Life,characterized by varying degrees of joy,sorrow,hope,despair,lassitude and initiative,is a dappled path.Everybody passes through different phases from time to time,but some people look inordinately bogged down with sorrow and despair.An objective appraisal of their life-conditions fails to explain their despondence.An unknown factor seems to be at work.

Could it be because of their thought processes-the way they interpret what happens to them and around them?Very likely.Because the same event elicits different reactions from different individuals and gives rise to corresponding emotions.Those who look at everything with alarm and distrust will have a lot to be pessimistic about.

A small disruption in life,an unsatisfactory relationship,a deficiency in personality,occasional bouts of anxiety or listlessness:any of these will impact different people in different ways.Someone who is satisfied with less,who is a happy-go-lucky kind of person,will just take it in his stride and not think twice about it.But a perfectionist who wants everything in his life to be just so,without any jarring note,will be unhappy even at the presence of a minor shortcoming,and fail to savor the advantages he has been blessed with-until he lowers the bar a bit.

Overthinking is another habit which can make you miserable despite having all the amenities required to enjoy a perfect life.An analytical brain blows up tiny flaws to gigantic proportions.Your thoughts go into a downward spiral accentuating negativity and preventing curative measures.Overthinking being a big issue these days,requires a separate post later.Suffice it to say that it cause stress and anxiety.

You can read more about the ways to control anxiety in this post.

It is not the situations,but how we react to them which makes us happy or unhappy.For example,a major obstacle might be taken as a moment to think up another strategy by one person,but a dead end by another.Naturally the first one will be fired with enthusiasm while the latter will give up hope and initiative.The former will be happy and well adjusted while the latter will be downcast and full of misgivings.

A fight with a friend may impact a girl to the extent of her concluding that she is not likable,does not know how to get along with people,and is likely to be ostracized by the whole group.She is obviously generalizing one episode to pass a judgement on her entire personality, predicting the future,and making a mountain of a molehill.Sounds very erroneous doesn't it?But we often do blow up something out of proportion and lose sleep over it.

Another likely cause of unhappiness is jumping to conclusions.Your partner informs you that he will be late at work.You immediately begin to speculate if he had a date with his secretary or if he was cheating on you.An overactive imagination will go into the worst possible scenario and leave that person worried.Jumping to conclusions or visualizing the worst possible outcome of any development is common where health issues are concerned.A tension headache might be construed by someone as the beginning of a brain tumor,depressing that person without any basis. 

You can learn more about illness anxiety or hypochondria at this post.

It is obvious that much of our unhappiness is the result of faulty thinking.Loss,pain and grief are an inseparable part of life.We cannot escape the sorrow which some events inflict on us,but we can stop ourselves from ruing over baleful scenarios concocted by distorted thinking.

In order to do this it is necessary to recognize the incipience of such thoughts and nip them in the bud.Don't let these thoughts entrench themselves in your brain lest they become a permanent feature.Divert your mind when you see it running into a wrong channel.Start something you really enjoy doing.Try to be more balanced and logical in the conclusions you draw and the opinions you form.This simple course correction will yield greater happiness and peace of mind.

8 comments :

  1. A very informative post, Indu. Actually, I am sharing this post with some of my friends.

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    1. Thank you B Pradeep.I am very happy it clicked with you :).

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  2. Hi Indu. I have been facing the unwanted thoughts or distorted thinking of what they call anxiety for a long time. Things improved but they still keep coming and this post is very informative. I will follow your blog now and try to implement the suggestions.

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    1. Thank you Vishal,you gave an amazing start to my day!
      Anxiety is very persistent and very disturbing.That is why I have written a lot about it.

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  3. Very true. We must think good thoughts. We are what we think.

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  4. very true, positivin thinking is the best way of living, and feeling of ratitude is necessary to live a happy life.

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    1. Yes,positive thinking is an admirable friend in all seasons.

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