Happiness is not the absence of pain

Happiness is about finding balance

Happiness is about finding balance

Happiness is not a panacea for escaping pain, avoiding setbacks or ignoring negativity. Happiness is not a shield that protects you from the buffeting of life. Happiness can provide you with resilience, balance and a positive perspective in dealing with the challenges of life.

A happiness outlook suggests you confront negative feelings without letting them overwhelm you. Many popular conceptions of happiness are misleading because they set people up for a struggle against reality. They don’t acknowledge that life is full of disappointment, personal challenges and pain. To live a full life we must open ourselves to a full range of emotions.

The goal isn’t to limit the range of our feelings. Negative feelings provide insight what we value and what we need to change: frustration, anger, grief and anxiety all provide valuable clues into ourselves.

Grief for the pain suffered by a loved one proves how much we value that person. Anxiety about a new job shows just how important performing well or making a positive impression means to us. Continued frustration with a situation may be the catalyst for us to make a change.

Dealing with these challenges will lead us to happiness and a more fulfilled life; the life that is right for us. There can be great satisfaction in overcoming life’s challenges. Often this will lead to greater levels of happiness than if we hadn’t faced challenges at all.


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