How The Pursuit Of Happiness Is Killing Us Softly.

                                                 
                                                        Have you seen those large hoardings? A big happy family. With a smile on every member’s face. And a big bottle of carbonated drink next to them. Well, that is happiness. Society is trying to define what is happiness for us. Particularly how bad it is if you’re not happy. It is as if you’re not happy then you don’t have a right to live. Say something sad, you’re feeling about and four people jump at you and say think positive be positive. There is no space for negative emotions.
Now imagine. It’s Our forefather’s forefather… who is in the cave and the rains have stopped. As the sound of the rain has fizzled. This ancestor of ours wants to go out. It is dark and wet. The moment he stepped outside, he can hear some sounds in the bushes. What do you think he plans? Do you think he will go and check out what is there in the bushes? Hell no. What he is experiencing is anxiety. There might be something behind those bushes that is too dangerous. It might be not true. But the probability as he’s living in a jungle it’s quite primitive. There are very high chances that something dangerous might be hiding in the bushes. There is no point in taking risks. He keeps being anxious for a long time until he gets some light. To see that there is nothing in the bushes.
                                         Do you think he should tolerate this anxiety a little or go behind the bush in pursuit of happiness? Let’s find How I can be happy at this moment ? I’m sure he definitely chose to be anxious and keep quiet in the cave rather than go for a search of happiness in the bushes. If he would have chosen the latter we wouldn’t be existing today. These are the evolutionary principles from where our emotions arrived. They are the ones that have made us survive then and they keep us going even today. Look at the massive lockdowns. The whole world today is trying to be inside their houses trying the least possible way to come out why? Human beings know to survive.  

Learn Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT workshop 5 days

Cost - Rs 600             

Venue - Online  

Time - 6Pm to 7Pm 

Dates - 29 June to  3July 2020

The idea that is currently prevalent is that “we are supposed to be always happy”. This idea makes us more miserable. “We have to be happy all the time” Is it even possible to be happy all the time? Obviously not. Everyone knows it. But there is always this drive and pressure from everyone that everybody else should be happy. Be happy don’t worry be positive. Ignore. You must have heard these words these lines. These phrases are thrown to everyone like morning greetings. These are very common lines that friends, family members, peers keep on hammering with. Although, the intention is not bad. what it does is a tremendous amount of pressure that one has to be happy all the time.
 
Happy thoughts and you will be happy. Trying to be positive and happy can be so stressful.
 
House with pool. Delicious looking food on the table for an Instagram post. Owning a refrigerator that makes right curd. can you beat that? Not to mention all those travel photos of your friends. Even if you don’t like to Travel it makes you feel as if oh my God I’m not happy because I’m not traveling. Even after doing all that and throwing all those photographs on Instagram, the fact is we are not happy. In fact most of the time we are miserable. Statistics show that 1 in 10 is clinically depressed. 1 in5 is depressed sometimes. 1 in 4 have some addiction. 30% of adult has been recognized with some sort of Psychological disorder. And from all these numbers half of them must have contemplated suicide at some point in their life. And sadly 1 in 10 who contemplates actually Attempts it. 
Then why is it so difficult to be happy?. As we saw above, the story about our primitives only wanted food, water, shelter, sex to survive. The basic human instinct. yeh and yes, most importantly not getting killed. The danger is that our ancestors used to face every day at the scale which we can never imagine. That is why the body and physiological responses we evolved are designed to Survive. Be in a single piece all the time. Not to be happy all the time. So what is ingrained in our mind is how we can tackle, dodge, fight, manipulate, and avoid danger.
The better we can do it the better are the chances of survival. Then you might be asking when there are no tigers and predators today then why are you still doing this. The dangers have changed forms. Exchange their face from Tigers to exams. Mortgage or rejection in your on a date. A job loss, bankruptcy, pollution or climate change, and whatnot. And lately, we are all experiencing this unknown devil of COVID. From primitive times we are wired to be in communities. What is dangerous is to be out of the community. Being alone.
So if you look at all these aspects the most dangerous thing is to be alone. If the person has no protection from his community or the tribe in ancient times. Our ancestor was if in fact left alone. Oh my God, that would have been so dreadful. No wonder we still fear rejection and we always want the protection of ourselves by someone else. This continuously keeps our mind questioning “will I fit in?”. “Will, I will be accepted by them? “. “These friends are very different types of clothes will they accept me?”. “Am I good enough?” 

 Belongingness is a bottomless well.

 
"The moment we know we are happy, we cease to be happy"
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The chase for happiness.

                                     So what is it the happiness that we are after? Well once we are always trying to chase happiness and the moment we find it we come to know that it doesn’t last. Later when we come to know that we have been just chasing this feeling of happiness. That completely dissatisfies us and we end up being more anxious and depressed.
 
This is where I want to introduce ACT that is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I would rather look ACT as more of self-administered therapy. It uses the techniques of mindfulness it is simple and it is fun. And always remember when you do something with fun there is no competition.
 
Russ Harris introduces one of his definition of happiness is to have a rich full and meaningful life. Taking action to work towards your goal. with the right set of values. your towards moves engaging in what you do completely and moving in the direction of our values. As Russ, puts it in doing so we embrace life in all its colors. As a human being, we come with a set of all different types of emotions We don’t get to choose from the box. We are the box. So there will be always some type of pain in our life. Lost a job, separation or divorce, rejection, and illness. The good news is we can handle pain by making some room for it. Rising about them and creating a work-life worth living.

Learn Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT workshop 5 days

Cost - Rs 600             

Venue - Online  

Time - 6Pm to 7Pm 

Dates - 29 June to  3July 2020

Even when we know that happiness is a natural state of being human. Our statistics in mental health Show a completely different picture. There are so many different types of issues that we see in every day other than diagnosed psychiatric disorders. Loneliness, sexual problems, illness, bullying, prejudice, social isolation, midlife crisis & lack of meaning.
 
                    The first notion we have is if we are not happy then we have some kind of defect. There is some problem that is why we are not happy. You are not happy because happiness is a state and sometimes you will be happy and sometimes you will not be happy. There is no way you can be happy all the time. This black-and-white kind of thinking is the core most of the time. We increase our unhappiness with this demand. Label ourselves with different types “I am stupid, weak, incapable or incompetent”.
                            The normal thinking process of any healthy mind creates psychological suffering. It is natural. Another Cliche to create a better life we must get rid of all negative feelings. Oh my God, I can’t emphasize enough how much the positive thinking moment has made us miserable. I would rather not say anything about it or a group of 10 positive thinkers might come behind me. Another false measurement is we should be able to control how we think and what we feel. So the bottom line is to be happy all the times and you will be happy. I will control my thought and will be having a happy experience. 

Imagine someone puts a gun on your head and says you shouldn’t feel anxious or I will shoot you. And what will you think about something different? The mind doesn’t work that way the more we force and try to be happy the more sad and depressed we will end up. So does that mean we should keep worrying & ruminating about things? Not at all. But we should definitely get rid of this illusion of control. I should be in control all the time I should control all my thoughts And I should control all my feelings. will not take us anywhere near happiness.

                                           Just to begin an ACT way. We start making more with your values. Make a list of your values and also distinguish them from your goals. I am attaching this link to a value exercise you can go through the link and pick four different types of values. Four is a magical number you can remember four things very easily. Choose values for yourself and try to make your move towards your Goals with them. Goals can be different. It can be to get a better job, to lose your weight, or I don’t know that a number of things that you can have as a goal. keeping a value behind that goal will definitely give you a process satisfaction. Let me introduce here the difference between process satisfaction and end goal satisfaction. 
                                              Imagine that you are supposed to go on a mountain peak. There are two ways in which you can do that. One is continuously looking at the mountain peak and nowhere else. With this drive just go and reach the peak that’s it. The other is to live the value you choose. If you choose the care you will look at all the different trees nature that comes your way. If you are driven with “competition” you will have no fun. If your value is something that matters that may lead you through a different path. If you choose the path of value you will go enjoying nature and looking at trees. Drink that water from the stream that comes across while you reach your goal. 

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

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