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Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

When you think about things that will make you happy, what are the images that come to mind? Wealth, beauty, a dream house, long holidays, a top of the range car? Happiness is not a constant and how happy we feel depends on the way we choose to live our lives.

Many of us tend to look at the externals in our lives when we should really be thinking about the things that give us a purpose in life. It's better to work out who you really are and what makes you tick.

Once you understand the things that don't make us truly happy, you can start to focus your efforts on achieving the things that bring meaning to your life. If you're feeling dejected and can't motivate yourself to make changes, Bach flower mix 65 banishes gloomy thoughts and can help you to see your life as meaningful again. The first step is to identify the misconceptions about happiness. Here are just a few of the things that we think will make us happy - but don't!


1. Material possessions

A fancy house, a luxury car or a designer handbag: these might be fun, enjoyable possessions to own, they aren't going to make you happy. Concentrating on acquiring material possessions to validate yourself or to make yourself feel satisfied never works. It just dents your bank account and means you're always looking for the next new thing. If you want to treat yourself, spend your money on challenging or fun experiences, as trying new things has been shown to make you happier.

2. Wealth

Money can make you happier, for sure, but only up to a certain point. It's challenging to be happy when you don't have enough money for food or a home of your own. But once you've acquired enough wealth for the basics in life, plus the occasional treat, the happiness that any further increase in your income can bring is likely to be shortlived.

Studies have shown if you win the lottery and suddenly find yourself a multi-millionaire, you will indeed be happier - but only for a year or so. Once the novelty wears off and you're accustomed to being rich, you start to see wealth as normal, and it makes no difference to how happy you feel. However rich you are, you might still compare yourself to others who are even wealthier, and this can cause unhappiness as you constantly strive to keep up with them.

3. Fame

Wanting to be a celebrity is a common ambition, but if you succeed in your aim, it's certainly not guaranteed to bring you happiness. Fame is often accompanied by a lack of privacy and increased levels of stress. Even a more localised level of fame, for example, within your particular industry, can lead to unhappiness. You might feel a constant pressure to live up to expectations, and this can be challenging. A better way of achieving happiness is to have confidence in your skills and abilities. Bach Flower Mix 44 can help you to overcome performance anxieties and master any self-doubt.

4. A perfect partner

You might think you'd be happier with a very handsome partner, but dating a person with the looks of a Hollywood star is unlikely to bring you contentment. Most of us end up by instinctively selecting a partner with the same level of attractiveness as ourselves. This is something of a generalisation, but if you feel that your partner is better looking than you are, it will have an impact on your self-esteem and social confidence.

5. Wishing you were young again

People often have rosy memories of happy days in their youth, but studies show that we feel more content as we reach our 50s, 60s, and even our 70s. With age comes self-confidence and older people tend to care less about what others think of them. Older people will also have encountered and survived any number of problems over the years, and this helps them to keep difficulties in perspective.

6. Endless leisure

Holidays are good for our mental health but a longer holiday won't make you any happier than a shorter one. A one-week break is just as beneficial as a two-week holiday when the days tend to blur into one another. And psychologists know that people who have the most leisure time tend to be the unhappiest. They tend to slip into a rut because they have little structure to their days. Busy people who volunteer and help others report higher levels of happiness.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you'd be happier if everything was perfect in your life. Some of these things might bring you a transient sense of joy, but try looking for happiness in more fulfilling ways that will last you a lifetime.

 

References:

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/danielgilbert/files/if-money-doesnt-make-you-happy.nov-12-20101.pdf

https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/news/do-not-compare-your-inside-to-another-persons-outside/

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-older-we-get-the-happier-we-are-study-finds

Created by Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch is a certified Psychologist and Bach flower expert with more than 30 years of experience.

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Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!
Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

When you think about things that will make you happy, what are the images that come to mind? Wealth, beauty, a dream house, long holidays, a top of the range car? Happiness is not a constant and how happy we feel depends on the way we choose to live our lives.

Many of us tend to look at the externals in our lives when we should really be thinking about the things that give us a purpose in life. It's better to work out who you really are and what makes you tick.

Once you understand the things that don't make us truly happy, you can start to focus your efforts on achieving the things that bring meaning to your life. If you're feeling dejected and can't motivate yourself to make changes, Bach flower mix 65 banishes gloomy thoughts and can help you to see your life as meaningful again. The first step is to identify the misconceptions about happiness. Here are just a few of the things that we think will make us happy - but don't!

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1. Material possessions

A fancy house, a luxury car or a designer handbag: these might be fun, enjoyable possessions to own, they aren't going to make you happy. Concentrating on acquiring material possessions to validate yourself or to make yourself feel satisfied never works. It just dents your bank account and means you're always looking for the next new thing. If you want to treat yourself, spend your money on challenging or fun experiences, as trying new things has been shown to make you happier.

2. Wealth

Money can make you happier, for sure, but only up to a certain point. It's challenging to be happy when you don't have enough money for food or a home of your own. But once you've acquired enough wealth for the basics in life, plus the occasional treat, the happiness that any further increase in your income can bring is likely to be shortlived.

Studies have shown if you win the lottery and suddenly find yourself a multi-millionaire, you will indeed be happier - but only for a year or so. Once the novelty wears off and you're accustomed to being rich, you start to see wealth as normal, and it makes no difference to how happy you feel. However rich you are, you might still compare yourself to others who are even wealthier, and this can cause unhappiness as you constantly strive to keep up with them.

3. Fame

Wanting to be a celebrity is a common ambition, but if you succeed in your aim, it's certainly not guaranteed to bring you happiness. Fame is often accompanied by a lack of privacy and increased levels of stress. Even a more localised level of fame, for example, within your particular industry, can lead to unhappiness. You might feel a constant pressure to live up to expectations, and this can be challenging. A better way of achieving happiness is to have confidence in your skills and abilities. Bach Flower Mix 44 can help you to overcome performance anxieties and master any self-doubt.

4. A perfect partner

You might think you'd be happier with a very handsome partner, but dating a person with the looks of a Hollywood star is unlikely to bring you contentment. Most of us end up by instinctively selecting a partner with the same level of attractiveness as ourselves. This is something of a generalisation, but if you feel that your partner is better looking than you are, it will have an impact on your self-esteem and social confidence.

5. Wishing you were young again

People often have rosy memories of happy days in their youth, but studies show that we feel more content as we reach our 50s, 60s, and even our 70s. With age comes self-confidence and older people tend to care less about what others think of them. Older people will also have encountered and survived any number of problems over the years, and this helps them to keep difficulties in perspective.

6. Endless leisure

Holidays are good for our mental health but a longer holiday won't make you any happier than a shorter one. A one-week break is just as beneficial as a two-week holiday when the days tend to blur into one another. And psychologists know that people who have the most leisure time tend to be the unhappiest. They tend to slip into a rut because they have little structure to their days. Busy people who volunteer and help others report higher levels of happiness.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you'd be happier if everything was perfect in your life. Some of these things might bring you a transient sense of joy, but try looking for happiness in more fulfilling ways that will last you a lifetime.

 

References:

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/danielgilbert/files/if-money-doesnt-make-you-happy.nov-12-20101.pdf

https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/news/do-not-compare-your-inside-to-another-persons-outside/

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-older-we-get-the-happier-we-are-study-finds


Marie Pure

Other articles


Why not me

Why not me?

It's natural to compare our own lives with those of others - weighing up the pros and cons of situations helps us make decisions. But there can be a downside when you find you're constantly comparing yourself with others, envying their seemingly perfect lives and wondering why they are luckier, more prosperous, and better looking than you.

Read the complete article

5 Signs of narcissistic perversion

5 Signs of narcissistic perversion

Narcissism is a term we often see these days. But what does it mean? It's used to describe a person who is full of themselves or overly vain. However, it's not really about self-love.

Read the complete article

Are you resilient enough Take our quiz!

Are you resilient enough? Take our quiz!

Do you have enough resilience to face the world out there? Take our quiz to find out how resilient you are and find tips on how to build your mental resilience.

Read the complete article

Is the world as we know it over

Is the world as we know it over?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have taken unprecedented measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. The rapid changes we've seen have had an impact on almost every aspect of our lives.

Read the complete article

Isn't depression just a fancy word for feeling a bit down

Isn't depression just a fancy word for feeling a bit down?

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety affect around 1 in 6 people at some stage of their life. Despite it being such a common problem, many sufferers wait months or even years before seeking help.

Read the complete article

How to spot toxic behaviour

How to spot toxic behaviour

You see the word "toxic" everywhere these days, but what does it really mean? You've almost certainly come across someone who fits the description. Dealing with difficult personalities can be challenging and emotionally exhausting, to say the least.

Read the complete article

Signs you're slipping into a burn-out

Signs you're slipping into a burn-out

Learn how to recognise the signs of stress and avoid slipping into a burnout or a bore-out

Read the complete article

have you considered yoga

Have you considered yoga? The advantages of practicing yoga

Have you considered yoga? There are many advantages to practicing yoga. It is a holistic practice benefitting you physically, emotionally & mentally.

Read the complete article

Subtle signs your child is unhappy

Subtle signs your child is unhappy

According to figures from the World Health Organisation, more than 260 million people worldwide suffer from depression. And it's not only adults who are diagnosed with this illness. Children as young as three or four years old can experience depression.

Read the complete article

I don't want to!

I don't want to!

Motivation can be somewhat elusive - some days, you just can't seem to make yourself do the stuff you don't want to. But putting things off just leads to stress, frustration and a sense of guilt.

Read the complete article

Bach Flowers are not medicinal but harmless plant extracts which are used to support health.

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