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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


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

Do We Label Too Fast

Do We Label Too Fast?

Nowadays, it can sometimes seem almost everyone has a mental health issue or learning disorder. But, are we too quick to label people, or is it that we are more aware of the problems? This article looks at some of the issues surrounding these sensitive questions.

Read the complete article

What makes it so hard to go back to school

What makes it so hard to go back to school?

Going back to school during a pandemic is a new experience for everyone, and it's understandable if children are feeling anxious about it. We take a look at some of the issues and how you can help your child to get ready for returning to the classroom.

Read the complete article

Live Forever the Habits of People Who Live a Long, Healthy Life

Live Forever: the Habits of People Who Live a Long, Healthy Life

Legends of immortality have been told and retold throughout history. From ancient Greek myths to modern movies and novels, the dream of eternal youth has been passed down from generation to generation.

Read the complete article

Simple tips to not be afraid of the future

Simple tips to not be afraid of the future

No one knows what the future holds, so don't waste time and energy worrying about it. Read our tips and find out how to stop being afraid of what might never happen.

Read the complete article

How can I help my child achieve their dreams

How can I help my child achieve their dreams?

Children's imaginations know no limits and their dreams are a mix of hopes and fantasies, the real and the magical, the impossible and the achievable.

Read the complete article

Fact or fiction Is it truly healthy

Fact or fiction? Is it truly healthy?

There's so much contradictory health advice out there, it gets confusing. One year, butter is said to be bad for you, and margarine is better. The following year, it's the other way around. One article says running causes strain on your joints; another says it's good for you because it increases bone strength.

Read the complete article

goede-voornemens

A new year, a new me

It’s such a positive thing to do and hope springs eternal, so why not commit yourself to a change this year? Here’s our tips on how to stick to your new year’s resolutions.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

Read the complete article

Letting go A guide for survivors

Letting go: A guide for survivors

Facing the loss of a family member or close friend is probably one of the most difficult challenges that life throws at us. When we've lost a partner, parent, brother or sister, we're likely to experience intense grief.

Read the complete article

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