Find Happiness

La clave de la felicidad

A salary increase, health, more time, vacations, a stable relationship… so many reasons to bring us this blessed happiness, right?

And yes… that a salary increase brings happiness!

So do health, more time, holidays, and a stable relationship!

All these expectations bring happiness when fulfilled.

However, it seems that the effects of happiness fade over time.

Why?

Happiness as we usually live it depends on two factors:

  1. The happy image
  2. The present moment

By happy image, I mean the image we associate with happiness.

If, for example, you associate an image and sensations with a salary increase, it is most likely that your brain will use that image the day you are granted the salary you were looking for.

Continuing with the example of the salary increase, what happens is that one day we wake up with that feeling of deserving more in exchange of our work.

We even share it with peers who reinforce our feeling.

We begin to imagine what our life would be like with that salary increase and unconsciously, we sow the mental image that we associate with the day of our salary increase.

Over time, we pay more and more attention to this thought (“I deserve a salary increase”) and to the happy image that we associate with it. In parallel, our discomfort grows because… we don’t see any salary increase!

We then approach the HR office to ask for the raise, justifying the request with a multitude of arguments.

But they take time to respond, which further increases our feeling of discomfort.

We go back to our request, over and over again until… we get the raise!

That same day, when the salary increase becomes reality, your brain is immediately in charge of replacing the reality of the moment with the image you built by projecting the moment, and gives you a shot of dopamine that transmits instant happiness.

Spend a few weeks and you can effectively lead the life you were considering. You can buy the car you wanted, take your children to the movies or simply save for the house of your dreams.

  • When you buy the car, you realize that they give you a term of 9 months for delivery. You reproject a happy image of the delivery day, and “hold on” to date. And when the time comes… another shot of dopamine!
  • You take your children to the movies on the weekend… with the whole week waiting for this projection of happiness that will arrive on Saturday.
  • You save for the house of your dreams… that never seems to come: how frustrating… until you reach the happy image of the house

The distance of the moment

Following this modus operandi of the mind, the closer we are to the moment in which our expectation becomes reality, the happier we feel.

Similarly, the more time that passes after the happy image, the more we distance ourselves from happiness (and we sure will have already projected another expectation to which we will have associated a new happy image)

This way of acting leads us to experience happiness at times, and each moment of happiness seems to be distanced by moments of frustration until we reach our next “happiness milestone”.

The success of social networks is not surprising then, since they are based on delivering dopamine in the shortest intervals possible.

Break the usual pattern

Can you experience happiness constantly?

The answer is yes, but it requires understanding how we work.

First, keep in mind that happiness and frustration are two sides of the same coin. You cannot feel happiness and frustration at the same time.

Starting from there, happiness does not have to be associated with the fulfilment of a happy image.

As soon as you project a happy image, you create expectations. And this same expectation is what generates frustration (since you have not yet reached the image associated with happiness).

Now, the most interesting thing is the relationship between happiness and frustration…

Just as you project happy images regarding your expectations, you project mental images of frustration.

How many people did not allow themselves to be happy again after going through socially frustrating situations such as the loss of a loved one, a job, a breakup…?

In short, our mental constructions are what keep us with the illusion of happiness or frustration. But the reality is different… you can experience happiness at any time, even in the most challenging moments of your life.

Rather than happiness, we would speak of well-being.

Instead of experiencing happiness only in a specific moment, how about focusing on the present more than on your expectations?

You can’t control the future. Your expectations can only be sources of frustration, as we have seen before.

By removing expectations, you remove the frustration that comes with them.

And by removing any projection of frustration, you remove the same feeling the day a challenging event occurs.

I do not recommend here that you live only in the present without having any plans for tomorrow. Nor do I insinuate that the loss of someone close shoots us a hit of happiness.

I simply indicate that your happiness depends on your awareness:

  • The awareness that you do not think: your brain thinks, and you are solely responsible for paying more or less attention to the thoughts it generates;
  • The awareness that, although having plans for the future can be a source of motivation, having expectations will only lead to suffering, however joyous the expectations may be
  • The only moment in which you can truly influence is the present: a temporary window of about 3 seconds!

The key to constant happiness is in the present, in accepting reality as it is and not as you would like it to be.

Pay attention to the present and especially to the thoughts generated by your brain. The more aware you are of the thoughts in your brain, the more you will know how to manage them.

Did you know…?

  • Of all the reality that surrounds you right now, your senses are capable of capturing only 5%?
  • Of all that your senses capture, you are aware of only 10%. The rest remains in your subconscious mind
  • To send information from your subconscious to your conscious mind, your brain relies on the thoughts you pay the most attention to..

Your thoughts and the ideas you associate with them simply aren’t representative of the reality as it is.    

Now what?

I propose a simple experiment. Wherever you are, observe the thoughts in your brain right now.

Do you already have a thought?

Finally, ask yourself the following question:

“Do I want this thought to be part of my reality”?

Enfin, pose-toi la question suivante :

« Est-ce que je veux que cette pensée fasse partie de ma réalité » ?

If the answer is “yes”, you can give it as much attention as you want, but if the answer is “no”, focus on something else. Look at a piece of furniture next to you, through the window, or at any person, place, animal or thing that generates another thought. And from there you can follow the same procedure for any thought.

Obviously, you won’t be able to do it with all the thoughts that your brain generates, but you will be able to do it in any situation of discomfort. I repeat the procedure:

  1. Identify a situation of discomfort
  2. Identify the thought that generates this discomfort
  3. . Ask yourself if this thought serves you or not:
    • Does it serve you?
      • Embrace the thought, the idea that you associate with it and the belief that you have about it
    • Isn’t it useful?
      • Focus on something else

Your happiness does not depend on the achievement of your expectations… it only depends on your relationship with the present.

Do you have doubts, questions or simply want to inquire about your happiness?

I invite you to comment or even book your first session with me.

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