Happiness Versus Pleasure
We are a pleasure seeking society. Most of us spend our energy seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. We hope that by doing this, we will feel happy. Yet deep, abiding happiness and joy elude so many people.
There is a huge difference between happiness and pleasure. Pleasure is a momentary feeling that comes from something external - a good meal, our stock going up, making love, and so on. Pleasure has to do with the positive experiences of our senses, and with good things happening. Pleasurable experiences can give us momentary feelings of happiness, but this happiness does not last long because it is dependent upon external events and experiences. We have to keep on having the good experiences - more food, more drugs or alcohol, more money, more sex, more things - in order to feel pleasure. As a result, many people become addicted to these external experiences, needing more and more to feel a short-lived feeling of happiness.
Thomas sought my counseling services because he "had everything" - his own successful business, a lovely wife and children, a beautiful home, and time to enjoy life. Yet he was not happy. While he had momentary feelings of happiness while watching a ball game or socializing with his friends, he also felt anxious and depressed much of the time. In fact, the anxiety had become so bad that he was having almost constant stomach pain, which his doctor told him was from stress.
As we worked together, it became apparent that Thomas's main desire in life was to have control over people and events. He wanted others to do things his way and to believe the way he believed. He was frequently judgmental with his employees, wife, children and friends, believing that he was right and they were wrong and it was his job to straighten them out with his judgment and criticism. His energy would become hard and tough and he would be like a steamroller in his efforts to get his point across and get others to do things his way. When it worked and others gave in, Thomas felt a momentary pang of pleasure. But the pain in his stomach kept getting worse and worse, which is why he decided to consult with me.
Thomas also wanted control over his own feelings, and would often judge himself as harshly as he judged others in an effort to get himself to perform well and feel okay. He especially judged himself harshly when he felt rejected by others, frequently telling himself that he was an inadequate jerk.
As we worked together, Thomas began to see that happiness is the result of choosing to be a kind, caring, compassionate and gentle person with himself and others - quite the opposite of the judgmental, controlling person he had chosen to be. Thomas learned that happiness is the natural result of being present in each moment with love and kindness toward himself and others, rather than with being attached to the outcome of things and trying to control the outcome regarding events and others' behavior. He discovered that he felt deep joy whenever he let go of control and chose caring instead. The anxiety in his stomach went away whenever his intention was to be a kind and caring person rather than a controlling one.
It is not easy to shift out of the deep devotion to control and become devoted to love and compassion toward oneself and others. Our ego wounded self has been practicing control since we were very little. Yet the moment our intent is to control, our heart closes and we feel alone and anxious inside. Our intent to seek safety and pleasure through controlling others, outcomes, and our own feelings leads to an inner feeling of abandonment and emptiness. We abandon ourselves when we are trying to control our feelings rather than be kind and compassionate with ourselves. Our anxiety and feelings of emptiness lead to more seeking outside ourselves to fill up with pleasurable experiences. The momentary pleasure leads to addictive behavior.
When the intent shifts out of controlling and not being controlled to becoming loving to ourselves and others, the heart opens and joy is the result. Deep and abiding happiness and joy are the natural result of operating out of the spiritual values of caring, compassion and kindness.
About The Author
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone sessions available.(c) Margaret Paul, Ph.D., 2004.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Sweeten Up Your Life
Sometimes life experiences can be like a lemon-flavored Tootsie Roll Pop. Hard and sour on the outside.
How do we smile at each other? Is there a message communicated between us as we smile? Does it convey the depth of our feelings we have for each other? Take note of how our smiles deepen in feeling toward each other as our relationship grows and time passes. Note how our smiles reflect our joy as we pass time together without insignificant complaints.
How Good Are You?
The demands of being a good person can sometimes mean sacrificing your own happiness.You may have been raised to be a good boy or girl; encouraged to be a good worker, to be a good parent; to be a good friend; to be a good citizen? And I'm not saying that this is wrong; what questioning the effects of this on our individual happiness and the impact on our country.
Suffering and Happiness
The one feature that sets life on Earth apart from a paradise is suffering. It poses a problem for humanity and calls for a solution.
The Science of Laughter
The title I chose for this article makes me smile. The science of laughter? Laughter, one of the things we used to take for granted, is now the subject of scientific study.
Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life
A friend once said to me, "There is no meaning in life, except what we create". At the time, I thought she was nuts.
What is Happiness and How to Achieve It?
True happiness is such a rare commodity that the whole of the world is continuously seeking it and failing to find it. All the people, who we consider to be the best in their fields, are seeking it too and failing to acquire it.
But I Bought All The Books And Tapes, And Im Still Unhappy!
I love this quote by Zig Ziglar, and think it's a perfect introduction to this article:"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing- that's why we recommend it daily.
Are You Doing What You Love?
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.
Where do we Find True and Lasting Happiness?
For the longest time I was convinced that I was not happy unless I had a partner to share my life with. I just knew that having someone to share glorious sunrises and romantic sunsets would make me happy.
The Art Of Happy Living
What do you think about happiness? A philosophical approach to life; an intellectual activity or an academical pursuit. No, not at all, nothing of the sort.
Things To Do To Beat The Blues
As moms we all tend to get the blues, we are always running here and running there. It is very important to take time for you!Being a mom there is so much pressure not just from the outside but from what we put on ourselves also we all need to learn to take a break once in awhile and be able to revive our body and soul in order to be all we can be.
10 Steps to Happily Ever After
Do you know what all happy and healthy marriages have in common? In every one of them you will find two people committed to making each other happy. You will find a man who cherishes his wife and puts her needs above his own, and you will find a wife who respects and trusts her man.
Today It Is ... Tomorrow It Will Be ...
What is your life like today? What do you want it to be like tomorrow? Today it is a good life for my wife and I. We are enjoying retirement and spending the winters in Florida.
Ways to Bring Play into Your Life
1. roll around in the grass, and don't brush the grass off.
Too many of us seem to think that there should be 24-7 happiness in our life, so when there is problems in a marriage the temptation for affairs and divorce is there.But where ever we are in our life, in or out of love, single or in a long term relationship or marriage, there is no 24-7 happiness.
Health and Medical Advice on the Internet: Use it Wisely to Overcome Illness and Find More Happiness
I've got a bit of a problem with depression and anxiety. I've been tackling these problems for several years without the use of modern medicine.
Believing is the Absence of Doubt
You've heard the expression, "Just believe it and it will come." Well, technically, that is true, however, 'believing' is not just thinking that you can have it; it is also feeling that it is possible.
What is the Ultimate Lifestyle?
Since the mission of this newsletter is to help you define, carve out, and live your own Ultimate Lifestyle, I figured I should devote some space to laying a proper foundation for doing that.Before you can hit a target, you need to know where it is! So, to begin, let's answer the question:What is The Ultimate Lifestyle?First of all, it's different for different people.
It Costs Nothing To Smile
I like to be around positive people, people who tend to be happy, who look on the bright side of life. Far too many people walk around in what seems like a depressed state.
|home | site map|