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Why You Don’t Believe in Happiness Anymore


Jun. 14, 2021 Psychology Today

You start with big dreams, full of youthful enthusiasm. Over time, challenged by obstacles and hardships, your commitment to those dreams is tested. But you’re still young, so you push on and persevere. 

Then you get hit with big disappointments, letdowns in your career, love life, or friendships. You feel unsupported and alone. “Why is this happening?” you wonder, “I’m a good person. I didn’t do anything to deserve this.” 

Then you face a health crisis, lose a loved one, suffer injuries, or financial hardships. Unforeseen stressors continue to pop up and dash your plans.

You start to lose hope. 

Losing the confidence that you’ll ever be happy

When you’re struggling, it’s natural to want to give up. You may look around and feel that everyone has an easier life than you. You forget that no one is exempt from suffering, and some of the most outstanding individuals in history faced overwhelming personal hardships. 

But no matter. The longer you stay in a place of hopelessness, the harder it is to believe that you’ll ever be happy again. You may justify your unhappiness by proclaiming your powerlessness. You even start to question the concept of happiness.

“Happiness is an illusion sold by the media to make money,” you decide. “Happy relationships? Happy families? Happy friendships? Bah! That’s not real life.”

Five conditions that cause people to abandon happiness

1. Heartbreak 

Deep wounds to the soul come in many forms, but for me, the word “heartbreak” captures the catastrophic pain of unforeseen loss. No matter what form heartbreak takes when your heart is broken, gravity shifts, your body, and mind feel sluggish, color is drained from the world, and every day is a battle with yourself. 

2. Social isolation

You withdraw from the world. Stop seeing friends or family and embrace loneliness. The more you live in isolation, the more your thoughts and feelings become deluded. You distort even the simplest of interactions and grow paranoid and suspicious of others. No one is who they seem to be.

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