October 1, 2022

That Feeling When by Nikhil Taneja: Do we know how to be happy?


I latterly had a realisation that once years of suffering, I’m at a spot the place issues, at this present second in time, are ok. In reality, they’re higher than ok. My non-public relationships really feel healthy, I’ve by no means loved paintings extra, I get rewards and awards for the years of arduous paintings I’ve installed getting right here. My lifestyles goes… beautiful easily. I’ve been so pleasantly stunned that issues are going properly that it’s now changed into suspicion about what’s inevitably coming subsequent!

It’s like I’m continuously looking ahead to the opposite shoe to drop. There’s were given to be a catch, my mind’s been telling me; doesn’t this really feel just like the calm earlier than the upcoming typhoon? When the going is just right, why does it really feel like a set-up for the ‘tough’ occasions? These niggling questions, mixed with the disappointment that I’m over pondering such a lot after I will have to simply be taking part in the (very uncommon!) just right occasions, has been giving me extra anxiousness than I’ve had in months!

‘You are not alone’

To procedure my emotions, I did what I in most cases do after I really feel an excessive amount of: I expressed. On Instagram, clearly. I requested others in the event that they too to find happiness ‘wrong’, and if we in fact know how to be satisfied in any respect.

I wasn’t anticipating masses of DMs to my submit by individuals who wrote in to say, ‘you are not alone’. I were given DMs pronouncing such things as ‘I feel guilty about resting and wonder why I’m having a great time’ and ‘When good things happen, a sense of fear comes with it. I feel comfortable only in chaos and mess’. There are individuals who mentioned, ‘Anytime I get success, I feel I don’t deserve it if I didn’t battle up to my pals’ and ’I believe unhappy when one thing just right occurs. It’s arduous for me to settle for anything else just right can occur’. One particular person even wrote, ‘Sometimes, I end up sabotaging the smooth phase because of the thought of impending doom!’

A large number of other people defined it because the ‘Indian mentality’ of ‘workaholism’ and chasing ‘capitalism’. That as Indians, we are stressed to by no means be happy with what our provide is, and are at all times striving, suffering and hustling for extra, ‘even if we do not know what we are striving for exactly’. That the battle provides us one thing to glance ahead to, particularly for individuals who need to continuously be ‘better versions of themselves’. That we have now beginning liking being uncomfortable such a lot, that this sense ‘gives our brain comfort!’

Patterns of negativity

Others referred to as it the curse of being ‘over thinkers and over feelers’. And many gave me phrases to be told extra about: ‘survivor mode’ and ‘trauma conditioning’ and how we are conditioned to chaos and we ‘romanticise pain and struggle’ such a lot that we have now evolved a ‘negativity bias’ the place, when issues are just right, it’s arduous to settle for it. One particular person poignantly wrote, ‘What are we even chasing? Even when we are happy, we look for closure.’

A couple of other people despatched me the similar video by famous public speaker and creator Brene Brown, the place she referred to as this battle a ‘foreboding of joy’. She mentioned that ‘we are trying to dress rehearse tragedy so we can beat vulnerability to punch.’ That ‘when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability’, we don’t seem to be ready to ‘soften up to joy’. It’s been bittersweet to be told that it’s no longer simply me who responds surprisingly to what will have to be ‘happiness’. That those patterns are stressed so deep inside of us that we haven’t even begun unlearning them.

But it’s additionally been pleasurable to learn that we’ve known the problem: that despite the fact that it’s taken us all this time to be prone when in ache, we now additionally want to include vulnerability in occasions of pleasure. We have begun to be relaxed telling every different that it’s ok to be unhappy. Maybe we now additionally want to inform ourselves that it’s ok to be satisfied.

Nikhil Taneja is a creator, manufacturer, storyteller, public speaker, feeler of emotions, males’s psychological well being suggest and co-founder of Yuvaa

That Feeling When is a fortnightly column that provides a relatable tackle psychological well being and emotional well-being.

From HT Brunch, September 24, 2022

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