Happiness demands that we confront negative feelings head-on, without letting them overwhelm. Real life is full of disappointments, loss and inconveniences. To live a rich and meaningful life, we must allow ourselves a full range of emotions. Otherwise life is just a struggle against reality. Negative states are as important as positive, they help cue us into what we value and what we need to change. Grief for a loved one reminds us how much we cherish our relationships. Frustration with several jobs in a row is a sign we’re in the wrong career. Without the contrast of darkness, there is no light.
Pain is a Part of Joy
Therapy is a unique profession in that one of its purposes is to help search for new meaning to old problems. Recently, I started playing with the idea of therapy as a practice toward personal wisdom. For some, the practice is more of cultivation while for others it’s more excavation. For the bulk of us, it’s somewhere in between.
Cognitive psychologists have found that the process of identifying and disputing irrational thoughts is a very effective way to short-circuit the anxiety cycle so we can regain our equilibrium, think more clearly, and feel a lot better. So the next time you’re feeling anxious, walk […]