Is happiness an empty promise?


Happiness is living in accord with your values and in a way that is more accepting of your history as it echoes into the present.

That’s how Dr. Steven Hayes defines happiness at least. Who is Steven Hayes? Well he is the man behind  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that I’ve written so much about. This posted clip is part of a larger interview he gave where he answered a bunch of questions about how he got to the place he did, why he developed ACT, how he developed it, etc. This particular snippet shows him answering a question about what happiness is exactly, and as you can tell, I loved his definition.

He talks about what I have said a couple times on this blog about how we don’t need to climb a mountain to conquer our fears. It’s a process of acceptance and seeing it for what it is. Instead of focusing on the fear, focus on what you VALUE doing.  It’s about gaining a greater acceptance that there are roadblocks along the way to doing that. In the process of doing so, Dr. Hayes states;

Take a more loving stance towards your pain.

This is true for any new endeavor. I know for myself that there is fear, stress, and anxiety associated with being in grad school and finishing it. However, I love what I do and I truly “value” it as somebody practicing ACT would say. At my core, I love doing this and even though are difficult times, I know there is a greater goal in mind. It’s a very long process where there are many ups and down and things not going as planned, but I’ve learned that my happiness and sense of well-being is directly proportional to the amount of comfort I find in the discomfort (or chaos) of it all. I’ve learned to get used to the busyness and try to find a way of enjoying the process because before I know it, I will have accomplished the goal I set out for myself and after that I will have another goal because that’s how life operates. It’ll just be an endless loop if you don’t take the time to stop, breathe, and enjoy. As Jon Bon Jovi once said,

Any time that you think you’ve hit the top of the mountain, the truth of the matter is you’ve just reached another mountain. And it’s there to climb all over again.

So check out this video and let me know what you think! Are these ideas resonating with you?

Related links:

Rubin Khoddam, PhD Clinical Psychology student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.

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Categories: Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Quote Therapy, Therapy, Videos

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