Overthinking Happy?!

happyCan you overthink happiness?  Can you talk yourself completely out of being happy?  Can you talk yourself into being happy?  What do you think?

Today I met someone who told me that they think a lot.  In fact they spend moments every day meditating and what they like to call philosophizing about all different things.  And yet they have decided, what is the point of being happy?  This person feels like he can’t make a difference because who would care anyway.  We had an interesting discussion about appreciating what you have been given and finding happiness in each day but that does not seem to be enough for him.  This person seems to be overthinking what it means to be happy.  Is it only big things that make him happy or at this point would those big events even make him happy?

With these thoughts going through my mind, I went for a run (cause that’s how I process things).  I would like to say I came up with a wonderful solution, ideas that will help him, and he will once again find happiness.  But remembering that I am only human, I started thinking whether I have had times in my life where I expected more from happiness and didn’t get what I expected.  Don’t we all have those moments!

Just last summer I read this book:happiness1


I am sure you have heard of it, but if you haven’t, find it, read it, savor it!

Anyway back to something that I learned that I am hoping will help with this “overthinking happiness”.  Rubin writes, “To eke out the most happiness from any experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory.  Any single happy experience may be amplified or minimized, depending on how much attention you give it.”  Is this the answer?  Have we solved the problem of overthinking it or have I just added more confusion to the whole concept?  Well, I would like to think that if we can step back, quit thinking about whether we are happy and just savor the experience for what it is, this will be a stepping stone to getting back on the right path.  Maybe it is more about experiencing the raw emotion of the moment then understanding it and identifying this as “the moment I am happy”.  Can’t we just feel it!  Can’t we just BE happy and take our minds out of it?!

My answer so far is quit thinking about, savor the emotions of the moment, and find something else to stress about rather than”am I happy”.  Because chances are if you are having that thought the answer is probably “no” and it is time to find ways to make some changes!!happy1


12 thoughts on “Overthinking Happy?!

  1. Overthinking ruins so much, doesn’t it? People have to choose happiness in order to obtain it. It is that simple. It runs through your veins already: just choose it and live it. Thank you so much for this post! Happy Wednesday!

  2. Is the Happiness Project filled with jobby jobs that make me work to find happiness? Because running usually does that for me. I over think then over think some more. I need to learn to turn off the thinking

  3. Gosh this is great food for thought! I’ve got friends who are ‘over thinkers’ who over analyse every single emotion and action they do every second of the day, I do it sometimes so I know how exhausting it must be! The only problem with just ‘feeling the emotions’, is that over thinkers are the ones who may feel an emotion, but in doing so it instantly causes a reflex to ‘think about it’ and overanalyse it (and ultimately probably cutting the emotion short so that it can’t flourish). I don’t know how to break such a habituated cycle? The book sounds like a good read anyway 🙂

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