Day 2: The deadly happiness sins, and how I felt today

Dear Reader,

I hope you are doing well! ūüôā

Before I talk to you about my day, I’d like to address something with you that Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan shares in one of his lecture on Coursera’s Website. It will sometimes happen on this blog because it’s part of the journey towards happiness I am trying to share with you. But I’ll try not to give you too many details because I don’t want to “stole” his work. [By the way, I have to slow down because I have already watched the last week 1 lecture eventhough the course is only supposed to start on April 10th. Which makes me think you still have the time to enroll if you want to do so.]

Anyway, what I want to talk to you about is the concept of “The seven deadly happiness sins“. He says that those happiness sins – which basically “kills” your happiness – are:

1) Devaluing happiness (by not making it a priority in our lives, or not as much as we should)
2) Chasing superiority
3) Being needy – or its opposite – being avoidant
4) Being overly control-seeking
5) Distrusting others
6) Distrusting life
7) Ignoring the “source within” (meaning ignoring “mindfulness”, meaning “the ability that we have to focus attention in a kind and non-judgmental way on anything”)

It really concerns me because I feel like being “guilty” of everything on that list. I have been working for a while on some of those items, like devaluing happiness and ignoring the source within. But not really on my need to control people. Trusting others and life are not my top qualities neither. But I think those 3 items are deeply linked with the fact that I am afraid of being hurt again. And what is even more painful than being hurt? Being hurt by someone you love. So, it made me realize why I was trying to control people that I love the most, and that I will probably have to learn more about it in order to overcome it.

I also have to admit that I sometimes chase superiority. Only sometimes?! Yes, because that’s something I’ve been working on for a while. First of all because I realized it was not helping at all when I was trying to be a good friend. And because I’d love to empower people, not to belittle them. It’s simply not who I want to be!

Then,¬†what’s weird about me and the 3rd item is that I can be both needy and avoidant. I am very needy when it comes to my lovelife which led me a few weeks ago to decide to stop dating for a while. I took that decision because my neediness leads me to date people who are not good matches for me. About the “being avoidant” part, it’s much more in my¬†relationships with friends. I love my friends but I sometimes feel disconected from them, and I kind of build walls when new people try to become my friends.

What about my day?

Here comes the time to tell you about my day.

Generally speaking, I don’t start feeling depressed in the middle of the day. I just wake up this way or not. And the thing I’ve learned about depression is that it can takes many shapes: some people will cry all day long, others won’t be able to make anything during the day, sometimes you will simply sleep all day long without being under medication, and it won’t prohibit you to sleep all night long afterwards!

Today, I did not feel depressed when I woke up. Still, I was not in the best mood at first because, once again, I had nightmares about work.

I¬†started having nightmares about work a few weeks before being diagnosed with a burnout, then it stopped when the doctor allowed me to stay home for a few weeks. (I don’t know about the law in your country, but in mine if the doctor says you are sick and sign a paper saying so – I don’t know how to call it in English – then you stay home and your boss still has to pay you! …¬†Writing it makes me realize how lucky we are to have such laws here!) The nightmares came back a few days ago when I realized I will soon have to go back to work, and to handle the pressure and the lack of sleep again.

Anyway, my mood got quickly better when I saw I had received a kind message on my phone, and when my dog realized I was awake and came to say Hi!¬†(Those simple things… I am really learning to appreciate them!). Soon, I started working a little bit on some personnal projects, but not too much because I was still not in a super-productive-day mood.

Then, I went through ups and downs all day long. A big “up” of the day being another kind message, from a colleague this time, telling me he was missing my presence at work (I can hear you thinking guys… It’s not what you think! This gentleman is happily married and could be my grand-father lol).

Finally, as I was feeling a little bit borred, I decided I should see people. So I took the book I am currently reading (the one about finding your purpose I talked to you about¬†in yesterday’s article) and went to a Coffee Shop that I love. A very cosy place with adorable people! There, I had the opportunity to help someone. Nothing big. Just a very tiny and simple gesture which led me to realize that helping others was – at least for me – a source of happiness.

I am currious to know: does helping people make you a little bit happier too?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it, and for reading me again today.

Talk to you tommorow!









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