That Feeling When by Nikhil Taneja: Do we all know be completely happy?

I lately had a realisation that after years of struggling, I’m at a spot the place issues, at this present second in time, are okay. The truth is, they’re higher than okay. My private relationships really feel healthful, I’ve by no means loved work extra, I get rewards and awards for the years of exhausting work I’ve put in getting right here. My life goes… fairly easily. I’ve been so pleasantly shocked that issues are going properly that it’s now changed into suspicion about what’s inevitably coming subsequent!

It’s like I’m continually ready for the opposite shoe to drop. There’s received to be a catch, my mind’s been telling me; doesn’t this really feel just like the calm earlier than the upcoming storm? When the going is sweet, why does it really feel like a set-up for the ‘robust’ occasions? These niggling questions, mixed with the frustration that I’m over considering a lot after I ought to simply be having fun with the (very uncommon!) good occasions, has been giving me extra nervousness than I’ve had in months!

‘You aren’t alone’

To course of my emotions, I did what I normally do after I really feel an excessive amount of: I expressed. On Instagram, clearly. I requested others in the event that they too discover happiness ‘fallacious’, and if we really know be completely happy in any respect.

I wasn’t anticipating tons of of DMs to my publish by individuals who wrote in to say, ‘you aren’t alone’. I received DMs saying issues like ‘I really feel responsible about resting and marvel why I’m having a very good time’ and ‘When good issues occur, a way of concern comes with it. I really feel snug solely in chaos and mess’. There are individuals who stated, ‘Anytime I get success, I really feel I don’t deserve it if I didn’t battle as a lot as my associates’ and ’I really feel unhappy when one thing good occurs. It’s exhausting for me to just accept something good can occur’. One particular person even wrote, ‘Typically, I find yourself sabotaging the graceful section due to the considered impending doom!’

Lots of people defined it because the ‘Indian mentality’ of ‘workaholism’ and chasing ‘capitalism’. That as Indians, we’re wired to by no means be happy with what our current is, and are all the time striving, struggling and hustling for extra, ‘even when we have no idea what we’re striving for precisely’. That the battle provides us one thing to stay up for, particularly for individuals who need to continually be ‘higher variations of themselves’. That we’ve got now beginning liking being uncomfortable a lot, that this sense ‘provides our mind consolation!’

Patterns of negativity

Others referred to as it the curse of being ‘over thinkers and over feelers’. And lots of gave me phrases to study extra about: ‘survivor mode’ and ‘trauma conditioning’ and the way we’re conditioned to chaos and we ‘romanticise ache and battle’ a lot that we’ve got now developed a ‘negativity bias’ the place, when issues are good, it’s exhausting to just accept it. One particular person poignantly wrote, ‘What are we even chasing? Even after we are completely happy, we search for closure.’

A couple of individuals despatched me the identical video by famous public speaker and writer Brene Brown, the place she referred to as this battle a ‘foreboding of pleasure’. She stated that ‘we try to decorate rehearse tragedy so we will beat vulnerability to punch.’ That ‘after we lose our tolerance for vulnerability’, we aren’t capable of ‘soften as much as pleasure’. It’s been bittersweet to study that it’s not simply me who responds surprisingly to what ought to be ‘happiness’. That these patterns are wired so deep inside us that we haven’t even begun unlearning them.

However it’s additionally been gratifying to learn that we’ve recognized the problem: that regardless that it’s taken us all this time to be weak when in ache, we now additionally must embrace vulnerability in occasions of pleasure. We have now begun to be snug telling one another that it’s okay to be unhappy. Possibly we now additionally want to inform ourselves that it’s okay to be completely happy.

Nikhil Taneja is a author, producer, storyteller, public speaker, feeler of emotions, males’s psychological well being advocate and co-founder of Yuvaa

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

From HT Brunch, September 24, 2022

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