“When you come to a roadblock take a detour.” – Mary Kay Ash
When change comes about unexpectedly, it’s easy to feel like someone is walking into our lives seeking to destroy and rob us of our happiness. Random changes in your career, family, or even health can come at the most inconvenient times. Well how are we supposed to react when change comes? Can we just try to avoid every bit of change as much as possible? Unfortunately, change doesn’t enjoy the game of hide and seek. Change has no limits and sometimes we have no authority over it. So, if change is and always will be inevitable, maybe we should face it head on rather than trying to avoid it.
Sometimes, complete autonomy over each area of our life isn’t the best. I love to think that I know what is best for me, but as I have become more receptive to the Holy Spirit, I realize that just maybe I don’t know the perfect direction for my life all the time. When we are so obsessed about having control over everything in our lives, we worry about making the right decision all the time. We become fearful of the future and the opportunity that can be lost if the wrong decision is made. But that’s just it. We can’t accurately estimate our happiness. In fact, it’s been proven that we overestimate the pleasure and pain we will feel towards certain situations. For me, the best thing I can do when change occurs is to allow it to happen. Let go of the “control” I thought I had and realize that this change is happening for a reason and it’s not going away, so I better learn how to adapt and enjoy the new life that’s coming up ahead.
Last Sunday, I asked my Facebook friends what they did to retain joy in their life when trials and tribulations came uninvited. A few of the responses they provided are below:
“Counting my blessings.” – Candra Wynne
“I count it all joy even when life seems to be at its worse. Your attitude or point of view can make all the difference.” – Omar Harbison
“In the end good will ALWAYS prevail over evil.” – Tracy Wineberg
I wonder if my loved ones realized that they were providing me with ways to create synthetic happiness in my life.
Synthetic happiness is opposite to natural happiness. Natural happiness is what we feel when everything goes our way. Synthetic happiness is the joy that we create when life does exactly what we told it not to. It’s a system of cognitive processes that help us change our outlook on life to feel better about our circumstances. So when trials come, counting our blessings, looking for the joy, and understanding that good will always prevail, are simple ways to invite synthetic happiness into our lives.
Some will view synthetic happiness as a form of denial or an imaginary coping method. But, in fact, it’s quite real. It’s a natural mechanism that we use to help us find the light in the misfortune. If we know that change, misfortune, and sorrow are all going to come at some point in our lives, we have no choice but to find ways to combat it. Each of us are quite different, and our synthetic happiness will be gained in different ways. It’s important that we find what works best for us. For some of us, simply counting our blessings is enough for immediate relief. For others, it may take guidance and assistance from family, friends, and/or professionals. Regardless of your method, simply having one will make all the difference in your life. If you haven’t found a way to find synthetic happiness, or even the energy, don’t give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes traditional methods won’t work for you, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.
Below is a Ted Talk by Dan Gilbert that further explains Synthetic Happiness. Enjoy!