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    345. What is Happiness?

    enJune 06, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Types of happinessTwo types of happiness exist: fleeting and momentary, and deeper, sustained sense of well-being. Being a feminist and happy are not mutually exclusive.

      Happiness is a complex emotion and state of being that can be explored through different lenses. In today's episode, we delve into two types of happiness: the fleeting, momentary kind and the deeper, sustained sense of well-being. The confusion around happiness arises from societal pressure to constantly feel happy and the belief that feminism cannot coexist with happiness. However, being a feminist and being happy are not mutually exclusive. In fact, understanding and expanding our capacity to feel happy is a crucial aspect of the feminist project and personal life satisfaction. The brain can sometimes hinder us from achieving this, but with awareness and intentionality, we can learn to create happiness for ourselves. So, let's unfuck our brains and embrace the idea that being a happy feminist is not only possible but essential.

    • Feeling vs. long-term happinessFeeling happiness and long-term happiness are distinct concepts with different causes and solutions. Feeling happiness is an emotion, while long-term happiness is a sense of contentment and fulfillment.

      The term "happiness" is used to describe two distinct concepts: a feeling of pleasure or contentment in the moment, and a deeper sense of life satisfaction and contentment. This ambiguity can lead to confusion and unnecessary suffering, as these two concepts have different causes and solutions. To clarify, the feeling of happiness is an emotion characterized by positive sensations in the body, while the bigger picture happiness is a long-term sense of contentment and fulfillment. Understanding this distinction can help us approach these two aspects of happiness more effectively and reduce emotional and mental confusion.

    • Societal expectations of pleasure and restSocietal expectations of pleasure and rest can hinder women from fully experiencing happiness by viewing pleasure as inherently suspect and making relaxation a reward rather than a necessity

      Women face challenges in experiencing happiness due to societal expectations that pleasure and relaxation must be earned as rewards. This belief, deeply rooted in Western Christian socialization, views pleasure as inherently suspect and potentially evil. This socialization, whether actively believed or not, makes it difficult for women to fully embrace and access the emotional and physical benefits of pleasure and rest. In the upcoming episode, we will delve deeper into the importance of pleasure and rest for experiencing happiness. For now, it's essential to understand that happiness is often misunderstood as both a temporary emotion and a long-term state of being. The conflation of these two definitions can lead to unnecessary suffering and mental confusion. By recognizing and distinguishing between them, we can better understand our relationship with happiness and work towards embracing the joy and relaxation we deserve.

    • Definitions of HappinessThe ambiguity between two definitions of happiness can lead to confusion and inaccurate assessments of overall well-being, making it important to distinguish between temporary emotions and the bigger picture of thoughts and feelings about our lives.

      The ambiguity between two definitions of happiness can lead to confusion in our thinking and hinder our ability to assess our overall well-being. The first definition refers to a specific but temporary emotion or sensation in our bodies, while the second definition refers to a collection of thoughts and feelings about our lives. Our brain often fails to recognize this distinction, leading us to evaluate our happiness in life based on the fleeting emotion, rather than the bigger picture. This can result in an inaccurate assessment of our overall happiness and may prevent us from addressing underlying issues. To gain a deeper understanding of this concept and learn practical tools to improve our brain health, listeners of the podcast are encouraged to read the author's book, "Take Back Your Brain." The book provides concrete, actionable insights and exercises to help individuals recognize and challenge limiting beliefs and patterns, ultimately leading to greater clarity and happiness.

    • Physical vs Emotional HappinessIt's normal to experience a mix of emotions about meaningful relationships and accomplishments, and focusing on long-term satisfaction and contentment is more important than chasing after fleeting physical happiness.

      We often conflate the emotion of happiness as a physical sensation with the overall sense of satisfaction and contentment we have with various aspects of our lives. This conflation can lead to an unrealistic expectation that we should always feel physically happy in order to consider ourselves happy in the long term. However, it's normal to experience a mix of positive and negative emotions about anything in our lives, even the most meaningful relationships and accomplishments. By recognizing the difference between the two and focusing on the overall sense of satisfaction and contentment, we can avoid the negative consequences of constantly comparing our experiences to an unattainable standard of physical happiness. Instead, we should evaluate our choices and experiences based on the long-term collection of feelings and thoughts they create, rather than the fleeting sensation of happiness in the moment.

    • Happiness metricFocusing solely on the physical sensation of happiness as a metric for evaluating our lives can lead to impulsive decisions and an incomplete understanding of our values and goals.

      Focusing solely on the physical sensation of happiness as a metric for evaluating our lives can lead to flawed decision-making and an incomplete understanding of our values and goals. When we prioritize feeling happy in the moment over considering our long-term priorities and values, we may stay in unsatisfying situations or make impulsive decisions based on fleeting emotions. Furthermore, trying to predict whether a major life decision will make us feel happy all the time is an unrealistic expectation, leading to analysis paralysis. Instead, it's essential to consider a more holistic approach, taking into account our values, priorities, and long-term goals, rather than relying solely on the transient feeling of happiness in our bodies.

    • Misunderstanding HappinessFocusing on values instead of fleeting emotions for decision-making leads to more functional outcomes and a deeper understanding of happiness.

      The concept of "happiness" is often misunderstood and can lead to difficulties in decision-making. When we conflate the idea of feeling happy with a fleeting emotion versus long-term fulfillment, it becomes impossible to make informed decisions. Instead, it's recommended to focus on using values to guide decision-making processes, understanding that positive and negative emotions are inevitable. Additionally, happiness is not about feeling physically positive all the time, but rather about having a deeper and richer definition of what brings us satisfaction and fulfillment in life. Remember, it's our thoughts that create our feelings, but it's unrealistic to only think positive thoughts all the time. By clarifying our understanding of happiness and focusing on values, we can make more functional decisions and avoid disappointment.

    • Body connection, societal expectationsWomen can reclaim connection to their bodies and true happiness by challenging societal expectations and undergoing self-help to free themselves from external influences.

      True happiness encompasses both the physical pleasure and emotional contentment in our lives. However, women are often alienated from their bodies and unable to experience this happiness due to societal expectations and patriarchal conditioning. To reclaim this connection, it's essential to undergo a kind of deprogramming and learn how to create happiness for ourselves, free from external influences. Additionally, society often equates happiness with conforming to social roles and expectations, but this isn't the key to deeper life satisfaction and fulfillment. Over the next few episodes, we'll dive deeper into these topics and explore ways to access and create both kinds of happiness. Join the Feminist Self Help Society at www.unfuckyourbrain.com/forward/society to learn more and connect with like-minded individuals.

    • Empowering Women's ThoughtsUnderstanding societal influences and regaining control of thoughts is essential for women, as outlined in 'Take Back Your Brain' book and podcast. Leaving reviews can help spread the message and reach more women.

      "Take Back Your Brain," the first book by the podcast host, is a comprehensive resource for understanding and changing the brain. The book is available in various formats, including hardcover, ebook, and audiobook, with the host narrating the audiobook himself. This book is essential for every woman who wants to understand how societal influences impact their thinking and learn how to regain control of their own thoughts. By leaving reviews on platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads, readers can help increase the book's visibility and reach, allowing more women to benefit from its insights. The ultimate goal is to empower women to make their own decisions and not be swayed by external influences. The podcast and the book share the same mission.

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