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Happiness Hurts

Happiness hurts

“Feeling good doesn’t always mean we’re doing what’s good for us”

I’m sitting behind my desk satisfying my sugar dip with chocolate… confronted with how many things that feel good really just aren’t! The list is endless…watching hours of “house of cards” on Netflix when we should be doing admin, sitting longer at work to finish off our project and cancelling gym for the 3rd time this week.

On the other hand, there are times when getting what we want, pursuing our dreams, finding our flow or asking for help isn’t smooth-sailing or easy but physically hurts! The anguish of job seeking (because we hope to find a job that really fulfills our potential) which leaves us feeling like nobody wants us and confronts us with feeling “useless” or deciding to be alone instead of staying in a damaging relationship.

I was recently reminded of this during our holiday on the west coast of Portugal. You cannot make me happier than when you give me two weeks, in the sun, with a pile of books (or my kindle) and the time and luxury of reading. I happily leave the bodysurfing and beach bats to my husband and kids. That is, until the beginning of week two. Then my body starts to hurt. A week of a strange, hard bed and lying immobile with a book on the beach and my body starts to protest. I had to come to the unfortunate conclusion that although it feels good to be reading and relaxing all day, it’s not really that good for my body. And although stretching every morning of my holiday, or going for a run in the scorching heat of the morning takes so much discipline that it hurts, in the long run I have a more comfortable holiday for it!

On return I reflected on how many of our happy moments are preceded by a moment that physically or mentally hurts. Anyone who’s been to a dentist or physiotherapist knows this. But also in our daily life we’re confronted with this truth. Although we spend much of our efforts in avoiding pain the truth is that failure, feedback, confrontation and perseverance are the things that ultimately allow us to feel satisfied and happy.

Happiness, comfort, wellbeing can hurt!

My conclusion? I might have to drag my butt into the atlantic for a swim, or coax myself out of bed for a daily stretch if I want the bliss of my holiday reads.