Happiness and pain seem to be opposite and incompatible terms. But is it possible to be happy while in pain? Accepting pain is not only possible, but necessary in the pursuit of happiness.
In reality, happiness does not mean a complete absence of pain. In fact, true happiness remains even when you are in the midst of a moment of pain. It’s not about minimizing or avoiding the pain we feel or the impact it has on our lives. This impact and our lives are indescribably beautiful and painful at the same time. You cannot have one without the other.
Happiness is contagious, even in the midst of pain
Happiness is a state of “being okay” under any circumstance. Happiness has little to do with our circumstances and is directly related to the way we think about our lives and what is happening around us.
The fact that happiness is contagious is not just a pleasant thought. Instead, it’s also a chemical process that takes place in our brains, thanks to mirror neurons.
When we see someone experiencing an emotion, our brain can try out the same emotion by imagining what the other person is going through. The brain does this to try to elicit the same synapses that can be associated with the emotions it has identified. This, which is actually empathy, is also one way we get a sense of the mindset of the crowd.
Every time these synapses arise, the brain is reshaped. That is why it is so important to spend time with people who are in a good mood. People who radiate joy. Also, you should avoid pessimists and grumpy people. But this is only the first step. Accepting pain still presents a number of problems that we need to analyze.
Why does accepting pain make you happier?
The benefits of happiness are undeniable. For example, it can help us live a longer and healthier life. But the truth is that many people have no idea how to be happy. In fact, the quests for happiness that some people undertake ultimately cause the opposite effect. Partly because they are based on avoiding and eliminating pain from their lives.
But we have already said that happiness is much more than the absence of pain. Pain is, in fact, a necessary part of happiness. In fact, several studies and studies show that pain can pave the way to happiness in many ways. Below you can see why.
1. Pain helps you recognize pleasure
Happiness as a state of mind is a matter of contrasts. If you were happy all the time, you wouldn’t be able to recognize that state as happiness. Sometimes it is necessary to experience the opposite end of the spectrum in order to recognize and appreciate pure happiness.
This does not mean that there must not be pain in order to recognize pleasure. Instead, regardless of type or provenance, it’s possible to appreciate the little details and enjoy things you wouldn’t even notice otherwise.
2. Pain Relief Increases Pleasure
Pain is not pleasant, but the relief certainly is. Studies show that when the pain disappears, the body experiences an increase in happiness. An increase that is higher than the level of happiness you would experience if you had never felt the pain.
This also accentuates the fact that simple things can be more appreciated and bring more happiness when you’ve been through a rough patch. This would also increase the sensation of gratitude. Also, the happiness turns into something more profound and longer lasting, into a sensation that is more than just physical.
3. Pain Strengthens Social Ties
Pain generates empathy. Therefore, people tend to seek out others who are going through a difficult process, such as after the death of a loved one or a serious illness. This social bond that arises from grief increases cooperation and brings out the best in people.
Thanks to this phenomenon, overcoming pain is easier and strengthens these relationships. It creates much stronger bonds that go much further. In that sense, sadness will help you get to know people and discover the good qualities they possess. You discover things that will stay with you even after the storm has passed.
4. Lasting pain is worth a reward
Overcoming a difficult situation will earn you a reward for the effort you have put in. What you earn is not important in this case. What is important is that you have overcome the adversity, that you have overcome yourself.
In reality, knowing how to overcome and actually be able to overcome these situations is the real reward. That can be translated into something simple whose role makes us more aware of the effort invested.
5. Pain makes you more aware
Pain makes you aware of what is happening right now. It lets you live in the here and now. Maybe this way it sounds like it’s unimportant. Yet being aware of the here and now is a possibility that is directly related to happiness.
Be aware of what you are experiencing right now so that you forget about superficial problems and focus on what really matters. This way you avoid worrying about things for which there is no solution and that you are afraid of uncertainty because you cannot know what tomorrow will bring. Learning how to stay in the present moment, even when you’re experiencing pain, can help you live a happier life.