How to Learn to Be Happy For No Reason

learn to be happy for no reason

 How can you Learn to Be Happy For No Reason?

When you read most of the comments posted at AskNora, you can watch a lot of pain and loneliness. Sometimes I have a heavy heart watching so many women still waiting for a bit of happiness in their marital life. Are they wrong hoping and waiting for their husbands to deliver a caring, loving message? Of course, not, because we all believe that making the other person happy is part of the marriage contract, right?

Wait! Is this completely true: "Making each other happy is included in the marital contract"?  What if we challenge this assumption now? In my search for real answers for this pain, I can even get to look at radical alternatives. You already know that I would love to be able to write: "Here is how to force your husband to make you happy!"... but it is not realistic, or fair, or doable, right?

Lacking other alternatives, I looked at my wonderful book collection, and Marci Shimoff's book: "Happy for No Reason" jumped at me...Perhaps Marci is saying something we can use here? I want to share some of her ideas with you here, as to offer all of us a different, opposite view of this belief that making the other person happy is part of the marriage contract.

The first radical idea is: Take ownership of your happiness...it means recovering our inner core of self, forgotten now under the clouds of marital distress.

According to Marci and the authors she quotes, what  prevents you from taking ownership of your actions is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now; they and their actions are responsible for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self.

Marci's answer is: You are responsible for your inner space now; having an inner state of peace and well-being is your natural right.

We can be happy when things go well: we have a new baby, or a wonderful job, or enjoy lovely relationships...This is being happy because the external world gives us the things we want. What if the world decides not to give you all the good things associated with happiness? This is the discovery of people in extreme situations: you can be in a state of internal peace that is not dependent of external circumstances. It is like being unconditionally happy: being at peace with your life and living fully in the moment.

Now that scientists can measure brain activity, this sense of inner happiness is a measurable physiological state characterized by a very distinct brain activity. Painful habits have their own brain patterns. To learn how to be happy, says the Dalai Lama:

"One begins identifying those factors which lead to happiness, and those factors which lead to suffering. Then you go eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness."

What all this talk has to do with you? Sometimes, we have talked here about detaching from the impact of your husband's behavior on you: learning to ignoring his responses when they are aggravating preserves your sanity. Now we know that detaching is part of the process of "eliminating those factors which lead to suffering." By teaching yourself not to be affected by his behavior, you can begin to cancel out an important source of pain.

What else could you do to connect with your inner source of happiness? There is more coming here, so leave your comments and questions below, so we can create a thread of conversations...

PD. Have you seen my Kindle book? Boosting your self-esteem, be your own heroine!

  1. janet, 16 August, 2013

    I do believe that the more we self actualize and realize what our own issues have been the easier it is to detach from this type of man’s passive behaviours which are all about “power and control” and become happy….I have been studying Erik Erikson’s Stages of Child Development to find out where the holes were in my early life hence resulting in me selecting this type of man….certainly abandonment ran me so my need to feel needed was strong which matched up very well with this type of man. The stages that were lacking for me were the stages of “autonomy” and “initiative”….the fear being if I took too much independence people might be upset around me, hold it against me and possibly abandon/send me away again which is the perception of the young child for what happened in their life(in my situation it was an early hospitalization)….this is interwoven with the issue of “initiative”. I also have run myself through Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences of which there are 9 currently to determine where my life gifts lie and where I could further my development.
    So how to ensure happiness is “self determination” for our own lives….taking that “initiative” that was lost along the way….also with many women connected to these men it’s learning to live our lives with “integrity”….that we don’t always have to be fixing things for others which has resulted in a bit of a deficiency in taking charges of ourselves….we have put all of our energies on everyone around us in order to feel safe and secure….to be happy we need to become more self-reliant although there is usually a strong desire to be understood which passive aggressive men have no desire to provide due to their problems with feeling the woman is controlling them so it’s reaching that stage of asking ourselves “why do I care if this emotionally disconnected understands me?” We have given them too much power due to our issues for ensuring our happiness. As women we all need opportunities where our intelligence will blossom as living with these type of men has caused that to go “south”. So being able to heal the wounds of our own past which set up this dynamic is key I have found to finding happiness….essentially becoming “whole”…and one day connecting with a man who is able to give and receive love just as I am able to do.
    Most women married to these type of men have high standards of expectations which passive aggressive men don’t as they have “control” issues. Living with them has resulted in us having to lower our standards. The more we discover who we are and what defenses we have been using we are well on the road to finding our own internal happiness. It’s realizing we are intelligent women with opinions of our own that we are entitled to…once one is more solidified this gives more room to acknowledge others beliefs….of course that can also get wrapped up with autonomy and initiative so one has to heal the stages where there are holes. Defenses are how we too have protected ourselves so it’s being able to tune into what we do when we feel rejected, realizing that piece comes from our early life for whatever reason. Return to the beginning of your story and move forward from there sealing up all the wounds of the past. Taking care of the body/mint/spirit allows for happiness to flow forth I have discovered. It’s no longer hiding your light under the bushel anymore but seizing who you came into this world to be. It’s asking ourselves each day “what do I want or what did my younger self want?” Spend a day with that girl/woman providing for her and watch her blossom. I’m not saying this will happen overnight….like all good things in life it takes daily vigilance to pursue your “own” life always asking “what could assist me in my own growth”.
    For myself happiness has also blossomed as I have grown spiritually…whether one believes in God or some other kind of higher power it’s handing over control to God every day…asking God each day what would you have me do today and then to listen for God and how he might prompt us to say what needs to be said to each person and that would include these passive aggressive men. It’s remembering what we have forgotten…. that our treasures do lie inside us….that bliss exists inside us, that we are magnificent beings, to love ourselves fully and realize that once we get our egos out of the way that we are capable women. Often it’s being able to take the time to just be “still”….to step away from the distractions of life like reading and watching movies or whatever one uses to distract themselves with….just be “still” and allow more of our own “inner panic” inside us to touch us more. The road to happiness is doable if we are willing to dig deep into our lives. I wish everyone all the best in this pursuit as being our authentic self is what will allow true happiness to blossom!

  2. Caroline Cottrell, 18 August, 2013

    I so agree with you, Janet. I myself have had terrible abandonment issues which started as a child and got worse again in the last few years as many significant people in my life died in very quick succession including my parents. It is a very hard road – i do feel lonely sometimes, not because i am quite capable of being self sufficient, because i get overwhelmed with the burdens that life has sent me – i was brought up with no life skills whatsoever. I am now disabled from a car accident and the physical tasks can be overwhelming. and i get very angry with myself and frustrated. I have been married twice – both to those type of men (like you, Janet). I was thinking yesterday that the one thing that connects all the very significant people in my life is a lack of empathy. It is hard getting through life when you never hear a kind word from anyone around you. I have had to learn to mother myself which is difficult. I do have a few friends – lots and lots of acquaintances – but i have spent an enormous amount of time on my own. It is hard to achieve peace but i feel i am nearly there.

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