Perspective On Suffering - Deepstash

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Emotionally Extreme Experiences, Not Just Positive or Negative Experiences, Are More Meaningful in Life

Perspective On Suffering

Suffering and sadness are necessary for a wholesome life, along with positive experiences.

While practicing being in the present can help us reduce anxiety and depression, we need the ‘counterbalance’ of the other extreme emotions to feel alive.

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Two central motivations in life: happiness and meaning
Two central motivations in life: happiness and meaning

Happiness and meaning are two main motivations in life. Research suggests that happiness and meaning are strongly correlated and often feed off each other.

Describing happiness and meaning
  • Happiness has more to do with getting what you want and feeling good.
  • Meaning has two major components: The cognitive processing component involves making sense of your experiences. The purpose component is motivational and consists of pursuing long-term goals that reflect one's identity. Meaning is related to activities such as developing and expressing the self, and consciously integrating one's past, present, and future experiences.
How to create meaning

While happiness satisfies the moment, avoiding negative thoughts and feelings may interfere with your personal development. Personal development relies on experiencing both positive and negative emotions. In contrast, two measures of meaning were positively associated with adaptation:

  • Cognitive processing. It is strongly related to grit (passion and perseverance).
  • Self-distancing. It is strongly related to gratitude and well-being. It seems that creating meaning is adaptive if one can maintain a third-person perspective of detachment.

Ultimately, well-being consists of both happiness and meaning. People are happiest when they pursue meaningful activities.

Emotions

They are basal responses that begin in the subcortical areas of the brain responsible for producing biochemical reactions to environmental stimuli that have a direct impact on our physical state.&n...

Feelings

Feelings are preceded by emotions and tend to be our reactions to them. Emotions are a more generalized experience across humans, but feelings are more subjective and influenced by our personal experiences and interpretations, thus they are harder to measure.

Negative Emotions

They can be defined as unpleasant or unhappy emotions evoked in individuals to express a negative effect towards something.

Although some are labeled negative, all emotions are normal to the human experience. And it’s important to understand when and why negative emotions might arise, and develop positive behaviors to address them.

Meaning in Life
  • Many of us struggle with finding meaning, as we are busy with our daily work and distractions.
  • Meaning in life provides us with the purpose of getting up daily, energized and pepped up...
Meaningful Work

21–35% of our life is spent at work, making it a crucial part of our lives to spend at something we find meaning in.

Meaningful work should be:

  • Motivating and purposeful.
  • Should be coherent and make some sense.
  • Should be significant.
Connected with a Purpose

Meaningful work is when we feel a genuine connection with what we do for a living and our larger spectrum of life.

It is motivating, creates deep relationships and helps others.