'You need to live, not exist'

Julia Base on the main crisis of the 21st century
'You need to live, not exist'
Image credit: Julia Base

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The crisis we want to tell you about is not related to the coronavirus, political or economic instability. It is caused by the process of industrialisation, the dawn of the consumer age and the increasing pace of life. And this is the happiness crises. 

Once upon a time, man exulted in himself, in the essence of life and, the approach of a new dawn. Now we are only happy with smartphones, online shopping, financial well-being. And in order to sustain happiness, we need to increase the dose every time and more often. Although joy is a natural human condition that is given to us from birth.

For an entrepreneur to be truly successful, happiness is an important virtue. Some organizations have even developed happiness ratings. China, the US, Germany and especially the CIS countries are not even in the top ten. Though, the political and economic influence of these countries is enough to boast of a good standard of living. So, what is the reason? Why did we cease to be happy for no reason? And what are the future implications?

The main thing is not missing out on your life

We will not concentrate on the meaning of life, since we want to analyze specific processes and their impact on a person, and not philosophy. But the very fact of life as a means we cannot miss.

The author of The Book of Joy, blogger, certified coach in emotional competence, deep transformation, resource state, family issues and parent-child relationships, Julia Base gave her thoughts on the crisis of joy and explained why it is more dangerous for everyone than economic shocks. As Julia emphasizes in her book, we come into this world, first, to live for almost a hundred years and to enjoy every moment of this period. That is why we wake up every morning, earn money, go to the theatres and the movies. 

"Being able to enjoy the world around us is a skill we learn from birth. We start smiling, laughing and feeling happy even before we can hold our head, sit or walk. As early as 2 months old, every child is excited about life and learning about the world. But then, under the influence of life's circumstances, problems and fears, the ability to enjoy simple things go away." 

Indeed, if we look at the countries with the highest happiness index, we noticed top places are occupied by countries that are not industry leaders. But they are countries with beautiful nature and a moderate pace of life. A life in which a person has time to walk, travel and enjoy their surroundings (scenery). The top five countries with the happiest populations include Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

A factor that influences each person's ability to be happy

Limiting beliefs. They have a profound effect on our lives because everything we see, hear and feel goes through our minds and into our brains. And when we begin to filter information, we form values and beliefs that can hinder us later in life.

We are simply attracted to what we believe because it is difficult for the brain to perceive a perspective or position that differs from what has been embedded since childhood. 

Working with beliefs is very important according to many psychologists. The fact is that happiness is lower in industrialised countries. And the main reason is that people believe there can only be a stable life if they have a permanent job at work. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to hold on to work by all means. The result of this approach to life is extremely sad. A man of this ilk adds at least 30 per cent of the time he spends on sleep to 30 per cent of the day he will spend at work for the rest of his life. In total, he has less than half a day left for himself. On a 60- to 70-year scale, that's 35 years of sleep and work.

It is all about the way of thinking

Every person uses different thinking patterns. And when you hear a talker tells their story even positively but then says “but”, you can immediately understand that all the positivity will be crossed out. And then there are complaints about circumstances the person cannot control or influence. Except the person is held hostage by their way of thinking, the circumstances affect them, and as a result, people are constantly thinking in a negative frame of problems. NLP has a clear definition of what a problem frame and a solution frame are. This can be manipulated, or conversely used as a tool to get people out of their negative thinking environment.

A proactive position

Looking for opportunities and affirming a person's purposefulness helps to turn all negative experiences and circumstances into a life experience. It becomes a challenge that a person sooner or later copes with and feels a surge of energy and a positive attitude, from the fact that he has found a solution and a way out of a situation. But not everyone can understand this on their own and get out of psychological captivity.

Our brain strives to ensure that our reality is aligned with the attitudes that are embedded in it. This gives us a sense of stability in life, a sense of 'ground beneath our feet'. No matter what we think about, we will always find confirmation of our beliefs. Our brain protects us, keeping us from going crazy. Every time we are confronted with a new situation, it is as if our brain is telling us: "It's OK, it's just as you thought it would be."

Tackling the situation

There are many factors of ‘unhappiness’. Well-being can influence your level of happiness, but it is not the key factor. Comparisons between urban and rural residents show that the level of happiness and the ability to enjoy simple things in rural areas is much higher. They have less stress and anxiety, as there is more nature in their lives than artificially created living conditions. There are really many reasons, down to little things like being able to see the starry sky. In big cities, due to lighting, you are unlikely to see the stars. In addition, artificial lighting disrupts sleep patterns that have been “normal” for humans for thousands of years. And it also creates stress. But besides anthropogenic and personal factors, there is also a cultural component. Julia usually talks about how mentality can influence the level of happiness.

Factors that influence unhappiness

Firstly, we have been imprinted with cultural values, timeframes, historical factors, roots going back to difficult economic situations.

Secondly, our environment and culture affects our mentality. For example, it is believed that the Russian soul is inherently deep. Russians will always find time to be sad. Why "smile" in vain? 

Thirdly, there must be a reason for smiling: if the person you are talking to smiles, they either want something from us, are mocking us, or are making fun of us. That's why we don't smile too much ourselves.

Digging deep into the thought processes

It all starts when we focus on what went wrong. We express negativity, think about bad experiences, and bury ourselves in problems. Up to this day, we continue to focus on the negativity around us. But you can see the positive in any situation, learn from even difficult situations, analyze and understand what can be improved and corrected. And then one creates a new positive reality and understands what he wants to change in order to become happier.

As children, we laughed and rejoiced just because the sun was shining or it was raining. There were rainbows in the sky, we were happy about winter, snow, autumn. We were happy about everything. However, all the time we heard warnings from our parents and educators: don't laugh, calm down, settle down; you laugh too much, you'll cry later!

Then there was school, where the teachers constantly programmed us to be ‘serious’: Laughing is bad, you can't laugh; if you laugh, you look silly; if you laugh, I'll kick you out of class with a note in the diary.

And we often heard expressions from classmates in response to the happy smile on our faces: What are you laughing at? Why are you so happy? This is not the time; you laugh like a horse; if I show you a finger, will you laugh too?

And after such words, of course, we no longer want to display happiness, because you can be happy without a reason when you are in a good mood, and it helps normal mental health. But all these expressions, moral teachings and proverbs have cut off the road to joy for many! And already in our adult lives, our friends, colleagues and relatives support the sullenness: It's easy to say, "Smile!" What's there to smile about when life is so hard, there's no room for smiling. I have to survive and you are asking me to smile.

As a result, many people cannot afford to truly relax, live, rejoice and laugh. Smiling is something suspicious to them. And in confirmation of this theory comes the memory of generational expressions and proverbs that forbid laughter: You don't know whether to laugh or cry; he who laughs last laughs well; laughing for no reason is a sign of foolishness.

It's all ingrained in our heads. It was instilled in us as children. We don't know what the reason for laughing should be, but just in case, we don't laugh at all. Or only occasionally, when we allow ourselves: at a comedy club, at a comedy concert or if we are told a joke. But in principle, it is harmful to smile and be happy in life, because no one wants to be a fool or look like a clown, right?

The emotional crisis of happiness: the worst and most destructive crisis for humans

It takes life away, but it does so inconspicuously. This is the main danger. Viruses kill, poverty also leads to death. But the crisis of happiness and joy works in secret from you.

A person seems to be living, but his every day is a pattern filled with stress, moralising, stereotypes and attitudes that put even more filters on the joy of the world around him.

As a result, people, after years of struggling for success and happiness from material possessions, realise that they have missed out on life and the best years when they were healthy and as active as possible. When they had the energy for everything they would have wanted.

In summary

It turns out that one's happiness does not depend on their material and living conditions, but primarily on the environment in which a person has lived since childhood. In the minds of people from large industrialised countries, the picture of the world is strongly greyed out. It is seen from childhood difficult life, an endless race to the top, the need to earn more and more. But the most important thing is the limitations that dwell in a person's mind.

Therefore, the topic of happiness is really important for everyone. And the ability to enjoy life directly affects how this life goes. How full it is with bright moments, new experiences and learning about the world. Don't let beliefs, stereotypes and filters take away precious time in your life and enjoy every moment simply because you can.

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