General Question

lady4life's avatar

Why is it so hard for us to be joyful?

Asked by lady4life (234points) June 13th, 2009

Is it the pressures of life which give us no relief, or the suffering of the innocents, or the rampant injustice in the world? Is it perhaps the fact that we don’t like ourselves very much and always feel guilty? or is it the fear that seizes us when we think of tomorrow?

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31 Answers

Introverted_Leo's avatar

I’d say all of the above, pretty much.

prude's avatar

“us” who?

Phobia's avatar

I’m pretty happy. I just got promoted a few days ago, so things are looking good. I don’t feel guilty for any suffering in the world because…well…I’m not exactly the cause of it. I do, of course, wish better for them, but there’s only so much one person can do. If you can’t accept that, then yeah, you’re gonna be unhappy.

Jeruba's avatar

It is the thinking we do. Our thoughts are forever coursing toward the past, the future, wants, desires, expectations, hurts, anxieties, and fears, all centered in ourselves. When we can quiet our thoughts and simply experience what is, that is the peace that passeth understanding.

Unfortunately few things are more difficult. That is why some people work at it for a lifetime.

whatthefluther's avatar

Maybe it’s unique to my circumstances, but I have no problem being generally joyful and grateful for what I have.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t find it difficult to embrace Joy when I find it. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with Joy in the face of those who don’t have it or because of suffering in others but if they pass up the moments when Joy presents then… what’s the point of anyone having anything to hope for, to try for? Too much misplaced guilt going around.

Bobbydavid's avatar

I’m joyful more than I’m not but the constant reminders telling us how evil and messed up the world is sends us the wrong signals. Watch the news less and live in a cocoon and you’ll be just fine and dandy

basp's avatar

No one, individually, can fix all the wrongs in the world. What you must do is focus on is your own little corner of the world.
In the words of one more wiser than I, “one must blossom where one is planted”.

Facade's avatar

Because I have a chemical imbalance.

Jeruba's avatar

A piece of wisdom that I read in a Buddhist journal and took to heart is this: “If you can be less of a problem to others, that is a great gift.”

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’m pretty happy most of the time. Might be the Prozac, might be the lovely woman I am married to, might be that I don’t sweat the little things, and I don’t worry about the shit I have no control over. MIght be the thought that in a hundred years none of this stuff will matter one whit, because I’ll be dead and gone. Might be a combination of all of those.

Life is about choices, your results may vary.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used to have that problem, but then I made a pledge to myself to be happy every single day for the rest of my life. It really works. Joy is easy to find when you really want to.

lady4life's avatar

Joy..happiness..peace comes from the “Inside” out..In my opinion it is a state of “being” exist, we only have to listen/feel and be aware..

Blondesjon's avatar

“All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. However, a path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy. It does not make a warrior work at liking it; it makes for a joyful journey; as long as a man follows it, he is one with it.” -Carlos Castaneda

whatthefluther's avatar

@Blondesjon….Nice quote. Hey, can you part with some of that peyote?

Blondesjon's avatar

@whatthefluther . . .go away talking, purple, armadillo

whatthefluther's avatar

@Blondesjon….Ah, a vision…I must have some

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It’s not hard once you stop dwelling on the things you have no control over.

Bluefreedom's avatar

It’s been relatively easy for me to be joyful for a long time now and I’m grateful for that. If anyone needs cheering up, I will do my best to accomodate you. We all deserve to be joyful in a world that desperately needs much more happiness than it currently has.

wundayatta's avatar


I think a lot of people either don’t approve of, or are envious of joy. This can cause people to feel like they are showing off if they express their joy in anything less than socially acceptable occasions of joy (births, marriages, graduations, etc).

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon. . .That is a ridiculous head game to play with yourself.

I felt 100% better about myself when I realized that 99.999% of the world could give a fuck less about me. What a relief!

The other .001%, that do care, would never hold my being joyful against me. If they did, they could go join the rest of the dicks.

wundayatta's avatar

@Blondesjon I agree. It is a rediculous head game to play with yourself. That doesn’t invalidate it as an explanation for the phenomenon.

I, for one, would delight in seeing you express your joy. I wouldn’t hold it against you, and there is even the possibility that it would amuse me, which, whether you appreciate it or not, is why you exist.

Blondesjon's avatar

@daloon. . .Now you’re catching on. If I can just help even one person extract their head from their ass it makes my work here worthwhile.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@Blondesjon. I’d like to help you with that. If you need an assistant, let me know. I have a really nifty set of forceps just waiting for the next available cranial extraction.

wundayatta's avatar

@Blondesjon Sometimes, idly, I wonder what the view is like in there. Perhaps you could describe it?

Blondesjon's avatar

@Bluefreedom . . .I feel such joy knowing that you are willing to roll your sleeves up and pitch in. You really are just a giver and all around great guy.

how you been man? long time, no thread back and forth.


@Bluefreedom. . .I need those forceps…STAT!

Bluefreedom's avatar

@Blondesjon. It’s always a pleasure to exchange comments with you, sir. I’ve been well and thank you for asking. As far as helping out, I’m here for you. (And for those who have lost their heads, so to speak.) =)

I’ll send those forceps over right away!

wundayatta's avatar

Geez. I don’t know. Looks to me like there’s a lot of self forception going on here!

philosopher's avatar

For most of us reality is often cruel.
I agree with all you said lady.
I am the Mother of an Autistic young Man. He has a Year and a half left in a wonderful school. I fear what he will have after. His happiness is my joy. I would prefer death to not being able to help him.
I wish he could have his school Adult Program but their property taxes are the highest in the country . I wish someone could help me with this.

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