Why do facts mean so much to us but have limited influence on our contentment and happiness

Picture: UnnarYmir http://www.flickr.com

When people are going through difficult period like sadness, burnout or depressive state they can be very occupied by facts or the truth. They can wonder about what is right or wrong or focus on their memories. It seems that they are trapped in their own past and things that go with it.

It is of course important to acknowledge the fact that all these things that contribute to the state of sadness and sometimes this contribution can be immense as in traumatic situations. It is a part of a relieve from loss or sadness to uncover such facts and have their meaning explained. We want to understand why things are happening to us and we want others to understand how we feel in our depressive state. We might have to give ourselves time to adjust again, because our body might be out of balance to do anything else than recover, just as we sometimes must have healing time after an accident. There might be similar recovery process in the body from breaking a leg or loosing a job.

The way to wellness and contentment does not stop there, as if we ruminate to much about the past or depressive state, we somehow get even more sad and depressive. It is like going to our storage room with for something to pick up, we do not have to stay there for long. We are not going to stay there for the rest of our live. Everything in the storage is that important, that we might use it later, but we do not want to live in the storage room.

The trick is to shift attention from these facts to the future again. How can you inspire yourself to imagine your own contentment again? How can you build the trust and hope for the future again? How can you reassure yourself to take on the future. How can you entrust your faith in live again? How can you exercise and build up a new behavior that will lead you to contentment and realize your imagined future?

These are the questions that lead you on the road to contentment and happiness again. These questions shift your focus from the past and to the future. You have to ask yourself these questions and answer them as well. This shift of focus is the way to recover from burnout or trauma.

Bjorn Vernhardsson psychologist