Are Joy and Happiness the same?

Stating that the concept of happiness is not perceived correctly in the society, Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “There are those who perceive happiness as pursuing pleasure, constantly being cheerful and having fun. In fact, positive psychology studies taught us that joy is not happiness. The feeling of happiness is closely related to the feeling of inner happiness and peace”. Tarhan said that there are people in society who are fed with complaints and that they are constantly trying to treat the state of the complaint by changing the thought patterns of these people through therapies.

Uskudar University Founding Rector Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan made assessments about the concept of happiness that is not perceived correctly in society.

The joy ends because it is not sustainable...

Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan, who stated that there are two types of emotions in human beings when the emotional analysis is performed, added: These are good feelings and the evil. There are feelings called grudge, anger, hatred, jealousy, and hostility, which we call the five horsemen of darkness. These feelings may apply temporarily to protect against certain dangers, but if this keeps going on, sympathetic activation occurs in our automated nervous system. The body releases stress hormones. Feelings such as joy, pleasure, hope, and peace are emotions that release the happiness hormone in the brain. What do we understand from happiness? Some people only understand joy when it comes to happiness. There are those who perceive the pursuit of pleasure as happiness. Western philosophy teaches us this. To be constantly cheering, having fun, some perceive this as happiness. In recent years, positive psychology studies have taught us, that joy is not happiness. Joy occurs through external reasons and ends because it is not sustainable. You are happy when you achieve something, but real happiness depends on internal causes. The feeling of happiness is closely related to the feeling of inner happiness and peace. It is not temporary; it is more sustainable.”

Authentic happiness is pure and core happiness ... 

Stating that psychologist Martin Seligman and his team define positive psychology as authentic happiness, Tarhan told, that; “Authentic happiness is pure, core happiness. If a person is able to be happy whether he is in a dungeon or in a palace, then this happiness becomes sustainable happiness. There are pleasure and stillness in it. This kind of happiness is the best happiness for our nervous system. Here, our parasympathetic nervous system is working and tells the person "calm down, everything is under control, everything is fine". This kind of happiness reduces the stress rate in our body.”

Happiness is a stress that can be controlled...

By saying "Happiness is not actually being stress-free", Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan continued his words as follows: “Happiness is the stress that can be controlled. It's being happy on the move, like riding a bike. Being able to move forward is to be happy while doing his job. Zero stress does not mean being happy. Being happy, just by having fun is a hedonistic understanding of happiness. In the hedonistic understanding of happiness, you are happy when you pursue your pleasures and do what you enjoy. It is hedonistic bliss to avoid stress in everything you don't like. But real happiness is making sense of it as happiness when you face any stress. In such situations, the person can recover without despair and manage to be happy even in the most difficult event. Happiness is all about one's perspective. We need to be able to get our own definition of happiness correctly.”

Complaining is the enemy of happiness ...

Tarhan stated that the anxiety is high in people who complain constantly and are fed by complaints; “They don't feel safe when they don't complain. These are people who are insatiable, unable to be happy with small things, who do not appreciate what they have and always look negatively focused. Such a mother says to her child why did you not get a 100, who got 97. These types of people are people who also steal human energy, and they require a special method to establish relationships with them. Complaining is one of the biggest enemies of happiness. These people feed on negative thought patterns and always write pessimistic scenarios. They feel safe only through complaining, they are not happy, but they keep themselves alive in this way. If these people can be taught to see the good side, they will see the positive or the negative together. The person should learn to see the positive side and live in a positive focus. Such people have stereotypes that make up their life philosophy. There are ways to change these thinking patterns in therapies and we try to teach them to these people.

Emotion management can be learned ... 

Noting that a person needs to know himself and develop self-awareness, Tarhan said; “The first condition of happiness is self-consciousness, the second condition is self-management. The person should be able to manage his own emotions and his negative and positive emotions. Like learning to drive a car, one has to learn emotion management. After that comes empathy, relationship management, and social awareness. If he can learn these, he is learning to manage his emotional energy. The person who does these things can be both happy and productive. Being happy is not always living like on holiday, taking one's hands off from everything. Living without purpose makes people unhappy also”.

Man is psychologically looking for happiness

Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said that human psychological nature is the pursuit of happiness and continued his words as follows: “Happiness is like a fully colored shade. If you try to catch it, it runs away, but if you just do your job and let it flow, it will run after you. Happiness is like that either. When you're targeting and trying to build it up, it runs away. When doing business there is a feeling called the flow feeling. When a person gets caught up in the work, he does not even notice the passing hours. This person has already caught the happiness. Anyone who has a job to do with pleasure should continue it. What will he do when he gets an obstacle? Anxiety arises at times like this, but there are problem-solving methods. He should list the possible solutions, decide on one of them, and remain constant in that decision. We can achieve happiness with our mind, not our feelings. We rank the importance and priority with reasoning methods.”

Change yourself instead of changing the world!

Stating that one of the most important mental methods of our brain is the analogy, Tarhan said; “Analogy allows you to appreciate what you own. Instead of changing the world, look at changing yourself. People are always trying to change others. People with high egos try to change everyone and everything. And this is not possible and as a result stress increases. People like this are also people with a high sense of control. Let's do a SWOT analysis for ourselves to achieve happiness. Let's determine our strengths and weaknesses. Let's determine our possibilities and opportunities. One should draw the road map accordingly, get help from a knowing one. In this regard, especially positive psychology leads people. Positive psychology is not Pollyannaism. We need to think positive and negative and think positive-oriented.”

The level of Modern expectation has risen

Stating that, being happy with little things is an important motto, Tarhan said; “In the Modern man, the level of expectation has gone up a lot. If we won't buy ourselves any clothes, clothes in our closet would be enough for us for 10 years now. But one constantly changes them with the desire to be appreciated, to be praised. More than basic needs affect shopping behavior. The capitalist system, which goes on the consumption economy, does it by increasing the consumption for production. It increased the level of financial welfare, but with the constant win and consume wheel, poverty has increased also. People always live in debt, even though they have many things”.

One should be able to be happy while doing his routine work also...

Saying that the limitations of the pandemic period teach people a very good lesson, Tarhan ended his words as follows: “People forced down their expectations during this period. We learned the feeling of austerity. The feeling that makes people the most mistakes is insatiability, greed, and wanting more. It is a kind of narcissism to think of the sense of right only towards himself. Modernism promotes narcissism. The capital system always directs more to increase production. The person should balance the wishes and needs. He should be able to settle with small things, learn to live minimally. He can push his limits once in a while, but the philosophy of life in a rapid lifestyle is against both, the biological and psychological nature of human beings. One should be able to be happy while doing his routine work. A philosophy that teaches to be happy out of routine does not appeal to everyone. It is the relationship of trust that makes people happiest.”


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