Why you should embrace some pain to enjoy more happiness

Why you should embrace some pain to enjoy more happiness

Let me begin by noting that I’m not, here, advocating for excessive or prolonged suffering.

Let me also begin by noting that some pain is unavoidable and inevitable. It is, quite simply, part of life. Trying to avoid all pain and discomfort is doomed to failure, which then leads to more … pain and discomfort.

Some who recognise this strive to tolerate pain and suffering; which isn’t a bad start. But what I’m suggesting goes a step further. I’m suggesting we don’t just tolerate or even accept pain, but more so, embrace and enjoy it!

How can you enjoy pain?

Well, to begin with, by reframing it; by seeing it as a step towards or as part of happiness.

How can pain be part of happiness?

Well, if we think about happiness as including excitement and awe, accomplishment and achievement, learning and growth, then it’s not hard to see how pain or discomfort are necessarily part of these experiences.

Within excitement and awe is, more often than not, some fear and anxiety. Within accomplishment is almost always some challenge (or it wouldn’t feel like an achievement). Within growth is, at least in the early stages, the experience of being a beginner, of not being good at something, which is a feeling most of us find uncomfortable.

So, all those forms of happiness, all those forms of positive emotion, involve in some way or other, various forms of negative emotion. Happiness, therefore, requires or can be created by, unhappiness, distress and pain! More so, thinking about unpleasant experiences like this makes them … less unpleasant!

With that in mind, here’s to your happiness AND here’s to your pain and unhappiness : )