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  • Writer's pictureAntti Vanhanen

What Our Bladder Can Teach Us About Happiness

There's no doubt you've been in this situation a time or ten in your life:

You are out and about and you notice your bladder is starting to get full. The problem? There's no free toilet in sight.

So you hold it in. The longer you do, the more uncomfortable it gets. Painful even.

Soon the urge to pee gets so strong that it consumes most of your thoughts and makes you desperate to find relief.

When you finally find a suitable place to relieve yourself, the act of peeing feels SO GOOD.

Obviously, peeing doesn't always feel that good. (If it did, it would be one of most people's favorite past times.)

Rather, the reason it feels so good to pee when we are busting to pee is that it is such a relief from the pressure and discomfort of a full bladder.

Why am I telling you this?

*Because the same mechanism is at play when we reach for happiness.*

We are used to living in a culture that predominantly believes that happiness is the result of positive and favourable outcomes and achievements.

Yet we don't actually have the ability to feel what a goal - or an object or person - actually feels like.

It's why the same things feel different to us from one moment to the next.

Rather, the reason it generally feels SO GOOD when we complete a project, get the girl/guy, get the raise, or win the game is that in that moment of completion we let go of all our thoughts about it.

It is thus the feeling of relief of no longer having to carry thoughts such as "I really hope I can do this", "I hope this is the right thing to do", or "I could finally relax if I succeeded at this" that makes us feel SO GOOD.

In other words, the good feeling we get is the relief we feel from surrendering all the unnecessary thinking we have been carrying with us about how we can't feel happy, secure or fulfilled without that particular outcome.

In the moment of completion/achievement/attainment, all the thinking that is separating us from the oneness of everything is released, and we return to our original nature of peace, love and contentment.

And as we do, we realize that we were peace, love and contentment all along - we just convinced ourselves otherwise.

The magic of happiness, peace and freedom lies in the dissolving of our thoughts, not in the attainment of our goals.


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