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The schools do not teach about how to live a happy life. Depending on where you live, there are many ways to define happiness. In the Western world, happiness is defines by what you have. Dr. Vaillent did a research that proved that chasing happiness by becoming a doctor, senator or even a president cannot lead to happiness According to the research, it was proved that money and success does not bring happiness. There are five domains in human being. They include Physical, emotional, mental, financial and spiritual. Once there is a balance in these domains, happiness and joy can become apparent. Happiness is a state of being and not doing.
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Suffering is a choice. Anxiety is based on fear of future. Negative feelings are always followed by thoughts, which are based in either the past or future. We tend to live either in the past or future but never in the present moment. The research of Dr. Vaillent proves that the social status does not guarantee lack of pain in life. There are many things to be learned from this research. The important lesson is that the source of depression and anxiety in most patients is unfilled expectation of life. As one said, “Expectation is resentment under construction”. All of Dr. Vaillent’s subjects used alcohol and drugs to fill that void and when it was not possible, most of them resolved that suicide was a better option.
There are many ways to practice living in the present moment. It is the task of therapist to become able to teach this to their clients. According to Erickson’s the last two stages of life are generativity vs. stagnation and ego integrity vs. despair. Once these two stages are not fulfilled with generativity first and later with ego integrity. What follows is stagnation and despair and finally suicide is apparent.
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