Fewer expectations, less distress: Is this the key to a happy life?

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Fewer expectations, less distress: Is this the key to a happy life?
Fewer expectations, less distress: Is this the key to a happy life?

Africa-PressNamibia. Life has a way of being vague, you never know what’s coming. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from having expectations. Expectations are a strong belief that something will happen. Whereas you will be happy for a friend who was proposed to by the beach, at sunset, with a saxophonist playing jazz, it is not wise to expect the same in your own life. People are different. Experiences are different.

If the person you’re dating hasn’t spoken about a future with you, try not to expect a proposal, you don’t want to raise your expectations only to get disappointed. The lower the expectations, the happier you will be.

Keeping expectations low may be the key to happiness, scientists say. Researchers at University College London created a formula to predict happiness levels. They found that accumulating wealth did not make people happier, but the expectation of acquiring more money, did make happiness levels shoot up, particularly if people were not expecting to win big.

According to motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins’ research, ‘no expectations, or no disappointments’ doesn’t mean lowering our standards or accepting a life that is less than what we deserve. It doesn’t mean giving up on our goals for a happy, healthy relationship and meaningful career. It doesn’t mean that we stop growing and learning new things.

It means when we embrace the true ‘no expectations, no disappointments’ meaning, we begin to live fully in the present. Our lives are complete with acceptance, gratitude and love. We stop fighting things that are out of our control and focus our power on what we can control, like our own mind-set, emotions, and actions. Learning how to be happy without expectations means realising that fulfilment comes from within. It’s a realisation that will transform your life.

According to counsellor Innocent Kabera, there is actually no harm in setting expectations, because that is the way to aim higher and grow bigger or wealthier. However, some expectations are unattainable.

To him, although expectations can motivate you and boost your productivity, going too far or being unrealistic can result in serious consequences, for instance, it can cause emotional distress such as anxiety and depression.

“For example; a job interview, you did your research well, got the facts on your fingertips, but failed to scoop the job, you may feel like a loser, which isn’t true. When people put in a lot of effort, they’re certain to succeed, if they don’t, they feel disappointed. In the end, it could result in depression,” he says.

Kabera says that high expectations only breed discontent, once they fail to get what they expected, they are left sad. He recommends learning to let things go if they don’t turn out as planned, and celebrating the small victories, and most importantly, avoiding comparison.

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