You must log in or register to comment.

breadandbuttercreek t1_iyaa3ag wrote

To have a richer experience of life you don't necessarily need to seek out variety and new experiences, you just need to pay more attention to the world around you. Most people have a very narrow focus on life, just paying attention to the things that seem important. If you broaden your focus of attention you can have a much richer experience of life.


JacksonRiot t1_iyamcmx wrote

I think this is a big part of why people have such revelatory experiences on psychedelics, they are capable of broadening your perspective to an extent.


Iaskquesti0ns OP t1_iyaaps9 wrote

I agree with this; the basis of mindfulness itself is to bring more into your focus and accept it. Although, in a way, that is more variety relative to the prior level of focus.


shoobsworth t1_iyb0f12 wrote

Yes but even paying attention to the world around you will eventually grow stagnant if you’re doing the same things, the same routine. New experiences and variety provide growth.


breadandbuttercreek t1_iyb5su2 wrote

Nothing ever stays the same. Of course if you are seeking the good life you should always be trying to improve your situation, seeking new knowledge and experience, but routine provides the bedrock for happiness.


shoobsworth t1_iyb6aj0 wrote

I agree to a degree. Routine is safe, familiar. It’s ritual.

That has meaning.

But it’s also paramount to break out of that from time to time. Go out of your comfort zone, have new experiences, throw a wrench in the machine.


gallaguy t1_iybvpci wrote

I’ve started meditating every morning. I just set aside 5 minutes to sit down, close my eyes, breathe, then open my eyes and do 20 pushups, and I have to do it before I look at my phone. It helps me start each day with a sense of accomplishment and an appreciation for my immediate surroundings, and that in turn has allowed me to go into new experiences with a perspective that is more true to my current situation.


dvlali t1_iydb5iu wrote

Yeah, and I have found that routine, if it is connected to a practice that can be deepened, like painting or a craft (and many other things), is actually a means to consistently have new experiences. It may seem on the surface like you do the same thing every day, but actually you encounter more and more the deeper you go. Like moving on the Z axis instead of the X and Y.


skyntbook t1_iybxjyx wrote

Why is there so much focus on "anhedonia" as a symptom of depression, and nobody mentions the loss or lack of eudaimonia?

Because as a depressed person I'm perfectly capable of feeling hedonia (pleasure), but I struggle to find meaning pretty much everywhere I look.


Iaskquesti0ns OP t1_iycn7b2 wrote

When I counsel people (I'm a psychologist), particularly the more self-reflecting ones who have anxiety and depression, their philosophical approach to life and figuring out meaning in events take precedence over finding the right stimulation that evokes pleasure.

For some people, taking a hard deterministic POV or a hard free-will-focused POV changes how they interpret their lives. Working with them to figure out their interpretations generally shows them a path where they find meaning and offers them closure. Once they have a sufficiently acceptable answer to many forms of "but why did this happen?" their motivation moves toward something that excites them. Just my 2 cents. I hope you do find meaning.


dimitrieze t1_iyd7kn3 wrote

Hi, sorry. Is there any way you can ELI5? I'm interested in what you're saying but I don't fully get it


Iaskquesti0ns OP t1_iydlcqb wrote

Sure, I'll add some context too!

Some of my counseling clients have been very self-aware of their feelings and what works for them. They understand what they are supposed to do to feel better. But they find life is meaningless and don't see any purpose to their behaviors.

When they are in counseling, they focus on "why did this happen," and need answers. Unfortunately, in many situations in life, like a death of a friend, abuse, a series of unfortunate events, etc., we have little control. When people realize this, they bargain and negotiate - "I could've done this to prevent it" - they go into a negative thought pattern of guilt or intrusive thoughts about "what if" scenarios.

At this point, everything comes to their philosophical point of view - did they have control over the events? Did life give them this trauma for things they have done? Did they deserve it?

They try to make sense of the events and keep asking themselves questions about why the trauma happened. Some people adopt a deterministic point of view - what happened couldn't have been prevented. Some adopt a free-will point of view - they made mistakes, and now they have to learn not to make them again.

Those points of view determine how guilty they feel, how desperate they are to change their lives, and how they can move on.

  • Those troubled by thoughts of re-writing their past benefit from accepting a deterministic point of view because then they accept they have little control.
  • Those who are troubled because they don't do anything and just let things happen benefit from taking a free-will point of view, so they try to learn from their mistakes and focus on taking action to improve their life.

In both cases, the change in perspective gives them meaning; it gives them a reason to change what they are doing. They understand there are more forces at play than they can manage. They learn that, sometimes, they can make decisions all they want, but they won't matter, but they can't know this beforehand.
Changing their deterministic pov to a free-will pov (and vice versa) gives them answers depending on how willing they are to accept fate or exert control:

  1. "I can seek meaning in my future actions and how I spend my time instead of past explanations since I had no role in what happened" or
  2. "I can understand my mistakes and what I could've done better, so now I will focus on learning that instead."

Now, they find meaning in living in the moment, going on a learning journey, or spending quality time and embracing the good things when they happen. And when they have bad times, they focus on how strong they have become to not collapse during a crisis.


Vladimir_Putting t1_iydh7hh wrote

Depression often involves your brain/mind telling itself false stories about bad things happening to you. Often focusing on it being because you're a shitty person and it's your fault and you don't deserve good things, etc. That point of view is inherently toxic to a healthy mind, and it can be more powerful if someone truly believes that everything happening to them is out of their control. Because then, how could they ever change it?

Once people get a wider, wiser perspective on those events they can see that the stories playing in their head are generally false, which clears up a lot of their depressive thoughts.


MasturbatingGrandma t1_iydm99h wrote

No, sorry, they’re not false stories. As a recently depressed person I had real stories of personal mistakes and shit happening to me that was a lot at once. I could list them to anyone and they would say, ok, I would be depressed too. All real events.

Then I got a health scare diagnosis that literally said my days on earth were very possibly numbered and short. Overnight my depression went away. From knowing I was dying? On top of all else?

Yes. It shifted, instantly to me focusing on all that’s awesome in my everyday. I forgot all about the little annoyances and past/future concerns. Everything became deep and rich around me. I learned how to love deeply, those in my life because I wanted to milk each moment before I went into the black.

Perspective. The loss and shit of my past was real, but I no longer wasted time thinking about it. I live in the NOW, and ride every tiny beauty inside it. I thrive on what matters in the end now and ignore the rest as there is no time to waste. Depression is a waste of time. Anxiety is a laughable waste of my minutes. Being calm and happy is easy now.

If I escape this somehow, it will be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Depression isn’t about believing lies. It’s about self pity and a wasteful perspective.

When you truly life well, you milk the best around you. Most of the elderly get this, as they feel their mortality deeper.


Vladimir_Putting t1_iydn2mi wrote

I've dealt with serious and suicidal depression a couple of times in my life. States of depression absolutely are often brought on by pervasive self "false narratives". And one of the primary ways to treat depression is to gain the mental toolkit to analyze, reassess, and even rewrite those false narratives.

That's the whole underlying premise behind CBT. But don't take my word for it:


MasturbatingGrandma t1_iydpn1h wrote

I don’t like the word false. They’re not false realities, just overly-focused-on ones.


Vladimir_Putting t1_iydqwd9 wrote

The word "false" is entirely accurate.

From the link: >Examples of these include beliefs such as, “If I fail at something it means I’m a complete failure” or “If I don’t have someone to love and accept me it means I’m unlovable.”

These are patently false in a way that any Logic 101 student could unpack. Yet, these exact types of narratives are pervasive in clinical depression.

CBT is all about identifying and attacking those false negative narratives.


RabidMortal t1_iydb3e2 wrote

>taking a hard deterministic POV or a hard free-will-focused POV

Is there someplace that I can learn more about what this means? It sounds very interesting.


Fekov t1_iyf4qi7 wrote

Hard Determinism. Every choice you have made, are making, will ever make was pre-determined the instant the universe came into existence. Your entire life is following a pre-set path. Every seeming choice made simply part of the following of that path. You have no free will, it is an illusion. You are not responsible for your actions because you never had any ability to change them. They were predetermined before you even came into existence to take them.

Heady stuff. Based on the logic of cause and effect. Cause has to precede effect. The universe is deterministic, all effects within it had previous cause. We are part of that universe.

Hard Free Will, usually called Libertarian Free Will. None of your choices are pre-determined. Either the universe is not deterministic and or our own choices are not governed by the same laws as the rest of the universe. There are in fact multiple paths you can follow. You are free to choose which path, you are responsible for the path taken.


smurficus103 t1_iyde18t wrote

I heard a bit of metaphysics, myself: if reality is a simulation or physics determines everything ahead of time, you're just walking through the motions and nothing is of consequence. However, if there is some sort of randomness generated in your brain, you can change and move the world with your actions, giving quite a bit more meaning to what you do and say.

Intuitively, if you didn't drive that truck full of food, people would go hungry. But, if you're brain is a computer that somebody programmed, you can know that and still feel like a robot doing the "right" thing, the best you can, according to programming


cmciccio t1_iycmegn wrote

Because it's one of the core experiences of major depression. When I was depressed I didn't feel pleasure and thus didn't even seek it out. I didn't feel happiness or sadness and I didn't cry. There was an all-consuming black void that went on perpetually for a very long time outside of the flow of good days and bad days.

I'm not claiming that's not the case with you but an important distinction needs to be made when defining depression. Otherwise, any definition or diagnosis becomes a cage that actually prevents feeling better.

Struggling to find meaning is simply an aspect of life that we all need to find our way through. The meaningless we often confront in human existence and the meaningless of depression are on very different levels.


The_Ivliad t1_iycemsv wrote

That's an important question and I suspect that it's precisely because it's hard. Everyone needs to find their own meaning.


millchopcuss t1_iycvihv wrote

It seems like you are pointing out a shortcoming in our terminology. This is an interesting thing to key on, because it seems to capture some of the trouble with our therapeutic approaches. Chasing hedonia without a framework for a meaningful life may, in many instances, be the actual cause of the difficulty.

Eudaimonia is a tricky term. We don't exactly think in terms of daimons anymore. It looks like hedonia was used to encompass both forms of happiness initially, and the term eudaimonia was dredged up out of Plato when a need arose for more nuance. To form an opposite, you'd have to go with something like 'maldemonia' and this whole demon thing starts to intrude on it's utility.

Just the same, this right here is the fault line in therapeutic practice today. The need for a better set of terms for the moving parts of a well built life is enormous.


1nd3x t1_iya4cyi wrote

My ADHD provides me all the Psychological richness I could ever makes it exceptionally hard to get my allotment of eudaimonia though and the hedonia is a mixed bag...


Throwawaysack2 t1_iyb1fjt wrote

If I work over like 10 hours on a shift my mind frays and I just spew train-of-thought like crazy. My coworker is highly amused/concerned when this starts. Definitely reminds me of LSD and how it enhances that intrusive thoughts part of my ADD.


vplatt t1_iyb5wi9 wrote

This is pop psychology; not philosophy. It's off-topic to the forum.


bootsand t1_iyaxasa wrote

I have zero out of three of these things.


logicalsuicidee t1_iybgblz wrote

The ceaseless, dull drone of everyday life. That is why I smoke crack


bread93096 t1_iyafxbt wrote

I think this is a good explanation of the different elements that make a happy life - day to day pleasure and meaningful responsibilities, with changing phases of life bringing fresh challenges.


hemlock850 t1_iybbyew wrote

Why doesn't "psychological richness" get to have a cool name like eudaimonia and hedonia...?


BowelMan t1_iycfrq2 wrote

Right now I have none of these three. I feel horrible.


Cracks_InTheWalls t1_iycp4qp wrote

Question: Is there something novel you can do today? Doesn't really matter what it is, so long as it's not something you do routinely and it isn't harmful (unlike our philosophical crack smokin' friend in this thread, lol). Doesn't have to be earth shattering, just something a little different than usual.

For example, I don't know the culture of the place you're from (Poland, I believe? Could be wrong), but Christmas is coming up. You could walk into a store you usually don't visit, looking for something a family member might like, or something someone can get you that you may not have thought of before. Even better, find something there that you don't know the function of and ask a clerk what it's for. Observe your thoughts and feelings walking in there, while being in there, and note any thoughts or questions you have after leaving. You may find something to dig into afterwards, either extrinsic or intrinsic.

This is just one example - there are many other ones that'd likely be better, but this one's comparatively easy since (in North American culture, at least) it's tied into stuff you 'have' to do anyway (cultural pressure's a bitch sometimes, I hate buying shit for Christmas as a rule).

Somewhat unrelated aside: Do you read fiction? One book I like for thinking about novelty (and its excesses) is "The Dice Man" by Luke Rhinehart. Fair warning - it's very much a product of a different time. But it's an interesting exploration of a thought experiment - what if you forced yourself into novel situations by suspending your default judgements and pursuing particular actions based on a dice roll? It's a neat thing to think about in the context of this proposed category of 'psychological richness'. Then, of course, a picture of what it could look like if taken to an extreme, which I don't recommend - makes for a fun read, but a pretty risky life.

Anyway, peanut gallery comments aside, I hope you feel better about things in the near future. Life can be pretty grim sometimes, but neat shit always has the potential to happen. Most you can do is try and support conditions for said neat shit - which admittedly is hard when feeling lowly. Hang in there buddy, much love from Canada.


GreatBigBagOfNope t1_iyc3laj wrote

Perhaps suggesting that a lifestyle of doing nothing but waking up in your cookie cutter suburban house, driving 90 minutes to the same workplace, spending 9 hours there doing the same thing, driving 90 minutes home, and watching the same television programming for 50 years isn't part of the recipe for a good life?


Skyreaper71 t1_iyc4ecp wrote

As a survival-happy species, our successes are calculated in the number of years we have extended our lives, with the reduction of suffering being only incidental to this aim. To stay alive under almost any circumstances is a sickness with us. Nothing could be more unhealthy than to “watch one’s health” as a means of stalling death. The lengths we will go as procrastinators of that last gasp only demonstrate a morbid dread of that event. By contrast, our fear of suffering is deficient.

Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race


musicalbasics t1_iyc727s wrote

Psychological richness and eudaimonia (meaning) are the same thing.

>Psychological richness often comes from meeting new people, taking trips, going on adventures, traveling, moving cities, and extreme events that change your lifestyle.

Meeting new people & forming connections, traveling to new locations, and going on adventures are the very definition of meaningful activities.

These psychologists love creating new categories but there are only two categories, meaning and value.


Iaskquesti0ns OP t1_iycapyc wrote

I believe those can be a source of eudaimonia and richness both, but there would be people for whom staying indoors reading and following a strict routine (no variety) is meaningful. Many find structure and familiarity enough.

If you look at it from a physics point of view where chaos = variety, chaos carries the least meaning.


UnmutualOne t1_iyb7md3 wrote

Looking for more hedonia . . .


logicalsuicidee t1_iybgece wrote

Try crack


UnmutualOne t1_iybgiqn wrote

That would interfere with the eudaimonia.


logicalsuicidee t1_iybgqsp wrote

Oh. My purpose in life is wake up and do crack every day so I don’t have that problem


UnmutualOne t1_iybgyl8 wrote

Makes sense. Two birds with one stone and all that.


WhittlingDan t1_iybvcyi wrote


I think you mean rock.


UnmutualOne t1_iyc0egp wrote

Come now. We're here for serious discussion. You're just here to crack jokes.


breadandbuttercreek t1_iybmk54 wrote

So, you smoke some crack, then go on r/philosophy to boast about smoking crack. Living the dream!


k3170makan t1_iybwd6t wrote

Life has no meaning just enjoy the fact poor people do shit that makes your life easier and pretend you can be fully empathetic about it while they work themselves to death for the sake of your comfortability.


VuurniacSquarewave t1_iycbgin wrote

Oh having had a life-threatening cardiovascular problem was perspective-changing enough. It's been fixed but not the mental component of it.


ThrowawayAntelopes t1_iycthc7 wrote

It's really a stretch to translate eudaimonia as "meaning"


ma_tooth t1_iydijsd wrote

Great. Now I need to be rich to be happy. Oh wait…


krkrkkrk t1_iydyy11 wrote

tell me more about these people that have figured out what an interesting life entails for everyone -.-


Fickle-Information30 t1_iye3s78 wrote

I’m a bit confused. I was taught that “Eudaimonia” meant “happiness”, “good spirits”.