Thoughts & Observations

Relief vs. Happiness

Relief is often confused with happiness.

I forget where I first read or heard that sentiment.

But I remembered it again the other morning when I found myself avoiding yoga because it meant that I would not get to tackling my inbox quite as early.

It’s not that I had anything truly urgent happening.

Nothing was going to be lost because I delayed responding for an hour.

And yet.

It’s a siren song that is almost impossible to resist. Email feeds our psychological needs in many ways, but one that I had not thought much about before is how much it feeds my need for relief.

When I respond to all those hovering emails, I stop feeling like there is a whole group of people walking with me wherever I go, tapping me on the shoulder until I pay attention to them and take care of them.

When I hit send, a little dose of relief washes over me. I’m no longer making someone wait. I’m no longer disappointing anyone.

This realization doesn’t mean that I should avoid email altogether…it just means that I should be cognizant of how often I feed my need for relief and what I’m potentially giving up because of it.

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