Story #3 │ Over-The-Counter Happiness

Over-The-Counter Happiness

“I wish there was a pill to make me feel better”, some clients say. I can hear their pain and disappointment through the vocal dissonances. Their pain is not physical nor measurable. Physical injuries need medical care, mental wounds require psychological support. In both cases we cannot speed up the process of recovery. Time is not a healing indicator, nor a sign of success.

We live in a fast-paced society in which nearly everything is readily available. The majority of our desires and needs can be met by swiping or browsing the web. All in a blink of an eye. But how do you navigate personal struggles in a complicated and demanding world? Can we buy a box of happy pills in the drugstore to feel better? That would save us a lot of profound mental work, right.

We have got used to the idea that there is a quick solution to almost any problem. Let’s illustrate this with two simple examples:

  • Example 1: You don’t have any plans for the weekend. You feel bored. Loneliness starts to creep in. However, experiencing the void of loneliness is not pleasurable at all. You decide to open your food delivery app. 45 minutes later you sit in front of the tv while devouring a pizza. You feel physically saturated. 


  • Example 2: Your job provokes a lot of stress. As a result you can barely sleep. You decide to take sleeping pills that help you falling asleep. Yet, the level of stress doesn’t drop and you risk to burn out. 


Often we numb ourselves by choosing for that what makes us feel good instantly. It is natural and human. Why shouldn’t we pick the fastest highway to reach the desired destination? It makes sense. But we tend to overlook that these quick fixes cover up the real source of the issue. Pizza is not served with a plate of human connection, nor will sleeping pills prevent you from burning out.

But how do you get to understand what drives your choices and actions?
By taking TIME. Put on the brakes when you find yourself on the highway to destination ‘Immediate Satisfaction’. Slow down your vehicle, take the next slip road and choose for the less travelled route. It might be an unpaved road compelling you to switch gear and to remove the impediments. But as you drive through your land, you will see glimpses of stunning landscapes. These little rewards will motivate you and guide you towards fundamental change.

We cannot buy happiness over the counter (unfortunately!), nor can dance/movement therapy provide you with easy solutions to complex issues. But let’s not choose for quick bandages that cover up infected wounds. Instead, let’s learn to befriend the body as a container of knowledge. It will show you how past experiences affect your daily behaviour. This understanding will assist you with changing unhealthy patterns from where you start making better choices.

Off you go!

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