Deferred Happiness Syndrome

Deferred happiness syndrome arises due to bad time management. This is when your desires are sent to the back burner due to your responsibilities.
Deferred Happiness Syndrome

Last update: 28 August, 2020

Deferred happiness syndrome arises as a result of bad time management. This is when you delay your desires time and time again due to various responsibilities that come up in your life. These delays are relentless and come one after another.

The negative emotions that arise from this terrible habit can affect your performance. Beyond that, they can impact your personal and work relationships. This syndrome might even change your personality. This is why it’s important to know how to balance your responsibilities and the activities that bring you pleasure. You shouldn’t let the former eclipse the latter.

Happiness and other emotions

Happiness is one of the so-called “positive emotions” because its effects upon your body and relationships are positive. You can say that you feel happy when you experience broad satisfaction that isn’t easy to shake off. Happiness often manifests after you’ve reached a goal or enjoyed a pleasurable experience.

It might seem that happiness is always a positive emotion. However, this isn’t always the case. Its effects may seem positive, yes, but be careful. Your mind might also be playing tricks on you.

Human beings feel a dash of happiness (or at least pleasure) when they imagine, remember, or yearn for happy moments. But this illusion of happiness doesn’t last long and, consequently, can turn into frustration or even stress.

Symptoms of deferred happiness syndrome

  • You’re always looking for something better. You’re never satisfied with your achievements and always see space for improvement. This inevitably makes you lose interest in your past achievements and downplay them.
  • You’re obsessed with money and you save as much as you can, planning to spend it “when you need it.” However, the appropriate time never comes, as there’s never a big enough emergency to spend it on.
  • You’re obsessed with fear and failure. This obsession is so strong that you prefer to stay in your current situation than take a risk for your personal, social, or professional growth.

These three symptoms need to be addressed. Postponing happiness only leads to negative emotions. It ruins your ability to be truly happy. Ultimately, if you keep deferring happiness, you may end up never getting it at all.

Consequences of deferring happiness

The effects of deferred happiness syndrome are clear. It leads to apathy, melancholy, or irritability. What the person with this syndrome is actually doing is deferring happiness over and over again. They keep projecting it into the future in such a way that it never arrives.

As a consequence, the only thing you end up with is fear. Not only fear of failure, but also fear of risk itself. You’re afraid of putting a lifestyle that you consider acceptable and stable at risk. The truth is that, often times, the way you conceive your life isn’t realistic. It’s only a result of your acceptance of the belief that “I shouldn’t hope for more.”

How to deal with deferred happiness syndrome

If you’re immersed in this syndrome, you might not know that you have a problem. However, if you realize that something’s wrong, you have to act as soon as possible.

Dont fall into the trap of deferred happiness syndrome.

Reorder your priorities

The solution is giving way to the truly important things in your life. These things aren’t always the same as those you feel are urgent. This means that you have to prioritize or set some time for your passions. In simple terms, you need to see that there is space in your life for enjoyment. It’s not all about suffering and sacrifice, even though you may think that this sacrifice will eventually get you what you want.

As a result, it’s likely that yearning for happiness can lead you to take risks, which are essential for progress. If you try to avoid all risks systematically, you’ll end up affecting your quality of life. This is because your self-imposed limitations leave you with an extremely small space for movement.

Focus on what makes you happy

No one is totally unhappy. We all have something in our lives that makes them worth living, and this is an interesting aspect of humanity. Stop projecting happiness into the future. Instead, live in the moment, which will help bring about the changes you want and need.

In other words, if you already have adopted habits that make you feel good, such as reading or traveling, try not to let your responsibilities get in the way of them.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.