How Bad Times Increase Happiness in the Long Run

Comfort and pleasure don’t bring long-term happiness. Building resilience and gratitude do. Here is how bad times increase happiness in the long run.


Do you try to find the path of least resistance? Most try to avoid pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. You try to blend in instead of stand out. You strive to prevent any form of unpleasantness, but trying to avoid pain and suffering erodes happiness.

“The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle.”

– Mark Manson

Difficult times can lead to a happier life if you have the proper perspective and overcome the trials rather than avoid them.

Think like the main character in the novel Pollyanna (who gets a bad rap, by the way). Play “The Glad Game” and look for the good in difficult situations. Pollyanna’s “Glad Game” will help you experience the power of gratitude and enhance your creative thinking.

This Too Shall Pass

“This too shall pass.”

– Persian adage

When you see that phrase, you might think that an unpleasant time is going to pass. People use that phrase as comfort that the suffering or inconvenience won’t last and that it’s temporary.

That is a great outlook!

That Too Shall Pass

However, the same is also true for pleasant times. Pleasant time will also pass. Everyone faces just as many challenging times as easy times.

How about this one:


That one’s just hilarious!

All Good Things Must End

“All Good things must come to an end.”

– Geoffrey Chaucer

So that’s how it is. There are good times and bad times. You flow in and out of them, or they flow in and out of you. Although some suffer more than others and some prosper more than others, good and bad times pretty much even out long-term.

The question is, what do you do with those times?

You don’t tend to learn or grow from good times. You simply enjoy pleasant situations. If you get a little too many good times, then the bad times may seem a little harder to take.

Bad Times Increase Happiness in the Long Run

bad-times-increase-happinessIf you get a little too many bad times, that makes the eventual good times seem that much better.

Plus, there is almost always a lesson in the hard times. Difficult times always come with an opportunity to grow stronger or wiser.

Difficult times always contain a lesson if you’re willing to look for it. You can almost always come out on the other side stronger, wiser, and more resilient.

Good times are obvious. I’ll get to those another day. Plus, the title of this post is “How bad times increase happiness in the long run.”

That’s another way to create better bad times. Strive to get the lesson, strength, wisdom, or experience from a challenging time. Then you can look back on it and be thankful for it.

How often have you seen someone’s difficult time teach them something they needed to know to make life wonderful?

“Difficult times always contain a lesson if you’re willing to look for it.”

– Shayne Seymour

Practice the Right Attitude

Look for the lesson.

Work on the strength.

Form your calluses.

Practice optimism.

Give the gift of hope to those suffering with you.

bad-times-increase-happinessYou can find those gems hidden in the problems. Learn those lessons.

It will help the tough times seem bad instead of awful or awful instead of horrible. The right attitude will help Focus on Life’s Enormousness, Not Life’s Enormity.

It will give you that new strength and wisdom to do something wonderful later. It will help you not take happiness too seriously.

You may someday look back at those bad times and realize they were the best times of your life.

“Strive to get the lesson, strength, wisdom, or experience from a challenging time.”

– Shayne Seymour

“Don’t waste a good bad time.”

– Shayne Seymour

Question: What is a difficult situation you’ve overcome that made you more resilient and happy?

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