We all know people who seems to always be upset or angry or depressed, for varying reasons. Some may be upset that the "American Dream" isn't working out for them. Other are depressed because they aren't "happy" and if only they were married, had a baby, a certain job or amount of money, etc. then they would be happy...only to find out that they still aren't happy. Some may be lonely, feel they have "wasted" years not "achieving". Others worry about what the culture, others, their parents expectations are. All these are cases of having a subjective "belief" and then the negative emotions began. "Life isn't fair", "That's not right" or "but what about the poor in Africa". Existentialism would tell us that there is no objective meaning out there in the universe and that meaning is what we bring to the game. Nihilism would suggest that there is no meaning, reality is just what it is. Both concepts (I think) came from a rejection of religion back in the day but I think even in a room full of atheists (meaning take religion out of the picture entirely) these concepts have a lot going for them (depending on how you choose to define them, of course). Most people are actually pretty well off by historical standards. Most have food, shelter and the standard conveniences of the day (computer/phone, car). Even though there is a lot of talk about income/wealth disparity...as Warren Buffet told a college audience, "my life is about like yours in most meaningful ways. You probably eat better than I do" (he eats fast food), he has a modest house. He said "I just travel a lot better than you do" (he has a jet). The point being that other than the amount of zeros in some account, most people don't have a lot to worry about, yet they do worry, seemingly constantly. If we accept that life is what it is in a Tao Te Ching kind of a way, we experience life as a dog might. Living in the moment, not expecting to be "happy" but being glad when that feeling comes up every now and then. If you don't like the dog analogy, pick another. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! In more regimented times people were unhappy if they weren't married by 20, with many kids by 30 and divorce was a big stigma. Anything you did that didn't conform to what the culture expected was a source of stress. Whether it was "coming out" or getting a divorce or not having kids or getting married it was all something that lead to personal unhappiness. Existentialism would suggest that you just make up your own rules and nihilism would suggest that there are no rules. Kids in Japan commit suicide due to their parents educational expectations. In the U.S., it's not such an issue but it does cause a lot of stress. In some countries it's not a stressor at all. Today it's gross (and illegal) for an old dude to marry a 15 year old female. It's not a problem if the guy is 80 and the female is 18, but 15 puts you in jail. 100 years ago and it didn't even violate cultural norms in most places. That's not to say that our current view isn't a better way to behave but it's best if we remember that cultural standards very much depend on the times. Most of what stresses people out today seems to just be being at odds with society's current beliefs... "you should get married, have kids, be productive, consider status, etc". Society is generally healthier (I'm guessing) when individuals are allowed to be themselves. No, I'm not suggesting bringing back slavery or child brides but most of the things that get people so worked up (always angry, depressed, overly emotional about, etc) are self-provoked. Most people aren't upset with themselves, it's always that the government should be doing more for them. These are the angry people generally. The depressed people (not speaking of the clinically depressed here) are generally depressed by not reaching society's expectations in their interpretation..."I'm disappointing my parents" "I should have a better job" , etc. It's probably better to just accept reality, live in the moment, don't expect anything unless you do something to change outcomes in reality and accept that life just is about existing and anything more than that is dependent on your actions. Also, appreciate being alive with all that brings.