Euthymia is a term used in psychology to define a middle state which is neither too maniac nor depressive. Its commonly associated with bipolar disorder.
However, the history of the term goes back to ancient Greece. The term was coined by Democritus, a Greek philosopher. The term ‘ Euthymia’ can be roughly translated to tranquility, serenity and cheerfulness. According to Democritus, Euthymia referred to a state of calmness and steadiness of the soul in absence of fear and passion.
However, the famous Greek philosopher Seneca had later translated the term and defined it as “believing in yourself and trusting that you are on the right path, and not being in doubt by following the myriad footpaths of those wandering in every direction.”
How is it useful in today’s generation?
We live in a ‘competitive world’ or maybe we perceive the world to be so. Competition cannot be eliminated but participating in it is upto you.
What is a race? It is a sport wherein every contestant runs for the same goal, on the same path. Life cannot be described through this metaphor, In simple words, we cannot run on the same path as someone else just to prove our superiority or ‘capability’. What worked for them, may not work for us and even if we achieve success on that path, we will never feel the satisfaction and contentment which we expected from it.
Euthymia is a concept which preaches of believing in one’s path. It describes life through a simple metaphor. You don’t compete with others but yourself. Euthymia is calmness over rush, confidence over self doubt and contentment over jealousy.
Some of the common distractions which we face are:
Social Media: Often, while we browse social media, we come across glittering pictures of people around us having fun, living lavishly, ‘enjoying lives’, celebrating their wins or a new job. To be honest, it does demotivate us and we develop feelings of envy. Sometimes, even observing a friend’s progress in life can make us envious towards them. We doubt our own present, our decisions, our path and we lock ourselves in stagnancy. We forget that every person has a different meaning of success and is walking on a different path. We scroll through the posts and with each hour of scrolling through social media, we drown deeper into the sea of self doubt.
If you ever drown in it, ask yourself , ‘What Is Important To Me?’. Knowing what you want assists you in having faith and focus on your path. When you know what you want you will spend your time working on it. Scrolling through others’ profiles will become least of your concerns.
Opportunities And Priorities: Euthymia is awareness about one’s path. About one’s purpose. Awareness of our path helps us in identifying our prioritize and eliminate the rest. It teaches us how to say ‘no’. A person who aims at seeking validation or lives on attention may try to grab many eye catchy opportunities at once and end up failing in them all. Life is filled with opportunities and it often tests our belief and dedication by throwing opportunities as hurdles in front of us. When a person knows what they are doing, they also know how to do it and select opportunities which they truly need to progress.
The foreign opinion: Your path may be unappealing to many. Not many will motivate you on your way. However, everyone has their own opinions but it is your belief, dedication and confidence which will help you walk steadily towards progress. When you walk on YOUR path, validation seems unnecessary.
Ego: Lastly, rushing into opportunities and new ways can be a product of ego. Ego cannot compromise. It wants you to be the best in every sphere which is impossible.
Purpose on the other hand demands compromise. A rather healthy and obvious compromise. You cannot master the world but yourself.
When one is content with their path…jealousy, insecurities,doubts,anxiety, and confusion does not pull his/her will down. Euthymia teaches us the basic principles of awareness,patience,hard work, self belief, faith, dedication and focus which are all virtues of true success.