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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Happiness Is a By-Product

Updated: Apr 26



Are you familiar with the expression “good vibes”?


According to one source, it relates to “meaning all of the people, places, ideas, and possibilities that evoked positive, safe, happy sensations. Good vibes indicated a ‘green light, go for it’ type of decision and described synchronicities, beneficial encounters, and sensations of protection and grace.”


If you’re confused by that word salad of woo-woo nonsense, fear not. A separate source clarifies by stating “it’s a slang term for positive vibrations” which apparently can “affect those around you” as well as “your energy and mood,” resulting in a “warm, happy, and comforting” experience.


Is that any clearer? From what I gather, “good vibes” essentially expresses the consequence of happiness (emotion), a pleasant feeling in the body (sensation), and how one responds to others (behavior). From a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) perspective, these consequences are the results of one’s beliefs.


In a contentious blogpost entitled Happiness Is a Trap, I stated:


For the record, I don’t think there’s anything bad, wrong, or otherwise with the pursuit of happiness. It may be a worthwhile endeavor for some people to continuously chase the proverbial carrot dangling from a string at the end of a stick.


Quite often, I find that rather than actually capturing that carrot, people upset themselves with their beliefs about happiness. In these instances, they wind up beating themselves with the stick and creating an outright unpleasant situation. They have the right to abuse themselves in such a way.


Regarding this perspective, page 15 of The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion invites REBT practitioners to help clients understand that happiness is a short-lived by-product of pursing meaningful objectives. However, happiness isn’t a long-lasting experience—nor is “good vibes.”


As such, one of the goals of REBT is to promote psychological wellness rather than happiness. Wellness involves being content, which is merely the experience of satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.


As happiness is a fleeting by-product of pursuing one’s aims, I’ve witnessed people disturb themselves into dreadful moods by chasing after this ephemeral ambition. However, if one is open to a good enough standard, sustainable psychological well-being can be attained regardless of whether or not one achieves happiness or can sustain “good vibes.”


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better


Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW




Dryden, W. and Neenan, M. (2003). The REBT Therapist’s Pocket Companion. Albert Ellis Institute. ISBN 0-917476-26-3. Library of Congress Control Number: 20031044378

Hallerxxx. (2006, May 17). Good vibes. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, December 26). Good enough is good enough. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, December 26). Happiness is a trap. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2024, January 2). Interests and goals. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Making sense of ‘word salad.’ Retrieved from

Nangle, J. (2024, January 5). Good vibes meaning: How to bring positive vibes into your life. Jeanne Nangle Soul Coach. Retrieved from

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