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I often find that the more I think about a certain issue or problem, the more stressed and unhappy I become (it's called "ruminating"). On the other hand, if I can manage to let go of my worries and not dwell on them too much, I tend to feel happier and more at ease. In English, we might express this as: "the less I think about it, the happier I am". I'm wondering if there's an equivalent expression or phrase in Chinese that captures this sentiment.

I tried to translate it myself as 我越不考虑这件事,就越开心, but I'm not comfortable with the grammar and feel like there might be a better word choice than 开心 (here "happy" implies "worry-free").

Question: How can I express "the less I think about it, the happier I am"?

(Thanks to Assistant for writing a first draft of this question.)

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    Why not "compress" 我越不考虑这件事,就越开心 to 越少想, 越开心 because 少煩惱 means "less worry", not "happier"? Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 12:53

7 Answers 7

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Aside from 眼不见心不烦, there are a few sayings expressing almost the same thing:

  1. 眼不见为净 (not seeing it clears the mind)
  2. 耳不听为清 (not hearing it brings quietness)
  3. 心不想则静 (not thinking about it brings peace)

These might sound too literary. More natural expressions would be

想得越少人就越快乐/无忧无虑 (thinking less makes one happier/worry-free)

只要不想就不烦了 (I won't be bothered if I don't think about it)

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The word "happier" in this context does not really mean "happy", it means "less worry"

"the less I think about it, the happier I am"

少想少煩惱 = Less worry when I think less

不想不煩惱 = No worry if I don't think

越想越煩惱 = The more I think, the more worried I am

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  • Wow, that first example is very succinct---that's exactly what I'm after! Thanks!
    – Becky 李蓓
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 1:03
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there’s a zen poem by a monk 慧開, in 宋 dynasty:

春有百花秋有月

夏有涼風冬有雪

若無閒事掛心頭

便是人間好時節

the last two verses is equivalent to your sentiment 😸

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    It is not correct, 若無閒事掛心頭 means "if there's no worry in your heart" It could mean there's really nothing to worry about,
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 1:38
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    很配服你有文學知識,但此一次卻有亂拋書包之嫌
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 1:45
  • @TangHo, no need to say “嫌” lah 😸 my lunatic debate is: one’s mind is full of worrisome; that, “no worry in one’s heart” is a difficult goal. during the striving process, worrisome becomes less over time. another facet is, a metaphor: becky said “i’m hungry, any hamburger, or pizza?”, and i gave her rice & noodle. well, my answer is not a translation of her phrase, i quoted the poem as stated, to her sentiment 😺 Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 2:11
  • 我對這詩的解讀是「煩惱的事情就像大自然現象般無可避免,不去介意就能活得愉快」
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 2:17
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Can't do Zen aphorisms or 成语,just harsh reality:

我对于这个想得越少,感觉越开心。 The less I think about that, the happier I feel.

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Here is an old saying that fits it - "眼不見, 心不煩" There is nothing could bother me if I close my eye (on what's happening out there).

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  • This is a good one in capturing the underlying meaning. Only a caveat that it says "not seeing" instead of "less thinking" :-)
    – 王博龙
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 7:27
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This should work, I think it means the same

少憂而樂

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Tang Ho's answer is probably the most concise way of saying it, but if you wanted to keep close to the original, maybe you could say something like:

这件事我想得越少就越放心

A native speaker would be welcome to confirm this is a correct sentence.

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