We’re constantly bombarded with advice on how to find happiness, ads of products promising instant happiness, and services flaunting how they “happify” their customers.
‘Happiness’ is marketed, sold, and bought as a commodity — but we all know we don’t always wear the same shining smile as billboard models or Instagram celebrities.
We aren’t always beaming with joy, and it’s foolish to hold ourselves to that standard — happiness is experienced in different ways by different people.
Happiness Through Challenges
Happiness could be completing a marathon, finishing a workout, going out for a walk.
It could be going out for a walk in nature or sitting in front of the TV all day.
Starting a small business with friends and struggling to make money or buying the latest iPhone.
Looking at all the activities above seem to have some sort of struggle, pain, anger or frustration; yet they are some of the most meaningful moments and activities of our lives.
Why? Because it’s these types of activities and events in life that help us grow into our better selves.
It’s the continuous pursuit of trying to become the best and most ideal self that brings us happiness. Not the superficial material possessions or quick happiness boosters that the advertisements keep showing us.
Happiness is Not About Being Happy All the Time
Here are some of the reasons why true happiness isn’t about being happy all the time and why NOT being happy all the time is good for our mental health.
1. Happiness and living a meaningful life are not the same.
Take a moment to consider what experiences, actions, and relationships make your life worth living. Not all of these meaningful things in life are always pleasing to do. On the other hand, many pleasurable experiences are not always meaningful.
2. Negative emotions can make life better.
No one likes feeling sad, lonely, guilty, or all those other feelings we associate with as “negative.” We’d rather feel happy and all those “positive” emotions — but negative feelings, even if unpleasant, can sometimes be good for us.
3. All emotions can be healthy emotions.
4. Living a happy and fulfilling life means experiencing all of our emotions.
Life is a beautiful journey and the way to experience it to its fullest is by feeling all the emotions that come with it.
It is perfectly possible to be mentally well without constantly being happy.