Contrary to some people’s great expectations, you do not have to be happy all the time. This is not natural. You need to feel a whole range of emotions to grow as a person. It is when sadness, anxiety and stress become normal that you need to question why.
Happiness comes in cycles and may depend on what is happening in your life at the time. Do you admire people who always appear happy? You know the ones. They seem to have everything together. Not a care in the world. But dreaming of being like this is to dream of perfection. But is it perfection you really want?
Without feeling a whole range of emotions, how would you know what happiness is? Or how it feels? It is alright to feel unhappy at times. It reminds you of how happiness feels. Experiencing other emotions helps you develop an awareness of how you really feel — at peace, sad or anxious.
It is never pleasant feeling anger or fear or betrayal. But these emotions are worth listening to. They are sending you important information. Trying to get your attention. Without feeling sad, how would you mourn the loss of a loved one? And without fear, how do you assess dangerous situations? And anger is motivating. Experiencing other emotions pushes you to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone.
Here are some reasons why you do not need to feel happy all the time. It is even good for you to have your ups and downs.
Happiness is not always fulfilling
Happiness is not always fulfilling. There is the deep sense of happiness that comes from knowing you are reaching your goals. But then there is the hollow happiness that comes from fleeting distractions, destructive behaviour and senseless pleasures. Remember, happiness is not good if it causes unhappiness later or if it gets in the way of your goals.
Emotions are your body’s feedback system
Your emotions are your body’s way of giving you beneficial information. If someone is threatening you, then you may feel scared or anxious. If all you ever felt was happiness, you would say yes to everything. There would be no reason to change or grow, and no motivation to dream. Why? As there is no need to. You are happy all the time. Which could actually be dangerous.
It is important you allow yourself to feel your emotions. Are you happy all the time? If you answered yes, you are likely not being honest with yourself. It is good to feel scared, sad or angry. It is normal and better than repressing your feelings so you only feel happiness.
You need more than happiness
You need more than happiness to feel good. Some of your best moments may come from a range of emotions. For example, a sense of inner peace that leaves you calm and focused. Or a sense of fulfilment from an achievement can profoundly affect you more than happiness can at that point in time. And then there are the sad moments that are cleansing because you release the emotion. It can be so cathartic to let your emotions loose.
You do not have to pretend
Do you often feel you have to put on a brave face or a false smile to please people? You do not have to pretend. If those people cannot accept you for who you truly are, they are probably not worth the effort.
Some people avoid negative people because negativity rubs off. And that is understandable. It is perfectly normal for everyone to have their ups and downs. Telling a person to smile can make them uncomfortable as you are denying how they feel.
Tough times make you stronger
If you never experience a range of emotions, how do you thrive? Tough times make you stronger. They help you grow. To become wiser. You learn lessons to carry through into the future. It is important to experience hard times sometimes to help you become a better person.
Tips to help when doing it tough
Losing someone you love and life’s challenges can get you down. But there are things you can do to navigate through them to come out happy on the other side.
Stay in the present
When your thoughts run away with you into the dark side, pull yourself back to the present moment. No matter how bad you feel, remind yourself you are safe. If at work, feel the chair touching the back of your legs. Feel your fingertips typing on your computer. These familiar sensations can trigger your brain into recognising everything is alright. It can be enough to break the cycle.
Do something to distract yourself
While drugs and alcohol gives you an escape from negative situations, avoid this as it can make you feel worse. Try watching a movie, reading a book, going for a walk or catch up for coffee with friends. Doing something else distracts your mind from thinking the worst and dwelling on whatever is bothering you.
Create a happiness toolkit
Create a happiness toolkit so next time you go through a rough patch you have things to do that make you feel better. It can include:
- Catching up with friends for a coffee.
- Practicing mindfulness.
- Dancing to your favourite music like no one is watching.
- Cooking a delicious meal.
- Turning off social media.
- Going for a long walk in nature.
- Chatting with friends and family.
- Reading a good book.
While these will not turn your life around, these small steps will make you feel more positive about the future.
When life is tough it can be difficult to see anything positive in the future. Practice gratitude. Show appreciation for all the good things in your life. Be clear what you are grateful for.
Write down at least three things you are grateful for experiencing or having in your life. It does not have to be big. It can be as simple as being grateful for the coffee you are drinking or that the sun is shining.
Even more powerful is to think of someone you are grateful to have in your life, and list the reasons for your gratitude.
Whenever you feel sad, look at your gratitude list to remind you of how good life really is. And remember, the tough times will soon seem less significant when you compare it to what is good in your life.
Be forgiving. When someone puts you into a challenging situation, it is natural to feel anger or frustration towards them. Instead, forgive them. This does not mean you forget. Rather, you accept the situation and do not hold it against them anymore. Let go of the negative emotions. Practicing forgiveness makes you feel better so you can focus on moving forward
And if the tough situation is of your own doing, accept the fact. Avoid beating yourself up over and over again. It will not achieve anything except to bring you down. Do not be hard on yourself. Instead learn the lesson. Forgive yourself and move on.
Avoid focusing on what you cannot control
So many tough challenges that arise are beyond your control. There is nothing you could do to change the outcome. Avoid focusing on what you cannot control. You will drive yourself crazy with frustration. And try to move past the negatives to the solution. When faced with this situation, write a list of everything you can control and focus your energy on these. If it is not on the list, ignore it for the moment. Instead focus on what is within your control. On the things you can influence and change.
Focus on solutions
When life spirals out of control, you can see everything as a problem as you expect everything to be tough. It becomes a mindset that can prevent you sleeping at night. You may not even want to wake up in the mornings for fear of what the day will bring. This is not living. Shift your perspective from expecting problems to seeking solutions instead. It is not the end of the world when challenges cross your path. Look for solutions and trust what you think is right.
We are here to help
You do not always need to feel happy. It is normal to feel different emotions to match life’s situations. It would be strange to feel happy when attending a funeral of someone you love. But if you feel down or anxious for more than a couple of weeks, you may be experiencing depression or another mental health challenge. Ask for help. You do not have to go through things alone. The sooner you get help, the sooner things will improve. You want to get back to being your happy self. But it is important to make an effort to reach out.
If you are struggling, consider reaching out to our professionals. When you are not coping, contact us to discover how we aim to help get your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to help support you. We may help you deal with things quickly.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you may start taking back control of your life. We aim to help you cope with any mental health challenges. Our facilitators may alleviate the effects of depression and anxiety so you feel happy again..
Let me help alleviate the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you for more than a decade. My aim is to help you replace anxiety and depression with a new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years. Listen to what Monica has to say about my program after only a few sessions.
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