Does being happy always seem out of your reach, no matter how hard you try? Does it seem like you are the only person you know who can’t just feel good at will?
The truth about being happy
It’s a myth that anyone feels happy all the time, or that life is supposed to make us happy, even.
It’s also a Western myth. Research even shows some cultures are against the Western happiness obsession and definition of happiness. Nor do they have such a big problem with depression and anti-depressants, which leads to the next point.
Buying into the myth we are supposed to feel happy all the time makes us so obsessed with what stops our happiness, we can lose the capacity to see what we do have and what is going right. So the pursuit of happiness can lead to anything but.
Good mental health means we know how to process our emotions, learn from experience, and bounce back, known as ‘resilience’.
3. There is something wrong with you if you are not happy.
Constant unhappiness does not mean you are flawed. It means there is something within you that needs dealing with. Unhappiness can even be seen as a sign there is something right with you – your emotional system works.
5 Major reasons being happy is not easy for you
1.You never learned to be happy when growing up.
If your parents disapproved of displays of emotion, punished you for it, or even if they were just very negative all the time? You might have learned how to be miserable and negative in order to fit in and earn affection.
2. You grew up in a culture where showing joy wasn’t done.
If you grew up in a culture where showing joy was seen as arrogant and insensitive, and now you live in a culture where it’s expected? People might always ask why you are sad. Inside, you might be quite content.
3. You have a naturally more sensitive personality.
Some people are naturally more sensitive than others, so are more reactive to difficult things and experience sadness more easily. You might, though, also feel more joy than usual, if and when you do feel happy.
4. Your basic physical and emotional needs are not being met.
If you don’t have the basics of life in place so that you can feel safe, then happiness is much harder.
The most known theory here is Abraham Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs’. At the bottom are basics like food and warmth, and security, building up to emotional needs like friendship. Higher up still are things like a sense of accomplishment, but they are harder to achieve without the lower needs in place.
A more modern form of this idea is called “Human Givens”. A psychotherapeutic approach by British psychotherapists Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell, itproposes mental illness simply doesn’t exist if basic emotional needs are met.
5. You experienced difficulties or even trauma as a child.
If you’d like to learn basic things you can start implementing into your daily life, then sign up to our blog now to receive an alert when we post our next piece in this series, “Easy Ways To Feel Happier With Yourself and Your Life.”
If you feel that your past experiences are driving your present unhappiness, consider professional support. Yes, friends are great, and so is self help. But a registered therapist creates a safe, unbiased space for you to move forward much faster.