It’s Okay Not to Be Happy

As shocking as it may sound, I think one of the biggest detriments to my mental health over the years is the unspoken assumption society instills in us that we should be happy all of the time. Anytime I am experiencing anything other than happiness, positivity, and motivation, I am questioning myself. What’s wrong with me? Why aren’t I happy? This just makes me feel worse and worse. Not only am I not happy, but there must also be something wrong with me for not being happy.

When I stop and think about it from a historical and biological perspective, we probably were not designed to be happy all the time or even the majority of the time. Our minds and bodies are designed to keep us alive, not happy. I’d say it’s likely that most people throughout most of human history spent a good portion of their short lives tired, ill, in pain, and miserable. It’s normal to want to feel happy instead of sad, but there certainly isn’t anything wrong with you for not being able to maintain an uplifted, energized frame of mind 24/7.

It is such a relief when I take the time to remind myself that it’s alright to not be happy. Otherwise even neutral becomes upset by comparison. I start criticizing myself for not being grateful or enjoying the easy life I have. But there is nothing wrong with just allowing yourself to experience whatever it is you’re feeling without judgement. Despite what TV shows, movies, and social media lead us to believe, every moment of life is not filled with excitement and bliss. Sometimes you just exist, and that’s okay too.

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