Happiness Is a State, Not an Imposition

· January 9, 2017

Being optimistic is an extremely useful quality that helps us face life’s challenges. But being positive is not enough. Extreme optimism nor extreme pessimism are desirable. And it seems, in our modern society, the dictatorship of euphoria shames those who don’t subscribe to it.

We will try in this article to understand how to distinguish the dictatorship of happiness from the democratic coexistence of different emotions, including happiness.

“The joy of life is always something to do, someone to love and something to expect.”

– Thomas Chalmers-

Happiness and advertising

Happiness is a product pushed by advertising. It tells us everything we need to buy, everything we have to do, all the self-help books we have to read to be happy. Only beautiful, healthy and happy people are in magazines and are successful.

Those beautiful, happy and eternally smiling people make us feel bad about ourselves. It makes us want to buy or do what they do and say to have more happiness in our lives.

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“My happiness is that I appreciate what I have and do not excessively desire what I don’t have.”

-Leon Tolstoy-

What is the proper balance? Well, just simply buying what we need and what fits our character and finances. It is about enjoying ourselves despite the many messages we get that we are not enough. Many of these unhealthy “beauty” messages have led to diseases such as anorexia or bulimia. Let’s not let this happen with the model of happiness. Let’s live our lives naturally.

Happiness is not being without problems

Happiness is a state, a flow, a moment that can give us life at any time and under any circumstances. Thinking that happy moments can only occur under ideal circumstances is denying the greatness of a rainy day, which is gray and somewhat uncomfortable, but also hypnotic.

You do not know when a happy moment will appear or when an unwanted situation will turn into a happy moment. What is certain is that an open attitude will help us to not lose anything positive.

The happiness of accepting all my emotions

Today more than ever, we put a diagnosis on our emotions. If they are sad, they are considered to be intolerable and we want them as far away as possible from our existence. If they are happy, we want to encourage them and extend them to exhaustion, ignoring the fundamental characteristic of an emotion: it is usually intense and also temporary.

We want our minds to store the positive and expel the negative. How then you could you differentiate one pleasant state from the other that is not? What would have happened to our survival if we had not remembered the negative memories? How could we have evolved as a species and now as humans?

We have to analyze ourselves as complex people, capable of accommodating different emotions. Letting all the emotions come to us and allowing us to embrace them is the only way to live fully.

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Self-imposed happiness without ideals is hopelessness

There is no fight or dream that does not involve dedication and sacrifice. Although, on occasions, if our dream excites us and motivates us, we see it as simply part of the path.

However, we do have to leave certain things that matter to us behind in order to achieve a greater goal. That is, it is only logical to want to pass a test and party at night. That kind of giving up does not overwhelm us. However, giving up time with those we love produces fear and discomfort.

“Happiness is not doing what you love but loving what you do”

-Jean Paul Sartre-

We might decide to always be happy and therefore give up goals that we know in advance will be difficult. However, this obsessive pursuit of happiness, to feel good at all times, is not equivalent to mental health. A person also needs stress, disappointments and uncertainty in their life.

Feeling good is a cultural norm can lead us to lose sense. A person who has a hope and struggle for an ideal will be able to deal with more discomfort than one that has assumed happiness to be an essential condition. An existence that might have already lost the essence and meaning for wanting to always live being happy.

Life is not a duty, and happiness is not an imposition.

Be For Yourself And Not For Others

Happiness, they say it is not real if it is shared, but it is increasingly shared with more people and we curiously seem to have less of a life See more »