Monday, March 3, 2014

Is Happiness Your Truth?

In today's world, happiness has moved beyond an emotion and is almost more like a discipline. There is now peer pressure to be happy all the time and this message gets reaffirmed by commercials we see and songs we hear on the radio. A recent song on the radio repeats words such as "Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth" for four minutes straight. The question is:  what's the crime in experiencing other emotions too during life? It's worth it to explore whether happiness is your ultimate truth or whether going through life honestly through a spectrum of different emotions feels more truthful.

It's a lot of pressure to feel happy all the time. When there are moments in life that don't feel so happy, you have to act counter to your true feelings in order to enforce happiness. Ultimately, the high that comes from uninterrupted happiness can lead to crashes of mood afterward. Extremes can form between alternating feelings of happiness and those of depression. These extreme and unnatural fluctuations in emotion can also disrupt the balance in other areas of health, both physical and mental-emotional.

More than a crystallized ideal to strive for, happiness is a natural part of life that comes alongside other diverse experiences and emotions. We don't need to force it in order to experience it, and forcing it actually works against being able to feel it naturally. Next time you feel like you should be happy, ask yourself whether it's a natural urge to feel this way or whether there's an external expectation for you to be happy. When there's a natural spark to happy moments, you'll know it.

There's nothing wrong with happiness, but it doesn't have to become a rule that overrides everything else in life. Life is more flavorful when you can go through the good times and the bad times, and not always with an unconditional smile pasted on. Is happiness your ultimate truth, or is there more to it than that?

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