The Happiness Epidemic


 How allowing yourself to be unhappy may be the actual key to happiness.

There are a lot of quotations on how to be happy. There are many clichés irritably attempting to inspire us “find ourselves” again. Many poems have been recited on seeking adventure, traveling, expanding our horizons. Everyone apparently has the key to this so-called land of happiness and we’re flipping the channels and pages in an attempt to soak it all in. But, how can people become happy when they’re tired? How does one have the same enthusiasm when all of the mental and emotional energy has gone dry? How many quotes does one need to read in order to replenish the supply of passion and life and curiosity and excitement? It’s simple: zero.

Human beings are not cookie-cutter robots with a mathematical formula designed to function by any ideals. We are complicated creatures with exceptional capacities with an innumerable quantity of emotions. Some emotions stand alone, some are combined with others and each have varying degrees. We are not black and white. We are not even grey. We are colorful. We have pigments depending on the time, space and light. These colors have various dimensions, textures, lengths and widths. We are impacted by our specific DNA, the biological tendencies of simply being human, our opportunities, our experiences and the people we share our moments with…to say the least. It is impossible to always be “happy.”

It is not a bad thing to feel more than one emotion your entire life. There are too many variations and possibilities. This comes with the territory of being a conscious, self-aware creature. It is okay not to be happy sometimes. It is okay to be tired sometimes. It is okay to stand still and not pursue anything at all sometimes. It is okay to take a break. It is not only okay but it is natural. It is not only natural but it is absolutely necessary. Every single thing, be it living or not needs to rest and recuperate. You cannot operate any machinery without either plugging in energy, refueling or recharging. We function the same. We have limited energy. If our bodies need sleep, water and food, how does our mental and emotional state differ? Is it becauses the ramifications of exhaustion are not tangible? When we overwork a muscle, does it not need adequate time to heal and grow? How are we any different psychologically?

You do not need to feel guilty for not being happy all the time. At the same time, do work on what you’re not happy with. There is a distinction. Aspire to be happy with yourself and the life you lead while being realistic with your emotional state. In other words, you can be happy without always feeling happy.  Understand the distinction between the emotion and the quality of your life. Appreciate every symptom of being alive. Each sculpt you.  And the moments you do feel happy. Rejoice in it. Relish in it. And if you do not, then you do not. It is as simple as that. You do not owe the world a plastic smile. You owe yourself understanding, respect and authenticity.