I recently had a reader of my blog ask me what the secret to happiness…
The three happiness myths
There are three common myths about happiness.
The first one is that happiness is the natural state for people to be in. If you give them shelter, food and all the other things they need to survive, they will automatically be happy. The truth is that humans spend time in a variety of emotional states. Think of emotions as being similar to the weather – they are constantly changing. Humans do not exist in a static frame of mind.
The second myth is that happiness equates to feeling good. How long have you felt really happy for? Not very long, I’m sure. Even in the throes of something wonderful, that feleing of happiness is short lived. It’s a fleeting state of pleasure. Sadly, happiness comes and goes. It’s more accurate to see happiness as a mixed state of leading a rich, full and meaningful life as opposed to one where you consistently feel on a high. If this is what you expect, you will be disappointed. No one stays on that high, not even when you take drugs!
Even with a rich and meaningful life, there will be ups and downs. Life is about ups and downs. It’s just the way it is.
The third myth is that there is something wrong with you if you aren’t happy. Life is difficut and it’s normal not to feel happy. Stop the pressure to always feel happy.
It’s a good idea to be more realistic about the prospect of happiness. When you understand that the ups and downs are normal, you feel less guilt when you feel low and you can put it in perspective. Welcome to the real world!
Source/more info: Russ Harris : The Happiness Trap