Not Happy is Okay, Too

not happy is okay
(Mimi and Eunice, by Nina Paley)

Do you ever feel like this guy?

For quite some time now, I’ve been saying that the Happiness Movement (even though I am part of it), is putting too much pressure on everyone to be happy all the time.  That’s too high a standard.  It also includes a lot of rules that most of us can’t follow (“be grateful for everything,” “don’t have negative thoughts,” “only be happy about positive things” blah blah blah).

I say, be a human being.  Work to be happy at your core, but don’t try to force yourself into a happy place at all times.  Think of your happiness like your religion or the unconditional love you have for your kids — you aren’t practicing it 100% of the time, but it’s always there.  It never goes away, even in the tough times.

I want you to be happy, but more than that, I want you to get satisfaction out of your own happiness (remember, Satisfaction is one of the nouns of Happiness).  If you feel like happiness is becoming a burden, relax.  Be blue if you’re feeling low.  Choose a time frame (hopefully in terms of hours, not weeks) and wallow for that time.

Then, at the end of your doldrums, shake it off, and say three things that are making you happy at that moment.  Laugh at how self-indulgently pleasurable a good pout session is, and go on with your week.

And if none of this applies to you, because you are happy all the time, that’s awesome!  Go spread that happiness in the form of love, compassion, tolerance and generosity to the rest of the world.  Pay your happiness forward.  The more people are like you, the better.

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