Do you find yourself chasing happiness and feeling unhappy?
At first glance, we would think that the pursuit of happiness should make us happy. After all, we are all active in the pursuit of what will bring us happiness. However, this is far from the truth. Chasing happiness makes you feel unhappy. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?
Well, there is a familiar feeling that chases for happiness. You end up feeling overwhelmed and anxious. The pressure to be happy all the time can be overwhelming. The truth is, we don’t really understand what happiness really is. Social misunderstandings have fed us with discussion about happiness with great pressure and concern.
It is as a result of pursuing happiness from our lives, rather than letting this joyful feeling come in. Many of us are so busy looking for something else that we do not recognize when happiness hits. These social misconceptions are the myths surrounding happiness that we have accepted for a very long time.
Myth about happiness
- 1 Myth about happiness
- 2 Why shouldn’t you chase happiness
- 3 How to get true happiness
- 4 final thoughts
- 5 More about happiness
Here are 3 famous myths of society that shape how we view happiness.
1. Happiness means no negative emotion
As unbelievable as it may seem, you can laugh and smile all day, but still not be happy. Happiness does not mean that you have to express happiness 24 hours or 7 days a week. This is a huge myth that is shared by many people around the world.
You don’t have to be numb to negative emotions to be truly happy. Rather, it is about the full human experience, which includes both positive and negative emotions. The entire human experience includes every emotion that makes us human, even evil.
If you want to improve your ability to flourish and survive in today’s world, then you need to tell this myth about the absence of negative emotions. Of course, negative feelings make us feel uncomfortable.
However, there is a good side to it. These negative emotions act as a warning system to let you know the things that are wrong with you and how you can correct them. Instead of running away from these feelings, let them be a guide, and manage them properly.
2. Success leads to happiness
Now more than ever, we live in a society that is becoming more and more obsessed with success every day. Everyone is working very hard to become famous, earning a lot of money, and being the best in their field. However, it is not uncommon to see people who are “complete”, but unhappy.
This is because success does not diminish your happiness. Sure, you may have that sense of accomplishment that comes with winning, but it will fade after a while to the level of happiness you have before that victory. You are not happy by being famous or having more money, especially if your basic needs are already covered.
So, what is the truth here? Success fuels rather than happiness. When you focus on your physical and mental well-being, you can find the kind of success you want first. Try to live more in the present, and you will see how much your stress levels have reduced.
3. Khushi has only one formula
It is simple: what makes you happy is not what makes the next person happy. People mistakenly assume that we all want the same things in life to be happy. Everyone is unique, and you can accomplish it only when you create your unique life.
A common reason for propagating this myth is that many people do not know what they like. If thoughts about money stress you, then you believe that this should be the key to your happiness. However, happiness increases slightly above the poverty line, there is no relation to happiness beyond this.
Why shouldn’t you chase happiness
Ever heard of the phrase, “If you spend your whole life trying to be happy, you will fail?” Chasing happiness will leave you as dissatisfied and unsatisfied as so many others are. The only difference may be that you are pretending that you are happy instead.
You must be trying so hard to convince yourself that you are really happy. However, deep down, you are screaming in pain and only pretending to be happy. This is not the right way to live your life. If you want to live a happy life, then you need to fully embrace all experiences. Experience yourself every wonderful moment, even awesome.
The pursuit of happiness is an attempt to stop the unpleasant aspects of life, and you can never maintain it. A well-organized life will include frightening and miraculous moments. Instead of sheltering yourself from pain, use it as a tool to learn and grow. It is through pain that so many of us learn to appreciate when good things happen. The statement that chases happiness makes you feel unhappy, supported by scientists.
Researchers at the University of Toronto and Rutgers University published their study in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. This showed that when people try to chase happiness, they continue to feel that time is running out, which will make them sad. In the study, one group of participants was asked to list the things that made them happy while others were asked to watch a comedy clip.
Those who saw happiness as a goal felt that they had less free time than others. From this study, we can see that time is fading while we actively pursue happiness as a goal rather than just enjoying the moment.
Life would be incredibly dull if we had to live from one blissful moment to another. Our victory and happiness will be in vain because there will be nothing to celebrate.
Life can be compared to two sides of a coin: joy and anger, and happiness and sorrow. Therefore, instead of getting lost in the pursuit of happiness, live a happy life by engaging in activities that allow you to flow happiness. What can you do to find true happiness?
How to get true happiness
Instead of chasing happiness, here are better ways to achieve real happiness:
1. Align with your values
What are the things that are really meaningful to you? Does it give you a sense of purpose and feeds your passion? When you are able to answer these questions truthfully and work towards being actively involved in what you love, you will tend toward happiness and satisfaction.
2. Do what you enjoy
Chasing happiness may not leave the time to focus on anything else. Instead of hanging onto this tedious process, do something that you enjoy. It is not complicated. Whether it is writing, painting, or riding a bicycle, you may not be thinking about yourself at the time. Instead, you will be completely absorbed in what you are doing. What happens next is that you have an enthusiastic response where you are doing something that you really love.
3. Get busy with something important
Happiness can move towards you when you are making changes in the lives of others. So, how can you change your community or even among your friends? It can be as simple as listening when they need it or bringing a smile to someone’s face. When you are actively involved in something important towards others, you will experience a feeling of satisfaction.
4. Live in the present
It is not easy to let go of future worries and past regrets, but it is something you have to do to experience real happiness. You can live a happier life when you think more about enjoying each moment. When you feel yourself drifting, remind yourself to “stay here now”.
5. Let go of unrealistic expectations
Nobody really has a perfect life. However, this does not mean that you should not strive for a pleasant life. While doing so, you have to consider that you are going to be happy all the time. There will be some happy moments; It comes with the territory.
However, embrace the belief that it is perfectly okay to spend an average life with real moments of happiness. Therefore, if you are unhappy, accept this feeling. If you are happy, then adopt it as well. Do not try to deny your feelings because they can eventually become toxic.
6. Keep it one step at a time
Think about what you want and take small steps daily that will get you there. Instead of setting unrealistic goals, break them down into smaller goals, which you will appreciate at every step.
7. Happiness aside from your achievements
Your happiness should not be tied to your achievements. Yes, achieving your goals is a deep achievement. It is a soulful feeling. However, it becomes a problem when our achievements are woven with how much happiness. The absence of achievement should not equal the absence of happiness.
Instead of chasing happiness, experience true happiness by seeing what is already there. In the words of Bertolt Brecht, “Everyone chases after happiness, not caring that happiness is on their heels.”
You don’t have to chase happiness to get it. Instead, it involves looking at what you already have and appreciating it. You will see that when you force yourself to pursue happiness, it seems very difficult to achieve it. However, when you realize that you can be happy about the smallest things, you will be open to a more colorful life.
When you live a life that is meaningful to you, perfection follows. Therefore, quit chasing happiness and let it flow instead of you.
More about happiness
Featured Photo Credit: Andrea Rico via unsreaash.com