Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that aims to study happiness. Yet, since the 1990s when positive psychology emerged, a rise in mental illness and depression seems to have parallel its emergence. Recent studies show that millennials are leaving their jobs due to mental illness at an alarming rate.
So, why aren’t we happy and well adjusted? What do we have to be unhappy about? Overall, Americans live better lives than ever before. No civil or world wars, little unemployment, high levels of education, low rates of homelessness, thriving economy and a dream people all over the world want to pursue.
Could it be that focusing on happiness actually brings you further away from this elusive concept? Isn’t the pursue of happiness an affirmation that the status quo is one of unhappiness?
The definition of happiness ranges from content to overtly joyful. But, it seems that being content with oneself and one’s life is not as glamorous as chasing happiness. What happens when you are content? What happens when happiness is as simple as being alive? What happens when happiness is love? Not the love you want to receive, but the love you have to give? What happens when happiness is not something external to be chased, but something you already have inside yourself? What happens when you accept happiness as this boring concept of content? Is it a failure to not be overtly joyful at all times?
The answer to this last question is easy. No. We really only truly fail when we shelter ourselves from sadness, disappointment, anger and fear. All emotions need to be lived. But, we ought not to allow any one of them to take over completely that we forget who we are.
I wonder if we should stop asking ourselves to go find happiness. To do what makes you happy. To be happy all the time. Perhaps, if we seek joy and pleasure in the little things, happiness will be a given.
Could it be that focusing on #happiness actually brings you further away from this elusive concept? Isn’t the pursue of happiness an affirmation that the status quo is one of #unhappiness? Click To Tweet