The happier you are, the better, right? Not necessarily. Research shows that there is a darker side to feeling good and that the pursuit of happiness can sometimes make you... less happy.
For a second, just think about where you are in life right now. Now allow it to sink in.
You’re most likely looking to change certain aspects of it and you might even have a path on how to get there, or perhaps you don't (which is both fine).
But if you do aspire to change it for the better, the light at the end of the tunnel is usually-to-always some form of happiness and at a high level, it is the main reason you chose to follow it, eventually providing you with the happiness you are seeking to obtain in your life.
The journey in the pursuit of happiness has both its difficult and sacrificing parts.
However, have you put much thought into recognizing if happiness is the end all?
7 Misconceptions About Chasing Happiness.
Unfortunately, while it may seem clear to chase happiness, there are also misconceptions that surface along the way. Misconceptions that should be evaluated so that you are not chasing happiness for are all the wrong reasons.
1. Happiness is a Selfless Act.
The concept is that happiness is a call to action to make selfish and compulsive choices and seeking it blurs the definition of life and love.
There are those who harness happiness and use it as a selfless act, however seeking your form of happiness will occupy you with what's best for your own good, don't get caught up in that.
2. Expecting the Results Others Have Achieved.
In life, your circumstances, situations and outcomes will be different than those who you are trying to shadow and be like.
Understanding that no two people are the same, even more so, the differences each of their respective paths will have is evident.
Pursue your own incremental results, not those that others have achieved.
3. Happiness is Your 'End' Goal.
The emotional spectrum is wide
. And following happiness is better than the alternative, which is depression.
But happiness shouldn't be a goal. You're setting an artificial outcome to your life.
Life throughout should include happiness, but also with the understanding that other emotions are a part of the total emotional roller coaster.
If this isn't factored into your mentality, you'll go through life tense with the just looking at the end result.
4. Happiness will Solve all of Today’s Problems.
Happiness can be broken down to two basic levels. It can either be short or long term.
- Short term happiness can be synonymous to those of immediate effect of ecstasy or a feeling of euphoria. Common connections to this are drugs, where you receive the instant relief and gratification of its use.
- However, in the long haul attempt of happiness, accepting the journey and soaking in all of its different colors and shapes along the way is the ideal approach.
You’ll appreciate more by accepting all of life’s gifts.
5. Attempting or “Trying” to be Happy is a Always Good Thing.
It is no surprise that we all strive to be as happy as we can. But the constant pressure to achieve can also have negative implications.
There are subtle ways that our moods are uplifted, some of them are through music, movies, or anecdotal social gatherings to name a few.
However the rigid attempt of forcing happiness can damper your emotions and affect your energy.
Some of these problems can be associated with mental health issues, depression and bipolar disorders. Pushing too much to make everything perfect can drive you crazy. Try to go easy on yourself.
6. Every Flavor of Happiness is Good for You.
It's no secret that happiness provides us with a more fulfilling lifestyle.
- The brain works more effectively.
- Your perspective is clearer.
- Your level of optimism heightens.
However, not all types of happiness inject positivity in life. Happiness can take many forms and can also be a source of dysfunction.
An example of this is pride, which can be a positive (dependant on perspective) on things like achieving your personal goals, a job promotion and an increase in social rank or status.
So in regards to personal achievements it can be a positive emotional state. But when too much of it is involved, it can negatively impact how others perceive you to be and an increased risk of mood disorders such as mania.
With more selfishness, your empathy could potentially be hindered. Understanding that happiness is a balance and combination effort, both giving and receiving is key.
7. Too much Cheerfulness is Indicative of a Good Thing.
Cheerfulness and enthusiasm are great . Too much of them is not. Why?
Well research indicates that a constant level of cheerfulness or positive feelings can predict risk-taking behaviors or reasons to increase the “cheerfulness” dosage - being too cheerful can make you unhappy.
Humans are constantly looking to find their way into a life that is happy but once we receive it and it becomes a constant feeling, we look to increase that, thus resorting to other options.
Some of those behaviors could be excessful alcohol and drug consumption or binge eating, which then leads to downward spirals like fighting with a loved one or risking one’s health.
Learn that life is a wide spectrum of emotions, too much of one thing is never a good indicator of being emotionally healthy, accept that life’s road is never straight, but rather with curves and turns.
It is imperative to experience happiness in the right dosage. Too little happiness is just as problematic as having too much.
But, it is also important to have an emotional balance. These are all part of the complex recipe for emotional health and help you attain a more grounded perspective. Emotional balance is crucial.
Never forget that it is important to pursue and experience happiness for the right reasons.
Too much focus on striving for happiness as an end goal is in itself can actually be self-defeating. Rather than trying to devote to finding happiness, work on building acceptance of your current emotional state. True happiness, comes from fostering kindness toward others - and toward yourself.
Be who you are and experience life for what it is worth, happiness will follow.
Jesse Fernandez is the founder and creator of The Headlock. A site created with an architecture of fitness that is designed for modern day people who are short on time, busy, and extremely stressed.
Want to change your lifestyle and fitness goals using a minimalist approach? Get the 1-page checklist you need to make it happen here (they’re free).