I know, usually you would say “learning to be happy”. But, after having read a lot about happiness, I found out that you also would need to learn how to manage your being unhappy.
Is it really necessary to be happy all the time to be successful in life? What is the real meaning of being happy?
Some reaserchers state that happiness means designing your own quality of life and also finding ways to strive for continuous improvement. They say that we all have a social purpose to live for, that is our mission. If you keep a journal, for instance, you would be able to evaluate the activities that make you happy and compare them with those that make you unhappy. In this way you may have a choice. You can also compare yourself with others’ activities to find out what makes them happy and get inspired. It doesn’t mean that you have to compare yourself with the others: you are unique, and in some cases you don’t even know those people very well.
Moreover, there is not a single recipe to be happy. Not everyone will be happy by practising meditation or sports, for instance. There are, however, factors that will influence your happiness: valuable relationships, a meaningful job, work-life balance, a great partner and good health. In any case, you may find someone who is not happy in spite of the fact that they have a good job and they get along well with their partner.
However, there are also researchers saying that it not important to target happiness as such, but you would need to to learn how to be unhappy, that you would need to accept moments of unhappiness without judgement.
Some scientists see with a critical eye today’s trend on being always positive. Avoiding facing distress, sorrow, misery is not a solution. You can’t ignore being unhappy, you have to accept it for what it is. You can also share your negative feelings or emotions with others, it will help you creating and strengthening relationships. When you are worried and you know that someone will listen to you, you may feel a bit better after having shared your distress and discomfort.
Isn’t living together one of the objectives of life ? Actually, those pretending always being happy end up in being alone, isolated and of course unhappy. This sounds like a paradox but if you try to accept your unhappiness as a moment in your life that will fade away sooner or later, you will be more content.
The most important thing is to be happy with the life we live, acknowledging and accepting ups and downs that are part of our life: c’est la vie.