Is happiness OK at the moment? YOu bet it is!

Is happiness OK at the moment? YOu bet it is!


You’re Allowed to Feel Joy Right Now

In these times, moments of happiness are a gift.

By Ryan Howes, Ph.D.

I was on a Zoom call last week, a “distance social” of old friends, when one of my buddies confessed that he felt guilty about enjoying some of the measures many of us are taking to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

“I know there are terrible things happening out there,” he said. But he couldn’t help finding some personal happiness in things like not having to commute, going for peaceful walks after work, and spending more time with his family. “I feel horrible saying that,” he added.

Even with growing numbers of sick people and death tallies skyrocketing, a portion of our society is, honestly, feeling okay during this pandemic. Or even more than okay. (Some of the time, anyway.) In my practice as a clinical psychologist, I’m mostly hearing about anxiety related to illness and the economy. But some of my clients have expressed giddiness—not about the many abysmal parts of this pandemic, of course, but about how they’ve changed aspects of their own lives in response to it.

To be clear, feeling this way is something of a luxury. As my friend noted, he feels like he and his family are safe, and he’s not worried about getting sick. Not all of us are that lucky. Some of us are worried about getting sick or fear for loved ones who have the new coronavirus or are at an increased risk of getting serious complications from it (or all of the above). Many essential workers have to be out in the field, whether they’re grocery store employees, working in medicine, or fulfilling another role that benefits the rest of us. And a lot of people can’t afford to stay home right now and give up work in the face of so much economic uncertainty. There are plenty of other reasons it’s impossible for some people to see anything remotely positive about how life has changed right now, and that’s certainly valid. But even people in some difficult situations might find surprising bright sides too, like someone who might have lost their job due to the pandemic but is grateful to be able to stay at home as much as possible.

Even for those of us who are stumbling upon positive feelings right now, the emotions I’m talking about aren’t really manifesting as “I’m so glad this pandemic is ravaging the planet because I love my life right now.” It’s more: “The abject horror of this pandemic is so clear—how can I be happy with anything in my life when so many people are suffering?” The truth is that, as humans, our emotions are endlessly complex. There’s a huge range of “right” ways to feel about all of this…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE