It’s not all about happiness

It’s not all about happiness

I’m sure you’ve just read the headline to this post, so let me be clear … happiness is great!

Real and meaningful happiness provides many benefits; it’s not just feeling good but happiness is associated with better health and wellbeing, better quality relationships, improved performance in many life domains and even greater longevity.

But it’s not all about happiness.

No one is and no one should expect to be happy all the time. As the saying goes … it’s OK not to be OK all the time. 

So called negative or unpleasant emotions are normal parts of being human in a sometimes messy and complicated world. Anger and anxiety, depression and sadness, frustration and irritation and more … they’re all normal and appropriate at times.

What, then, is important if it’s not always happiness? 

Well, one of the most important psychological constructs is emotional regulation; the ability to be mindful of and to manage all emotions. It’s not, therefore, necessarily problematic if you’re upset; what can be problematic is not regulating that distress in a healthy way.

So, next time you feel down, or worried, don’t beat yourself up. It’s all OK. Recognise how you’re feeling, allow and accept whateer feelings, understand what, if anything, you need to do for yourself and then … do it!