Why our pursuit of happiness may be flawed
What do you want from life? You’ve probably had the opportunity and the cause to ask yourself that question recently. Perhaps you want to spend more time with your family, or get a more fulfilling and secure job, or improve your health. But why do you want those things?
Chances are that your answer will come down to one thing: happiness. Our culture’s fixation on happiness can seem almost religious. It is one of the only reasons for action that doesn’t stand in need of justification: happiness is good because being happy is good. But can we build our lives on that circular reasoning?
Considering the importance of the question, there’s remarkably little data on what people want from life. A survey in 2016 asked Americans whether they would rather “achieve great things or be happy” and 81% said that they would rather be happy, while only 13% opted for achieving great things (6% were understandably daunted by the choice and weren’t sure). Despite the ubiquity of happiness as a goal, it’s hard to know how to define it or how to achieve it…
Overcome Your Mood and Make Positive Choices For Your Happiness
Across the country, bad moods and sad moods are rising as COVID continues to reap havoc on mental health. You’re not alone if you’re feeling in a funk, a little down every day (or a lot), tired from poor sleep, worried about your job and your financials, feeling loss and sadness, agitated by uncertainty, and feeling alone through isolation from friends and loved ones. In the U.S., nearly half of people surveyed in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study felt their mental health was being harmed by the pandemic. Mood fatigue has set in and many just don’t know how to kick it out.
Yet, our human nature is resilient, determined, and founded in hope. Despite the hardships of COVID, we have witnessed the inspired characteristics of our human spirit through stories of people overcoming challenges and taking charge through positive choices every day.
You can overcome bad moods and sad moods by starting with acknowledging that the circumstances you’re experiencing are bound to lead to the feelings you’re experiencing. Give yourself a break from beating yourself up for feeling bad or sad. You’re doing the best you can, so be kind to yourself as we all move through this, and out of this. It will happen. It is happening. And you can make it happen…