I have often asked myself: "What's wrong with me? Why aren't I happy?"
You could attribute this to my being a product of the millennial generation, or to the fact that I've just grown up with too much luxury, and therefore with too much time on my hands to ask myself these questions. One thing I know is that asking myself this has never made me any happier. On the contrary, these questions have often made me feel disappointed and disconnected and, seem to be more a cause of anxiety than a solution to it.
Recently, I read that there have been studies on this very phenomenon. In fact, it has been proven that putting too much value on your happiness actually makes you less happy. Valuing success can make you more successful, valuing friendship leads to better friendships, but valuing happiness actually can lead to anxiety and stress. What gives?
I think it all comes back to being in the moment.
Sometimes, when something is supposed to make us happy, instead of being present and just allowing ourselves to experience it, we take a step back and try to analyze if it's good enough. We don't do this with anger (Who asks themselves, "Am I angry enough?) or with fear ("Am I scared enough?"), but we do it with happiness. We do this because we have been taught that feeling happy is the goal, the indicator of success, the sign that you're "doing it right." But these questions take us out of the moment, and out of the authentic place where true happiness lives.
By simply taking the good with the bad, living the highs and the lows, and being present, we can experience true happiness.
I am going to analyze less, and live more.
I'm going to stop searching for happiness, and start searching for authenticity and sincerity, so that when true happiness comes to me, I am present enough to welcome it.
Photo by Aricka Lewis