This is the next post in the Feeling Your Emotions series. You can read the introduction here: https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2017/11/feeling-your-emotions-introduction.html
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, so if you're having mental/physical issues please seek medical help in addition to reading this. :)
I started this series over two years ago with the intent of exploring emotions and "feeling them to heal them". So far I've covered some of the so-called "negative" emotions- anger, sadness and depression, fear and anxiety and shame. Then the last post was a "neutral" one about the in between point of "negative" and "positive" emotions. That was in July, so it's taken me a while to get back to this. I wrote some other posts in between, including one called When You're Struggling which you can read here: https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2019/10/when-youre-struggling.html
I just didn't feel in a place to write about happiness since I had an up and down year and went through a hard time in late summer and autumn. But now I'm feeling more like writing about it. :) Although this time of year tends to be a bit of a "down" time for me, with the excitement of Christmas over and dreary weather!
"Happiness" is quite a big subject, so I'll break this post into a couple of parts.
What is happiness?
Happiness is defined as a "sense of wellbeing, joy or contentment" and "the feeling of being happy" (Vocabulary.com and Cambridge dictionary definition). And happy is described as "feeling or giving pleasure" (Oxford English dictionary). The opposite of happiness and feeling happy is sadness and feeling unhappy, which I've previously covered in the Sadness and Depression posts here and here.
I mentioned in the Sadness and Depression- Part 2 post that some people say they're happy all the time and I wonder if it's even possible. Boni Lonnsburry who writes about the Law of Attraction, has a post about having a happy day every day: https://livealifeyoulove.com/how-to-have-a-happy-day-every-day/
If we were happy all the time though, would we appreciate it? I think that since there's balance in everything, it's all a different part of the human experience, so maybe we shouldn't put so much pressure on ourselves to always be happy. As this article on The Daily Guru says, happiness comes and goes. You can become addicted to chasing happiness. Here is a good post from Style Commodity about how feeling content might be a better thing to aim for rather than feeling happy: http://www.stylecommodity.com/pursuit-of-happiness/
And here is a post from Positively Positive about how happiness is a mood and positivity is a mindset: https://www.positivelypresent.com/2018/11/happiness-vs-positivity-whats-the-difference.html
Feeling all our emotions
There is a tendency in Western society to "always look on the bright side" and cover up/ignore the bad things. But as I've said in previous posts, bottling up our feelings can lead to anger, depression and shame. So I believe it's better to allow ourselves feel all our emotions (although I know this can be hard!). Forcing yourself to only think positively can lead to something called "toxic positivity". Here's a good post and video about it: https://drallisonanswers.com/happiness/toxic-positivity/
The point of the FYE series is about feeling your emotions to process and understand them better, and not keep them shut up inside, so we can heal. I felt that I had to go through the other emotions first before I got to happiness so I could "clear" them in a way, I didn't feel that I could really tune into the feeling of "happiness" before. Although of course we will keep experiencing all different emotions throughout our life, continue to cycle through them, because that's part of being alive. So I think what I really mean is, I felt that I had clear some of the heaviness attached to the emotions first. Hope that makes sense! :)
Here are a few links about happiness:
Opening yourself up to happiness even when you're sad: https://putthekettleon.ca/open-yourself-up-to-happiness-even-when-youre-sad/
How Going With The Flow Leads to Happiness: https://isntthatcharming.com/how-going-with-the-flow-leads-to-happiness/
In the last post, Emily from Isn't That Charming says that ups and downs are part of life, and mentions how she reminds herself to "go with the flow" and that it's ok to feel bad or negative emotions.
Ok, that's it for now! Hope that was helpful. :) Happiness is a subject (and an emotion!) that's interested me for a long time (since I became depressed in my teens, I think) and I've been seeking an answer on "how to be happy". But I'm coming to see that happiness is a feeling that comes and goes, and you can't always hold onto it. I plan to write more about it in the next post, so look out for that. :)
Read the rest of the posts in the FYE series here:
Anger (Part 1): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/02/feeling-your-emotions-anger-part-1.html
Anger (Part 2): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/04/feeling-your-emotions-anger-part-2.html
Sadness and Depression (Part 1): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/07/feeling-your-emotions-sadness-and.html
Sadness and Depression (Part 2): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/08/feeling-your-emotions-sadness-and.html
Fear and Anxiety (Part 1): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/10/feeling-your-emotions-fear-and-anxiety.html
Fear and Anxiety (Part 2): https://fallingpetalsuk.blogspot.com/2018/12/feeling-your-emotions-fear-and-anxiety.html
Photo: Lancing Beach Green. Moonsparkle 2019.