During a recent Coaching session with a Client (who is happy for me to write this btw) he said:
“I feel I’m failing at life somehow because I’m not happy all the time.”
Even before my conscious mind could possible compute what he had said to me, my unconscious burst as quick as a flash:
“OMG, that’s totally normal! I’m not happy all the time and embrace those moody days.”
Well I didn’t realise how monumental me saying that would be to him would be, let’s call him Kevin for ease. His whole demeanour suddenly changed and he gave me this huge smile and said:
“I’m so happy you’ve told me that! I keep thinking there is something wrong with me because I’m not happy all the time.”
Now, let’s do a reality check here, as a Life Coach, I know I should be telling you how amazing life is and how you need to be living life to the full and waking up each morning to “seize the day”………life is what you make it etc. etc. etc.
I genuinely believe the above to be true btw, life is what we make it HOWEVER it’s absolute BS to think that life should be wonderful all the time. Let’s be honest, it isn’t and neither should it be.
As I’ve consistently said since I started Life Coaching and writing my blog, my biggest blessings in my life, my biggest lessons in my life have nearly all resulted from hardship or some sort of personal disaster. At the time I thought the world was ending, but years after I always thank my lucky stars that the “disaster” happened otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am now.
And this leads me nicely onto why it’s OK to not be happy.
It’s OK to not be happy all the time everyone because it’s normal. If you read my blog, you will know that by nature I used to be a negative person, my glass was always half empty, there was always something that I was moaning about. It wasn’t until my mid to late 30’s when I did A LOT of work on myself, that I learnt how to change this and consequently, most days I’m genuinely happy.
However, some days I’m not and it’s on these days I’m happy to not be happy and here is why:
- People’s happiness levels are different naturally. Some people are naturally more inclined to be happier than others. Alex Korb Ph.D a Neuroscientist from UCLA backs this up and says people brains are different and some respond to positivity more than negativity and vice versa. Naturally these people are happier. He said “People’s happiness levels are just different from each other; and that’s OK.”
- There are no such things as bad emotions. Feeling the entire spectrum of emotions add to the tapestry of life: “to use them all means we are living a rich and fulfilling life,” says William Breen Ph.D. He goes onto to say that: “There’s this idea out there that our emotions are ‘positive’ or ‘negative,’ [but] I think all of our emotions are normal and adaptive and have a purpose or function,”
- The reality is, sh*t happens in life and we have to redefine our expectations of what happiness is and learn to accept that bad moods, are part and parcel of life. Sometimes it’s good to cheer yourself up, but sometimes you won’t be able to and that’s ok, don’t fight it.
- There is a study of defensive pessimism that suggests that negative thinking can sometimes be good for hose people who suffer from anxiety because it helps lower expectations and helps them prepare for what may go wrong which in turn leads to better performance and personal growth.
- Research suggests that we grow from adversity and it can be good for our happiness levels in the long run, as I said above I know my biggest life lessons and blessings have resulted from experiencing adversity.
I would like to end this post with stressing that unhappiness is often linked to comparison to others. I’m literally screaming down my blog post when I say to you this is perhaps the biggest time and emotion waster that exists in todays society. I know my happiness levels shot up hugely in my mid 30’s when I let go of the need to compare myself to others. I’m me and I’m unique and I’m not going to compare myself to someone’s outsides. It’s often a big fat illusion anyway.
I hope this has helped you.
ps.I can’t write this blog post without touching on depression. There is a Big difference between having “off days” v’s feeling anxious, down or empty for days on the end. If your feeling these emotions then you need to consult your GP because it could be you’re depressed and need a little bit of help.