You shouldn’t be happy all the time.

You’re probably thinking: wait, what!? I just clicked an article that said “How To Be Happier”!

You did. And you’re so in the right place. Because my friend, the key to being happier is not pressuring yourself to be happy constantly. We feel the need to “be happier” when our definition of happiness itself is ease, or consistently feeling good. If you’re anything like me, deep down you want to feel happy most (or all) of the time. To experience minimal discomfort, feel carefree, whole and all the positive emotions you can feel.

What if it’s not supposed to be that way? That it is good to feel negative emotion? Let me tell you something:

You are robbing yourself of happiness and fulfillment by spending your energy resisting emotion that actually has a rightful place in your life.

I have great news for you: life is 50/50. Half the time it’s good, the other half, not-so-good. That is the human experience. Isn’t that freeing? You don’t have to pressure yourself to be happy all the time! This changes everything. In fact, if we are spending 100% of the time trying to control and manipulate things in an attempt to feel great all of the time, there is a good chance we are actually missing the raw, sacred goodness that life offers us. As soon as we start to welcome the truth that life is 50/50, we open ourselves up to true happiness instead of the counterfeit happiness we get when we are holding on to control. Placing an expectation on yourself to be happy all of the time will inevitably lead to disappointment because, well, you are a real person. 🙂 

How can we know joy without hardship? Ease without difficulty? Closeness without loneliness? Spoiler alert: WE CAN’T. So, let’s chat about moving towards allowing negative emotion, and in turn, allowing more genuine happiness.

Name 5 negative emotions you WANT to feel. The ones that you want to be present in your life. Reflect on why those are important to you. For example, I want to allow sadness when it comes up for me. Why? Because it is part of being human. It makes me real and it grounds me. Would I want to not feel sad when a loved one passes away? Or when I hear that a friend is going through a hard time? Of course not! I want to allow myself to feel sad. “Negative” emotions are what make humans dynamic beings. This does not mean you strive to feel these negative emotions all the time, but rather that you do not resist them when they show up.

When those emotions do arise, feel empowered! Acknowledge that you see and understand the value these emotions bring to your life. They have a rightful, purposeful place in your life. You have decided you want to feel them. And you know that they can exist with happiness. In fact, they make the happiness so much more genuine and sweet.

I don’t have a ten-step process to make you feel happier. If someone offers that to you, think about it: is there really a linear path to happiness that works for every person? Honestly friend, I don’t think there is, nor do I want there to be. Happiness isn’t a formula. When we try to make it one, it loses its magic.

So, you want to be happier? Don’t resist the organic human emotion that has a meaningful, essential role in your life, in your happiness. Feel it all, lovely one. Freedom exists in that space.