Is Perpetual Happiness Possible?

Having a negative outlook may often be painful and lead to sadness, bitterness, and general dissatisfaction with life, oneself and others. But is it possible to live in a constant state of happiness and abolish all negative emotions from your life?

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It is important to learn how to build an optimistic perspective because it allows you to have a higher, more realistic self-image, connect better with others, as well as reach your goals. Constant negativity, on the other hand, is a vicious circle that may lead to both physical and mental challenges. However, are all negative emotions bad?

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Our Negative Emotions

It is easy to start believing that uncomfortable emotions are a sign that you are not coping well with life. We may even find ourselves worrying that if we acknowledge those negative emotions and admit their existence, we might somehow exasperate the problem.

As if seeing the emotions would make our problems more pressing and our misery - greater. That is why many are inclined to pressure themselves into staying strong and suppressing the negative emotion.

Some cultures and family units even go as far as teaching their children that showing a lot of emotions, especially sadness and insecurity, makes you weak and should, therefore, be avoided at all costs.

Negativity Is Normal Sometimes

Here is the thing – uncomfortable emotions are not necessarily harmful emotions. As long as they are an appropriate, short-term reaction to a stimulus, they are a healthy part of every human being. Often, uncomfortable emotions may appear as a result of life’s ups and downs, such as losses, frustrations, barriers.

There is nothing more normal than feeling sad when a loved one passes away, or frustrated when there is a significant obstacle between us and our dreams. These feelings are the result of natural processes that allow your mind to ventilate and mourn the loss, whether it is a person, a goal, or something else.

As long as your negative emotions occur as a result of a negative situation, and they do not proceed to overwhelm your entire life, they are not just normal, but rather healthy and much needed.

Sadness Is Not Weakness

Negative emotions that correspond to the criteria of healthy, which you already know about, are neither a weakness nor a sign of a psychological disorder.

In fact, it is quite on the contrary. Having the ability to be vulnerable when you feel vulnerable, means you are not afraid of your emotions, and if you are not afraid of them you can cope in a healthy way.

Sadness Is Not a Disorder

Psychological disorders, on the other hand, are characterized by their persistence, as well as an inconsistency between the stimuli and the reaction.

If you have been feeling despair, fatigue and have been struggling with lowered self-esteem over the course of months, without being able to point to any specific reason, then you might be experiencing a form of depression.

If, however, you are sad because last week you separated with a romantic partner whom you loved, then that is a normal reaction, which may be painful, but will pass in time, as long as you don’t go out of your way to suppress it.

Suppressing Sadness Is Dangerous

Imagine seeing a person, who has just lost a close relative. What would you think, if they were acting as if nothing has happened? It is likely that, at the very least, you would be surprised by their reaction and would not find that it matches the situation.

The same can be said for an array of other unpleasant circumstances that include loss, but not necessarily of a person.

You might have been let go from your position, or been denied acceptance to your dream school, or perhaps you just found out that your romantic interest is in love with somebody else.

All of these circumstances would naturally lead to negative emotions and refuse to give them some room is not going to magically discard them from your life.

The Risks of Suppression

In fact, negative emotions that have been suppressed over a period have the habit of bursting out in unexpected ways. Imagine your emotional world as a bottle of champagne. You know that the longer you shake the bottle, the harder its cork is going to explode.

The same can be said for our emotions – the longer you suppress them, the harder you are shaking your champagne, and finally, when some stimuli make it impossible to keep the cork in any longer, you explode.

Alternatively, suppressed negative emotions may lead to many physical ailments, without a physiological explanation, called psychosomatic symptoms.

The Healthy Alternative

A great way to cope with your negative emotions, and make sure that they won’t linger for long periods of time, causing profuse difficulties, is to let them be.

Whether we like it or not, it is impossible to live in a constant state of happiness and negative circumstances will always occur. However, even if we can’t prevent them, our reactions are up to us.

Even if you’d like to, keeping negative emotions bottled in is not a part of reality. Nevertheless, it is up to you if you’ll acknowledge them and be kind with yourself, or if you’d suppress your negative feelings and allow them to eat slowly at your health and happiness.

What About Being Positive?

Here you have learned about the importance of adopting a general positive outlook on life, but that doesn’t exclude occasional negative emotions. In fact, it is healthy optimism that may often help you accept the negative aspects of life, and allow you to mourn your losses.

When you have an overall positive perception of yourself and the world, it is easier to accept life’s grievances, without letting them conquer your entire existence, for a long period.

Once you can acknowledge your negative emotions, you can also engage in healthy coping strategies, as well as be kinder to yourself and others. It may seem paradoxical, but having an optimistic mindset often means experiencing your pain in a healthy way, rather than suppressing it.

Full reference: 

, (Mar 24, 2016). Is Perpetual Happiness Possible?. Retrieved Dec 14, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/is-perpetual-happiness-possible

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