A client of mine was in a state of anxiety about not being happy yet. “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to” she said.
She was going to yoga, catching up with friends, having massages to nurture herself. She was eating well and endeavouring to sleep eight hours each night. But somehow, she wasn’t getting the good feels she was anticipating.
Instead she had developed an anxiety about failing at happiness. Because, it seemed to her, society had convinced her she ought to be happy.
She’s right. The last decade has seen an explosion in the happiness industry. Endless books, seminars and facebook posts of smiling selfies has given us the impression that happiness can be obtained if you do this, drink this, buy that. But this obsession with discovering happiness has done us far more harm than good.
We live in a society that is more sick, more lonely, and more depressed than ever before. In fact, the World Health Organisation has stated depression is a GLOBAL CRISIS. Depression currently ranks as the third biggest burden of disease globally and is on a pathway to reach the NUMBER 1 spot by the year 2030. That means depression is going to cause more health problems world wide than any other physical or mental disease.
Because there’s a myth surrounding happiness. Happiness is not a permanent state. It’s a temporary feeling that occurs in response to external stimuli. The weekend has arrived, it’s a sunny day, you won the lotto, a loved one surprised you with a present. Yay!
It feels good for a bit, but after a few hours or days that high wears off. So, achieving permanent happiness is like trying to pin down a cloud or keep a wave upon the sand (Sound of Music reference, sorry!) It’s NOT POSSIBLE!
We need to stop believing the hype. We need to release ourselves from this pressure to be happy.
Instead of happiness, we should turn our attention to pursuing a state that is permanently achievable: peace. Peace is a state of being that can occur in conjunction with sadness, with grief, with happiness. It is a state of acceptance and of love, even in the face of hatred.
But how to reach peace? Well just as first one must know darkness to appreciate light, one must know turmoil to find peace. But because society is pressuring us to “be happy” we’ve lost the ability to look inside ourselves at our own turmoil.
We are being distracted with the glittering promise of happiness, rather than learning how to explore and understand the discomfort that lies within us. But to reach peace on an individual level, as well as on a global scale, look within. Find the cause of your own turmoil. Once you unlock that key, you will find peace. Yes it takes courage, yes it takes an ability to be vulnerable. And yes, it’s worth it. 🙂
My 100% Empowered Masterclass has been created to help women find their Zen. If you are sick of living for others and want to start connecting with your authentic self so that you can truly experience peace and empowerment, then it’s time you joined me here.