Today is international happiness day, and I’m here to tell you why it doesn’t matter.
I’m all for being happy. It’s great, when it happens, but it’s
not something we can always control. I’m sure we all know a person that always
tries to be positive, optimistic, and tries to push it on you like some kind of
happiness monster. Well, I know people like that at least. One of them is
actually my brother.
He did a paper in university in learned optimism and started to kind of live by it. We didn’t grow up in a great atmosphere and he moved to another province, but every time he comes back to visit he tries to force this happiness that just doesn’t seem to exist at our home. When someone starts to appear sad or gloomy he seems to take it as an insult, like if he can’t make them happy nothing can, and he storms off.
He’s not the only person I know like this either. They’re everywhere. People who don’t feel their feelings and believe happiness is their final form, their end goal so to speak.
I believe happiness shouldn’t be a goal, but this hasn’t always been the case. I remember when I was younger I didn’t have any plans for when I was older, I didn’t want to be anything in particular when I grew up, but I did want to be happy. I was so depressed and sad when I was in middle school that I remember the only goal I had in my life was to be happy. But here’s the thing, I was never going to be in a permanent state of happiness. I never will be. No one is.
Sadness happens. Anger happens. Depression and anxiety,
Days like international happiness day are toxic because they make you feel like you should be happy, and make you feel bad if you’re not. If you wake up on international happiness day feeling depressed, that’s okay. If you wake up feeling the happiest you’ve ever felt, that’s okay too. Emotions aren’t something to aspire to, they’re just things that happen. Yeah, I want to be happy. Everyone does, but I don’t need a day to make me feel bad if I’m not.
Another thing: I went to the official website of the international day of happiness and saw that there is three steps to happiness. The first two are pretty normal, but the third step is “pledge”.
And then it gives a link to donate to whatever charity or foundation they support. This is odd to me. Listen, I’ll be 100% transparent here and say I didn’t last long on the website, I didn’t research the foundation, and I don’t really want to. But I feel like this seems a little scammy. Is this website/foundation using the fact that people aspire to be happy to make money? Honestly, they probably are. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen companies or foundations or websites using a problem many people share, such as sadness or not feeling happy, to make money and It rubs me the wrong way. This whole day rubs me the wrong way.
I write a blog about mental health and self care. I preach daily that you should do what feels good and what makes you HAPPY. But I know the reality that is depression and anxiety. I know the pressure to be optimistic and to feel happy, and that’s why I try to emphasize that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. You can’t schedule happiness, it’s not a day on a calendar.
This is a short post, but I just wanted to get on here and vent about how dumb I think this “international day of happiness” is. Don’t worry if you’re not happy today. Feeling feelings is important, and happiness isn’t a goal, it’s an emotion.
Take care of yourself