Thursday Thought: Maybe Happiness Isn’t the Goal

There’s this song that has always made me feel a little uneasy. It says, “Choose the right way, and be happy, I must always choose the right.” As I type this, I realize there are many ways to interpret that thought. But this is an example of what I was talking about on Monday when I said that one thought does not fit everyone.

The way my brain interprets this song is that if you do what is “right”, you will feel happy. This is a dangerous thought for a lot of us, because then if we don’t feel happy, we tell ourselves we must be doing something wrong.

The problem is that happiness doesn’t come from our actions. Happiness comes from our thoughts. You can do everything “right” and still feel unhappy because of your thoughts about it.

What if happiness isn’t the goal? What if we stopped using how happy we are as an indicator of how moral we are, or how well we’re doing at life? What if the goal were actually to feel all ranges of emotion….happy, sad, anxious, depressed, loving, dislike, emotional, excited? What if you’re doing it “right” when you feel all of these things?

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

What is Emotional Pain?

When I was in high school, I joined the track team….for two whole weeks. I dropped out because my body was not used to working out like that and I was so sore I couldn’t take a baby step without immense pain. I wasn’t injured, I was just VERY sore. What do you think would have happened if I had continued? Of course, it would have gotten easier. The pain would have gone away after awhile, and I would have been stronger. I didn’t have anyone to tell me that’s all that was going on (or maybe they did and I didn’t listen), I thought I was going to feel that way forever, and I was like, “I’m out!”

Mental Health is kind of like Physical Health. When you work out and you’re pushing yourself to get stronger, you feel physical pain. You don’t freak out about it, if you’re expecting it, because you know that’s part of getting stronger. Sometimes it even feels good because you know it means you’ve worked hard and that it’s going to lead to a result you want. It’s kind of a sign that you’re on the right track.

When something unexpected happens in our lives, we have a big change, or if we start working towards a goal, that is like working out emotionally. We are going to feel emotional pain in the form of “negative” emotions. I’m here to tell you it’s just fine. This emotional pain is to be expected. You don’t have to let it stop you. It just means you’re living life.

If it feels like too much, or you’re not sure what to do with it, sign-up for a free mini-session with me, and I’m happy to show you what’s going on and why it feels so terrible, and how to get a little relief.