Happiness: the pursuit


I have been thinking a lot about happiness, its pressures and expectations.
There is a certain expectation that happiness is a destination that once you reach, develops a permanance. That for life to be fulfilled, you must be happy.
This has put a significant amount of pressure on my thoughts recently.
Take summer, the expectation that summer holidays will be the epitome of happiness, out everyday, enjoying the freedom.
But this expectation is rarely reality. Like every other week in your life, there are days of pure happiness and there are days where you are lost and low.
I believe it is this expectation of happiness, that nothing else is sufficient, that is causing my panic and stress about summer and relaxing. When you are revising or working, you have no headspace to think about the happiness you need to be feeling.
I do also believe that social media fuels this need for happiness.
No one posts their shitty days. The days where they've been locked out in the rain with a broken bike and no phone or where everything they do seems to go wrong.
Social media is reserved for excitement and adventure and subsequently is a deathly reminder of the fun we should be having when we are in actual fact lying in bed reading.
Here's some interesting stuff that I have read/listened to recently about happiness.

"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that- I don't mind people being happy-but that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society which is a fear of sadness. Its a really odd thing that now we are seeing people say "write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep", and "cheer up" and "happiness is our birthright" and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfilment are nice little things that also happen to us but they don't teach us much. everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say "Quick. Move on! Cheer up!". I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium of the word happiness and replace it with wholeness. Ask yourself, "is this contributing to my wholeness?" and if you are having a bad day, it is"-Hugh Mackay

This speaks for itself but the main thing I gain from it is acceptance that it is okay to have a bad day. We avoid the bad days, never talk about them and pretend they aren't happening but this reminds us that it is part of who we are.

"Of course it does. Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isnt nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none o the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal over throw by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand"-Aldous Huxley

Also, the TED radio hour podcast called 'Headspace'.
 Its fascinating but the main point I picked up was the idea that happiness is the opposite of depression and that in actual fact it should be vitality. That we should strive to live a life of vitality rather than one of happiness.
Definite food for thought.

What are your ideas of happiness? If you have any different ideas, let me know-I love a discussion.

Currently: Doing: Writing this blogpost in bed-oh the luxury of a holiday//Loving: Creativity//Lusting: To not be getting ill

3 comments

  1. This was such an interesting post to read! I feel as though there is so much emphasis put on 'happiness' that we are made to feel as though something is wrong with us when we feel down, or just a bit 'meh'. Also the obsession with social media means that people are constantly trying to capture happy moments rather than actually living them and relishing in them!
    Thank you for giving me something to think about on this Thursday afternoon :-) xx

    Kayleigh | www.SBW-D.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I definitely agree-We feel as though something is wrong if we are having a crappy-it's an unhealthy perspective on life!! I'm glad you found it interesting x

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  2. I agree, I feel like everyone just feels as if they need to be happy to live their life in the best way possible, but there's so many other emotions and you can't avoid them all so you may as well make the most out of them!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

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Katie