Should You Always Be Happy?

Fun fact – this post was inspired by a 3am thought after a night out, don’t even ask… In a nutshell, I wanted to discuss this expectation that we should all be living these glitter filled, sunshine feeling lives every second of every day, or there’s simply something wrong with us.

Ever have those days, where you don’t feel neither sad nor happy? In fact there’s nothing wrong, you just don’t feel either ends of the spectrum. Let’s say you feel content.

In actual fact, the reality of day to day life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes things go wrong and sometimes we feel sad, angry, ashamed, unmotivated – the list goes on. The valid point I’m trying to make is that it’s okay. It’s okay to not feel happy all the time.

Sometimes we just get through our day, we do the things we want to do, we do the things we don’t want to do and that’s that. We don’t give much thought to how we feel.

With the pressures of social media constantly on our backs, it’s normal to feel like we should be living an “Instagrammable”, constant cloud nine life. To feel as though we need to portray our lives in a particular way online, instead of showing the simple and very much pure truth.

Apologies in advance because, shock horror, here I go again bringing University in to the equation, however it’s relevant in this case.

One thing I personally felt pressure of doing, as ashamed as I am to admit it, during my first week of University – also known as freshers- was snapchatting every single social event as if I had to prove to everyone else that I was having the best time of my life (which isn’t untrue).

Whilst I was at home during my gap year, last year, this was also something I noticed. Whilst I sat at home, confused about my existence, everybody else seemed to have it all together and appear to be living the dream. Unsurprisingly, I was quite shocked to hear some of these same people had actually struggled quite a lot.

I think this false, bright and shiny life we like to portray and see others also portray through media, constantly gives the illusion that, that’s how life “should” be. When we feel guilt, sadness, regret and so on, we instantly feel like failures or at least some kind of jumbled up mess.

Life can still be amazing without us necessarily feeling the definition of happy all the time, in fact, it’s normal for us as humans. Happiness is wonderful and we can still live contently and in a balanced way.

When we do get those days where we feel hugely on top of the world, it’s incredible, yet if we experienced that ecstatic feeling 24/7, it’d soon become a mundane thing to experience.

I am not in any way trying to make out that life is some horrible and negative experience because that isn’t the case. I simply want to stress the importance that it IS normal to not feel as high as a kite every day of the week. If you do, that’s great. If you’re feeling down more than you’re feeling happy then of course, something isn’t right.

So, if you’ve been feeling guilty or you simply don’t understand why you’re not feeling ecstatic recently, this is the sign you needed. It is okay. It’s okay to be JUST okay. It’s okay to also feel as happy as can be.

Don’t worry, about a thing (credits to Bob Marley for that one!).

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.