A lot has been said about always being happy and choosing to be happy. Though there is nothing wrong with being happy, forcing yourself to always be happy might produce results that are contrary to what you want to achieve. Setting your mind to think that you should always be happy even in situations that invoke other emotions might make the search for happiness an arduous task that is tiring and frustrating. So, here are the reasons why you shouldn’t choose to be happy all the time:
1. Always choosing to be happy can make you frustrated.
Say for example, the dog that you loved the most just died. This situation can be so heartbreaking especially if you treat dogs like a part of the family. If you choose to be happy, but you just can’t be, you’ll feel frustrated. You might ask yourself, “Why can’t I feel happy even when I tell myself to be?”, or “What is wrong with me?”.
Avoid questioning yourself and feeling frustrated by respecting your right to grieve. Grieve if you must. There is nothing wrong with that if the situation calls for it.
2. Neglecting emotions like sadness can make the healing process longer.
You might be successful in forcing yourself to be happy while you’re consciously dictating your mind to be in such a state. But, what happens during unguarded moments? The emotion you neglected will find its way back, and the cycle will continue. To end it, let the other emotions sit for a while until happiness finds its way back naturally.
3. Blocking other emotions can prevent you from making sound decisions.
For example, you cheated on your boyfriend or girlfriend, but you did not entertain the feeling of guilt and focused on the happiness you felt. How can you realize that your action is actually wrong? Always putting your happiness first even when there are others who suffer from the consequences of your actions can prevent you from doing what is right.
4. Focusing on being happy all the time can prevent you from empathizing with others.
If you don’t entertain other emotions aside from happiness, how can you empathize with someone who is feeling down? Lacking a reference point can make you indifferent.
5. You might not see the bigger picture if you will choose to be happy all the time.
There are certain situations that might have caused you to not feel happy. For example, your contract in the company you’re working for was not renewed. Choosing to be happy in this kind of situation by convincing yourself that it happened for a reason can prevent you from making a self-evaluation.
It might not always be about you, but allowing the feeling of loss and regret to sink in can help you assess what you could have done to actually keep the job. This self-assessment can lead to improvement that might not have been possible if you did not allow other emotions to get in.
6. The blocked emotion can resurface in the wrong place.
You might think that you’ve perfectly controlled your emotions by only allowing yourself to be happy, but you might be surprised that the suppressed ones are just waiting for opportunities for them to be free. For example, you might be angered by a rude attendant, but you chose to dismiss what you’re feeling. This neglected emotion might make you lash out to other people who didn’t do anything that’s worthy of your heightened emotion.
You don’t have to shout to release your anger, but you can be honest to that attendant and tell him or her calmly but firmly that his or her rude action angered you. In this way, there will be a higher possibility that the situation won’t happen to others, and you can make sure that you won’t have a sudden burst of emotion in an inappropriate situation.
7. You won’t solve what’s preventing you from being happy if you always choose to be happy.
If you deny the fact that your situation doesn’t make you happy, you won’t do anything to get away from it or solve it. On the other hand, if you acknowledge the fact that you are unhappy, you’ll find ways to address the issue. As a result, you’ll find genuine happiness, not something your mind forced you to feel.
8. Allowing yourself to feel the negative emotions can push you to do better.
If you’re unhappy with what’s happening to your life, you’ll work hard to improve your situation. You’re unhappy with the grades that you have in school? You’ll study harder. You’re unhappy with your career? You’ll be motivated to rediscover yourself and what you really want to do.
9. Choosing to be happy all the time can prevent you from getting the help that you need.
For example, you just came from a broken engagement with your longtime romantic partner. If you convince yourself that you’re actually happy despite what’s happening, you might not ask for help. If you’re happy, why will you choose to address the situation? You don’t even acknowledge that you are not okay, so why will you ask for help?
Allowing the feeling brokenness to sink in can help you have the courage to ask support from your friends. Asking for help can make the healing process faster.
So, if you shouldn’t choose to be happy all the time, what should you do? Be optimistic. Being optimistic doesn’t dismiss other emotions. Rather, it helps you get through them. Being optimistic means that you are acknowledging the fact that you’re sad, angry, or disappointed, but you also firmly believe that whatever negative emotions you’re having will pass.
You can do things that can make you happy while in a situation that calls for other emotions. You can buy ice cream of it makes you happy, but don’t dismiss the fact that you’re disappointed that you failed your licensure exam. Respect your right to feel other emotions even if you find them negative. They will pass, but not without making you a better version of yourself.