Depression—it’s a modern health epidemic. Over 16 million Americans suffer from depression.
One of the symptoms may actually be trying too hard to be happy. We’ll share what Americans are doing wrong and how we can get out of that mentality.
We see it all over social media—but why do we all look happy, but don’t always feel it?
“Happiness seems to be moving around and it’s not a constant thing, just like success isn’t always constant, failure isn’t constant,” said James West, President of the Total Life Counseling Center.
But trying to find happiness can actually lead you down a dark path. Experts say in the rush to happiness we’re failing to come to terms with our negative emotions. “We’re not actually taking that time just to kind of sit still and just kind of think about what’s going on and why am I feeling this way,” said West.
Experts believe you have to feel to heal. Once you come to terms with your feelings, you can accept that they are temporary, get help, and focus on being content in your current situation. One way to achieve this is through helping others.
“When you make a difference in people’s lives and you’re contributing to people, that’s something that we call significance,” West mentioned.
Another way is doing your personal best.
“If you do your personal best and you lose, is there anything else you could have done? No. You did the best you could!” said West. Sooner or later, you may become happy and not even realize it.
Recent studies found when people experienced negative emotions and felt social pressure to be happy, they actually felt socially disconnected and became more depressed.