Happiness as a constant state of being? No, it doesn’t exist. Sorry. But knowing this may actually help you to become a happier person.
Happiness is a feeling. Feelings exist in moments. And one moment doesn’t last an entire day. Not even the best of days like weddings are 100% happy. There’s stress, worry, confusion and sometimes even doubt. But when you look back on all of the events that occurred in that one day, you chalk it up to a great day. Our brains have tricked us over the years to make life ever so black and white/good or bad.
We’ve all been convinced at some point that we’ve had the worst day ever. We list all the reasons why it was awful and stew in that bad place thinking “why me??” But was the entire day bad? Let’s think in percentages. If the day consisted of a 20/80 split, (20% good interactions and 80% bad experiences) does that 20% not exist? Of course not. We push that 20% of happiness away to compose an overall summary of our day. How can the worst day ever start off with someone holding the door for you and end with your boss yelling at you?Including that small good part of the day could potentially discredit your “bad day” so it’s either immediately discarded from your brain or purposely left out of the story. Either way, it keeps you wrapped up in the illusion that only one emotion is aloud per day.
I think the problem is that we often expect a bang-pow feeling of joy to come from a moment to consider it good enough to be highlighted in the summary of our day. While instead all of the happy moments should count. If 50 small good moments add up towards your overall happiness percentage for the day, then why not try to collect them all?