The year end holidays are a time when many are unhappy, even depressed. For many, unhappiness seems to start with unreasonable expectations about the holidays combined with a misunderstanding of what happiness really is.
When our lives are ordered properly, there are so many important but easily discounted things that we should be happy about. Try this one. Those who are reading this should be happy that they awoke this morning to a new day.
Being happy in life does not require that we be happy about everything all the time. There are a few things in the lives of all of us that do not make us happy. However, not being happy about something does not automatically oblige one to be unhappy about that same thing.
There are many stopping points along the path from happiness to unhappiness. Disappointment is in a valuable and under-appreciated middle ground.
Here is a suggested holiday season exercise. Make a personal list of those reasons you have to be happy. Next, make a list of your genuine reasons for being unhappy. Finally, strike from the “unhappy” list those items that may be unfortunate, unavoidable, and even predictable (like the physical pains suffered as we age). The result of this exercise should be a shorter and more manageable “unhappy” list.
Personal note and wish: I have been accused of being too happy in life. That is true and there is a reason for my happiness. I make choices that don’t cause my life to be unhappy. My wish for you is that you do the same. Hearing Bobby McFerrin in concert many years ago was a life-impacting experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU