“Unhappiness can be an addiction. Sometimes we are so addicted to being unhappy that we need an intervention to help us kick the habit of being unhappy. Bad things happen to good people, but so too do good things.
Make the commitment today to kick the unhappiness addiction: stop hanging with other unhappiness addicts, avoid or minimize entertainments that promote negativity or disrespect our extended selves, search intelligently for the best in others, let discernment be your goal rather than judgement. Seek sun-life: expand your circle, try new things, meet new people, learn to love in new ways, find bliss and beauty in the wonders embedded in the ordinariness of life: Reflect God and breathe life into your possibilities and into others.”
NOTE by Adisa: By unhappiness I am not speaking about occasional sadness, or those who suffer under the oppressive canopy of depression, mental health challenges or chronic illnesses.
By Dawn Onley
Happiness is a feeling that too often we attach to things and people outside of our control. If all of the stars align and we can get through the day without too much trouble, we feel happy. We say what a great day we had. We post smiling emoji’s on our status updates and talk about how things are turning around in our favor.
Conversely, if someone ticks us off in the morning, it can dampen the whole rest of our day. We are instantly bothered. We mope. We stew. We talk about how unfair life is and unhappy we are.
The problem in both scenarios is that it allows outside forces to dictate our inner peace. It absolves us of the hard work it takes to maintain our own wellbeing and joy. It gives us an easy way out – to blame others – for our own misery and despair. It reinforces our pessimism and glass half empty belief.
Some people cling to unhappiness as if it’s a life preserver when really developing joy and gratefulness is the way to keep us from going under.
There will always be unexpected things that pop up in our lives, causing us bouts of sadness, worry, angst, heartache, and anger. Like the lady in the car that rear ends you because she was distracted by a text. Or the discovery that a partner is cheating. Or the sudden health prognosis at the doctor’s office. But to choose to remain there – and it is a choice for those of us who are not suffering from what psychologist and my friend, Adisa Ajamu, calls “the oppressive canopy of depression, mental health challenges or chronic illnesses” — is causing us stress and mental anguish needlessly.
When we cling to unhappiness, we have to realize we are making a bad choice.
Unhappiness is an addiction. Kick it cold turkey or get help to kick it. Just do it.
If you want to be addicted to something, try joy. Try gratefulness. Try acceptance of the things you can’t control. Try living in the present moment.
Do the things that bring satisfaction and enjoyment. Look for qualities in others, and focus on those qualities within ourselves, that encourage our best selves.
The happiness that relies on things going our way or things being easy or life being without struggle or conflict is fleeting. We will all have moments of extreme joy and utter sadness. Inner happiness that is not dependent on outside circumstances is what we should all be striving to attain.
It starts with how we think. What we give our energy to grows.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” — Buddha