Is It OK to Be Happy?

October 27, 2017

In 2017 we’ve seen terrible stories of loss and suffering. Hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, a volatile and divisive political climate—and that’s just in the U.S. Every day it seems there’s a story that will break your heart. In the face of all this, I sometimes wonder if it’s OK to be happy. How can I be when so many people are miserable? Do you ever wonder this, too?

I won’t keep you in suspense. The short answer is yes, it’s OK to be happy.

The kind of happiness Catching Happiness is ultimately concerned with is not only the “simple pleasures and everyday adventures” of the tagline, but the deeper waters of joy and contentment. Joy and contentment come from living the best life we can live, doing what we think is right in most situations, appreciating what we have, sharing with others and helping when we can, enjoying and savoring the good in our lives, and learning from our mistakes and tribulations.

Though I personally am not suffering at this moment, suffering happens. It’s happened to me before, and is certain to happen again. I need to embrace the happy times and not waste them or push them away in fear of what the future holds.

It’s much easier to be—and talk about—being unhappy. We bond over complaining, forming instant connections over irritants like traffic jams or the latest crisis in our lives. But when it comes to sharing our happiness, we’re afraid it sounds like bragging. We can be afraid to share the highs with others because we think it will make them feel bad, but is this really true? That probably depends on the audience. It’s possible someone you don’t know very well and who’s not familiar with your life’s ups and downs might think you’re bragging. But if it’s someone who cares about you, he or she will likely be happy for you. Use sensitivity and tact when sharing the good. Sometimes your happiness will be an inspiration and encouragement to others. At least they don’t have to worry about you!

Remember this: Our happiness does not hurt anyone. Our unhappiness doesn’t help anyone.

Also remember: happiness is contagious

So go ahead and be happy. Bring your awareness to what makes you feel happy, and don’t be afraid to share your happiness with others. This world is in desperate need of more good stories and happy adventures.

What is one thing you’re happy about right now?

One of things that makes me happy

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  1. Great reminder, Kathy. I feel like people are taken aback sometimes when I talk about happy things in my life. But I won't give into that narrative of "everything is awful." I AM generally happy, and I am proud of the things I do that make me happy, and I believe in sharing that. I try to take the mentality that if someone doesn't like hearing my good news (providing I'm sharing it in a sensitive, non-vain way) it's on them. I'm not going to go negative just because everyone else is. Still, part of being happy is making others happy, so it's a balance.

    1. I love the idea of resisting the "everything is awful" narrative. It think it steals a lot of our joy. And I agree that sensitivity is needed, but we should be allowed to express our joy just as we're allowed to express our pain.

  2. Kathy - this is a wonderful post. Very timely for all that seems to be happening not just here in the US but all over the world. Being joyous and grateful for blessings is so important. It is always our choice to be happy or not. Life happens to everyone - bad and good alike - so I too resist that "everything is awful". Thank you friend for sharing your thoughts. Take care and have a delightful and happy weekend. Hugs!

    1. Debbie--Yes, it's true that we have a choice to be joyous or not, and so many times that's not entirely dependent on our circumstances. We need to keep choosing happy! Hope your weekend, was wonderful as well. We enjoyed some fabulous fall weather!