Why I stopped searching for happiness

by - October 09, 2022


“Be happy”. A quote that everyone has heard and has been repeated so often. “Whatever you do just be happy” and “search for your happiness” - as if it were that simple. Like happiness is something you can pluck out of thin air and then you are sorted. A magical cure if you feel depressed and something that somehow can make your anxiety or any other problem just disappear.

I used to think happiness is something you were meant to search for - something to be found like a lost object. After a lot of lows throughout 2020 and 2021 and some in 2022, I realised that happiness isn’t something you are meant to search for. It is not about finding something else or waiting for things to click into place or something to change. Feeling generally happy with where you are in life is about learning to accept and own all of those difficult experiences and seeing life beyond it. Finding enjoyment in your life exactly as it currently is in spite of what you may have going on. Not wishing your life was different and wanting something more. Thinking that when it is different you will be happy. When I say this, I do not mean stop making choices that can help your well-being or doing what is in your power to improve your situation so you feel happier. I mean it in the context of situations and life events we simply cannot control like the mental health of a loved one or losing someone close to you. Written across your screen, this may seem glaringly obvious, but a lot of us miss it completely. 

I meet so many people waiting for life to get better when they are going through a rough patch and honestly I was one of those people too. Thinking this is awful I just need to stick it out and wait. But, one of the main things that have helped me heal the most and I think now on reflection, one of the most important things I have taken from therapy is acceptance. I cannot change what has happened and what I have lived through. However, I can learn to live with it and feel happy in spite of it. I can stop searching for a different life and happiness like I will find it elsewhere and learn to be happy with what I have at the moment.

Life throws lots of different obstacles and difficulties. I like many others made the mistake of searching for happiness like it was something I needed to find externally to my situation. But really, it is about making the most of whatever life throws at you and moving forward. You can’t change a lot of what is happening in your surroundings because it will be outside of your control. Make the changes you can, and accept what you can't change. Wishing for a different life does nothing but make you feel unhappy. It’s ironic really - the constant search for happiness can actually stop you from feeling as happy. So I have stopped searching and am taking the difficult but necessary step of accepting, learning to process, getting closure and learning to feel happy despite my struggles. Some days I feel like I am on top of everything, others I feel like I am going backwards and some days are hard. ✨ But, slowly you learn to rebuild your life. 

Help keep me going 🙂

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