Are you supposed to be happy all the time???

The answer may shock you because we are trained that happy is where it’s at…

But what if I told you that being happy 100% of the time isn’t something that you should be striving for???

If you grew up in a first-world country, chances are you have developed an insatiable appetite for happiness…

And at the first sign of discomfort, you were taught to scramble in order to fill the void with something to give you another hit of that oh-so-tasty-to-the-brain chemical, dopamine…

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Here’s an uber-technical, ultra-complicated, super-scientific example of how dopamine works…

Oh no!  I’m not happy right now… 

I better buy this new thing that will make me feel good, then it will make all of my problems go away…

MMMMMMM…Dopamine.  

Yes, yes…that’s much better.

But is it better?

In the micro, yes, but the truth is, much like any other addiction, it only feels better for a sec.

The ugly underbelly of our happiness addiction is that is has birthed a population allergic to discomfort of any kind…

I mean, we freak if our wi-fi stops working for like an hour…

#firstworldproblems.

And by refusing to sit with any feeling outside of the realm of happiness, we are creating a generation who just doesn’t know how to deal.  

When we don’t handle our own discomfort, we, in turn, don’t teach our kids to deal with theirs…

We can’t give our kids what we don’t have. Click To Tweet

And while it is normal to want to save them from pain, the best thing we can do is to help them through the pain instead. Otherwise, what we think is a service to them will actually be a thing that stunts their growth.

Ahem…

10th place trophies…

Do you know what giving out 10th place trophies teach our kids? It teaches them that they don’t ever have to lose…(P.S. If you are letting your kids win all the time, you may want to step back and rethink your plan.)

Yes, they should have fun. Yeah, losing hurts…but guess what? No one gets a participation trophy for adulting, and it’s our job to raise adults who don’t suck at life. Click To Tweet

The truth is, we should spend less time trying to slay every bad thing that our kids may come in contact with and more time arming our kids with the life skills that they need to handle less-than-desirable times…

What do you do with feelings of unhappiness, sorrow, regret, pain, hurt, frustration?

Do you try to wash them away with just one more hit of dopamine?

Or do you sit with those feelings and work your way through them?

The truth is, no matter your age, there is no shortcut. The only way to successfully navigate big emotions is by taking the long way around…

When you feel unhappy you shouldn’t frantically search for the thing that erases the unhappiness…

After all, the biggest problem we face isn’t being unhappy…it’s thinking that we should never be unhappy.

Here’s the good news: To create a happier world, you don’t have to eradicate evil…

Afterall, there have been crappy people since the dawn of time.

The only thing we have to eradicate is the thought that being occasionally unhappy is a bad thing.

Here’s the thing…Lasting happiness will never come from an award or a new relationship or a killer pair of shoes. It has to come from within, and the only way to get there is by facing discomfort head-on and getting the help you need to feel your way through it.

As for how? I’ll leave you with these words, The Parenting Manifesto, from one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown:

Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and my actions: the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen and honoring vulnerability. We’ll share our stories of struggle and strength, there will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first, then with each other. I want you to know joy, so together we’ll learn how to be vulnerable.

Together we’ll cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead, I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly. I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you, truly, deeply seeing you.”

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The Parenting Manifesto by Brene Brown

Beautiful.

Want to learn how to cultivate joy that lasts even when things are less-than-happy?

Check out this article next, and make sure you subscribe to the LYM Tribe, where you learn to love YOU more and get the encouragement you need to find the joy in the midst of the chaos.

Now share this article and help somebody find the happy they need.

Wholeheartedly,

-alicia

P.S. If this is your first time here, let me just say that we’re so glad you stopped by! 

Make sure you check out this great content on SELF-CAREPARENTING, RELATIONSHIPS, and more. THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.

PSSST...Sorry to interrupt...But I've got to tell you something...

Hey, I'm Alicia and my heart beats to teach women to live wholehearted lives. I started LoveYOUmore in 2016 with the goal to teach women everywhere that it is never too late to change the story that you tell yourself or to the world.

That's why I made this Life Design Guidebook just for you.

So stop living in survival mode. You deserve more than that.

Let me help you today by giving you my 7 simple steps that yield big results...ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Sound good?