Is It Normal Not to Feel Happy?

Dr. Nadia Buhannad

Usually, people are asked whether they feel happy or not, and the answer to this question differs from one person to another; it even differs throughout a single day. In fact, a person’s answer to this question might change depending on his mood which is affected by the situations this person experiences. For instance, you might be happy and thrilled in the morning while working or hanging out with your friends but once you are home, you start feeling lonely and miserable. Another person may wake up with negative and aversive ideas running through his mind, especially when he remembers he needs to go to work, the same person might feel satisfied and happy as soon as he is on his own. Thus, because happiness is a general feeling that is sought out by most people its causes differ from one person to the other.

When it comes to defining happiness, people have different views, as some of them think that happiness is about collecting and saving money, others say it is about enjoying life through money, while others see that happiness takes the form of success and accomplishments. To some extent, this is similar to Aristotle’s definition of happiness, which he divided into five elements: physical health, money, achieving goals, sanity and a good reputation among people. And from his side, Plato said that besides virtues and morals, a person needs to abandon life’s whims and desires to complete his happiness. In addition, in psychology, happiness means having good mental health represented by the balance between the emotional side; through having a moderate temper; and the cognitive, meditative side represented by reaching a sense of satisfaction.

So, is happiness a natural state for people? And does the availability of food, drink, money and love mean happiness? And what about the continuous change of feelings and emotions from one moment to the other, one day to the next, and even during the seasons of the year? Accordingly, happiness is not a continuous natural state.

Is happiness the state of feeling satisfied and content as some people see it? Well, this is true but temporary because satisfaction and contentment are also not continuous.

This leads us to the following question: Does unhappiness mean that there is a problem or that something is wrong? Actually, all the feelings we experience are normal and a part of the human personality, created by God with its mixture of happiness and misery feelings. Therefore, when you experience happy and sad feelings at different times, this means that you are a normal person. So, trying to become happy means putting yourself under pressures that would make you more miserable. In sum, accept what is beyond your control and work at your own pace in order to make your life better and more valuable, which is actually the gate to happiness.


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