Myths About Happiness That Are Keeping Us Miserable

There are a few myths about happiness that are keeping us just plain miserable! In this video Dr. Russ Harris (one of our favorite podcast guests from episode #152), a leading expert in ACT therapy, shares three of the most common happiness myths. Here they are:

Myth #1 Happiness is the Natural State for Human Beings

The first myth goes that if all of our basic needs are being met (food, shelter, safety, connection), then happiness is the natural state for human beings. Imagine the internal struggle this creates when we feel anything other than happiness, and we're going to feel lots of emotions other than happiness because the reality of being human is that we experience an ever-changing flow of emotions.

Myth #2 Happiness Means Feeling Good

You can't be happy if you're feeling challenged, struggling, or frustrated. Think again. Many of us equate happiness with feeling good. But, true lasting happiness comes from leading a "rich, full and meaningful life." And, as we all know but often forget, building anything meaningful, like a relationship or a business, includes a host of pleasant (excitement, joy, contentment) and unpleasant (frustration, doubt) emotions.

Myth #3 If You're Not Happy, You're Defective

More and more, human nature is being pathologized, meaning we are treating many normal human experiences as abnormal or unhealthy. Part of being human includes hardship, loss, and challenges. Part of being human also includes ease, happiness, and connection. Being human includes experiencing a range of pleasant and unpleasant emotions that are constantly shifting and moving.


***If you'd like to learn some of the principles from ACT and other mindfulness-based therapies to navigate anxiety (and being human) with more ease, check out our upcoming Group Coaching Course.***