Happiness is overrated

Akash Nair M S
3 min readJul 8, 2020
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Over the last few months, I have been predominantly experiencing sadness, disgruntlement, anxiety, fear, annoyance, and almost all possible negative emotions.

Before the sympathies pour in, let me put a hard stop to it.

I don’t expect anyone to cheer me up, as I myself don’t want to. Not because I want to go down a rabbit hole and play the victim card, but it is out of a conscious effort to experience these emotions completely. Solely because I want to understand the root cause and build resilience.

In metallurgy, heat treatment is a common strengthening practice. Unless metals are exposed to high temperatures, the molecular structure won’t build resilience- the ability to recover quickly from impacts.

Does that mean I’m miserable and have sleepless nights?

Absolutely not!

I have a great family as my primary support system, and I am eternally grateful for everything I have been provided in life.

Initially, when I was experiencing these waves of negative emotions, I noticed a part of me trying to reach a “happy state”- to run away from the way I was feeling. Thankfully, I was quick to notice the pseudo happiness I was gunning for, and decided to abandon the pursuit of happiness; Will Smith may not be happy with that decision!

I realized it was disrespectful to the emotions that surfaced within me to be replaced with happiness. Since emotions are internal, obviously our thoughts and past experiences are its origins. Turning a blind eye to my negative emotions just to feel happy felt like “self-hate” to me. Ideally, I should be unbiased to all my emotions, and that is exactly what I did.

Rather than launching a manhunt for the happiness that escaped my mind, I invited my emotions for tea.

I tried to get to the root of why I was feeling this way and made an effort to understand the thought patterns that spurred these emotions in the first place.

During my pursuit of understanding the root cause of my feelings, I wondered:

What exactly is happiness?