I cannot remember the last time I was happy. I have felt excited, satisfied, motivated, and more over the years but I don’t remember what being happy feels like.
I’ve come to accept that I’m not a happy person, but recently I came across and article that says humans weren’t designed to be happy. So perhaps my inherent unhappiness is not as much of a flaw as I thought.
In the article, Rafael Euba who is a consultant and senior lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London writes that humans are “designed primarily to survive and reproduce”.
“A state of contentment is discouraged by nature because it would lower our guard against possible threats to our survival,” he continues.
Apparently, “happiness is a human construct”. Our emotions aren’t as simple or as one-dimensional as that.
Euba writes, “Our emotions are mixed and impure, messy, tangled and at times contradictory, like everything else in our lives.”
I have no single word that can describe what I feel when I stroke my dog as he sleeps, curled up in his bed. No single word to explain how I feel when my mom talks about how I need to eat better.
Euba also writes: “Research has shown that positive and negative emotions and affects can coexist in the brain relatively independently of each other.”
Perhaps unhappiness and other negative emotions has its place in our survival.