When Something Bad Happens, We Should Be Allowed To Have Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Happiness and India
Happiness is a state. You can therefore move in and out of out anytime.

By Saumya Tiwari

We all aspire to achieve the ultimate state of happiness. What else do you think tons of self-help books rely on?

New YouTube channels surface every week and teach us how to find happiness in our everyday chores. Motivational speaking has become a well renowned profession now.

Happiness and India
Happiness is a state. You can therefore move in and out of out anytime.

While all this sounds great and uplifts our moods whenever we’re feeling down, there is a Danish professor who recently said something which got us thinking a tad too much.

Dark Side of Happiness 

Sadness is fine
Being sad is fine too.

Svend Brinkmann, a psychology professor at Denmark’s Aalborg University says happiness is simply not the appropriate response to many situations in life. And we cannot help but agree.

No matter how motivated you keep yourself, there are bound to be instances where you will not be at your best. And if you are a regular viewer of these YouTube channels, not being happy would come out as a problem to you, other than the problem you’re already facing, obviously.

Two sides of a coin

The professor goes on say, “I believe our thoughts and emotions should mirror the world. When something bad happens, we should be allowed to have negative thoughts and feelings about it because that’s how we understand the world”.

We are always taught how nothing lasts forever and happiness is followed by sorrow and so on. Then why is there so much pressure to remain happy all the time? Why can’t we let a person remain sad cause he has a genuine reason to feel so?

Happiness and sorrow are cyclical, and if one has to be happy s/he must have experienced sorrow.

Does sadness do any good?

Of course it does.

How can a person experience bliss if s/he doesn’t know what sorrow feels like? To reach the extreme high of your life, your must have experienced the extreme low.

Sometimes it might act as a major set-back, or sometimes it might give you the much-required push, but either way, you won’t be compelled to remain happy even if you don’t feel so.

What about faking happiness?

Do not fake happiness
It is always important that you stay true to your feelings.

Brinkman, the author of Danish bestseller Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze says, “Faking happiness can leave us emotionally stunned”.

There is nothing wrong with people who are naturally optimistic, problem is with those who try to fake it. There are tragic times in everyone’s life where faking happiness would do more bad than good. Instead of faking happiness, better alternative would be to share the pain with close ones and relieve your emotional stress.


Happiness and sorrow are both part of our lives. One must try and see positive side of things rather than wasting energy on loathe and anger.

At the same time, negative emotions are an equally important part of our lives and there should be no shame in experiencing them.

Happiness should be seen as an abstract state and not a burden which is tied to us. In the end, it is all about making life meaning while keeping ourselves at peace.

Image Credits: Google Images

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