Happiness includes sadness. Happiness is not about avoiding unhappiness. It is about experiencing the full range of emotions and being able to still feel good about the present and the immediate future. As we try to advance and grow as humans, we try to make our lives as simple and comfortable as we can. We don’t want to be too cold, so we build heaters in our houses. We don’t want to get too hot, so we add air conditioners and fans. We don’t want to be hungry, so we build farms, systems, and industries to ensure we never lack food. This drive to become more comfortable encompasses our emotions as well. Just as we don’t want to feel cold, we don’t want to feel sad, or scared, or rejected. So we invent all kinds of ways not to feel those negative emotions. We even go so far as to try to hide them or dampen them with drugs, alcohol, or food. The problem is, when we dampen the negative emotions, we also dampen the good emotions. Just as feeling comfortable at 72 degrees is hard to appreciate if you have never been freezing cold, feeling happy is much harder to recognize and appreciate if you have never felt sad. Happiness comes from experiencing life and emotion, not from avoiding it.
Embrace and feel all of your emotions, including sadness. Feeling deeply helps us feel alive and involved in life. Experience sadness and you will be happier.