What Does Happiness Mean To You?

May 30, 2024 | Blogs, Mental Health

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Popular ideas about happiness can make you very unhappy if you take them too literally. These are 3 commonly held beliefs that limit many of my clients at Canada Career Counselling hold to be true.

1. Happiness is our natural state

Many of my clients believe that happiness is our natural state as human beings. The reality is that our natural state is an ever-changing state of emotions. Like the weather system, where it’s naturally cold in winter months and hotter in the summer, we are constantly navigating various emotions throughout moments in our day, months, and years of our lives.

2. Happiness means feeling good

Most people think that happiness should be a lasting feeling of pleasure, but this notion isn’t aligned with the human condition. How long can “feeling good” last for you before there’s anxiety, irritation, disappointment, or boredom? It’s inevitable that you’ll feel other things, as long as you’re living life.

Happiness is about living a rich, full, and meaningful life in which you feel the whole rainbow of emotions. When relationships are going well, they feel good, but all relationships come with a certain level of conflict and challenge. Happiness can come from a plethora of channels, like taking care of your body, having a family, or doing work where you’re contributing your talents and skills to the world.

3. You’re defective if you’re not happy

A lot of clients who seek out counselling think that being anxious is wrong and sometimes think they need treatment every time they are sad. It’s human nature to feel uncomfortable feelings and should not be pathologized. Life is hard and challenging. Not always, but a lot of the time it is. It is normal to feel bad at times but of course, certain mental health issues require medication and should be considered and discussed with your healthcare practitioner.


  • Laura Cohen

    Written by Laura Cohen, a Career Counsellor and Registered Counselling Therapist at Canada Career Counselling – Halifax. Laura is experienced working with clients in numerous industries including finance, the military, business, education, non-profit, arts, IT, and healthcare. She completed her MA in Counselling Psychology at McGill University. If you’d like to connect with Laura, email [email protected] to schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation. You may be able to use your insurance plan or extended health benefits to cover counselling and assessment fees.

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