What Is Happiness? Isn’t Just OK Enough?

Instagram – @elinesyrdalen


The word “happiness” kind of annoys the shit out of me. In the US they even made a TV commercial for AT&T ending with “just ok, is not ok.”

Social media, television, and magazines are constantly telling us that our lives should contain nothing but constant happiness. Today’s society shows no signs that it is ok to just be ok, and that it’s also ok to have a bad day sometimes. Society today makes young people strive after happiness and the perfect life because that’s what our brains constantly get fueled with.

The other day I was talking to an old friend. She told me, “Eline, you know you are in some ways responsible for the pressure young people get exposed to today?” That question bothered me. I have always taken for granted that everyone understands that what I put up and share on social media is a polished picture of my everyday life. My life is not perfect, not even close. I think the truth is that no-one has a perfect life, or a perfect family or a perfect relationship. Everyone fights their own battles in their own lives, most of us don’t share them with the world. Most of us only share the sunny days, and it’s easy to assume that everyone else’s life is better than your own, just because of the pictures we see all over social media.

I think we’ve all been there, scrolling down our Instagram, thinking that our own life is shit, while it seems like everyone else is constantly happy. Including myself. This is also why I’ve been taking a break from Instagram; it feels good to take a break once in a while. I think it’s super important to remind ourselves that social media usually doesn’t reflect reality — rather, it tends to show a super polished picture of people’s lives. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and stop judging people we don’t know just through their Instagram. We need to focus on ourselves and be happy with what we have right in front of us.

Society makes us feel like we need to look a certain way to be happy or accepted. When we get there, we will be “happy.” I think the truth is that no job, six-pack, or money will make you happier. Happiness starts with you, and you are responsible for your own happiness. As long as we do our best, that is good enough. I remember one model colleague I was working with told me this, “when I was my skinniest and had a six-pack, I was my most miserable.” Remember this next time you see a model and think that her life is so easy, and she is lucky to look that way. Looking skinny and ripped doesn’t always mean being healthy. We all have different bodies. Healthy comes in all different shapes and sizes. Do not compare yourselves with anyone, only compare you with you. Being ok is more than good enough, and when happiness comes, embrace it!

Finding your passion is happiness, drinking a cup of coffee with a good friend is happiness. At least for me, the genuine things and the genuine people in my life are what truly makes me happy. I have found my passion, nature. Nature is where I feel most alive, the most connected. Whenever I go through something difficult, nature is my medicine.

I think happiness comes in small doses, and we can’t expect life to only serve us happiness. That is not realistic. If we always strive after it, I don’t think we will ever find it. Being happy in general is a good thing, but we need to accept that life is like a roller coaster. The sun doesn’t always shine, it will rain and it will be stormy, but after rain comes to the sun again and that’s kind of the beauty of life.

Wearing – dress – Urban outfitters – Sandals – Hermes – Sunnies – Oliver peoples

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