British textile designer, writer, artist and socialist, William Morris aptly penned down the mantra for a happy life: “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
By taking a genuine interest in all aspects of life, he meant making happiness happen in daily life. Sadly, in a materialistic society hell-bent on achieving the American dream, the degenerating social fabric has made Americans incapable of creating moments of happiness, which in turn, has multiplied their stress levels and frustration. Moreover, the fact that the U.S. has dropped to the 14th position, one spot down from its 2016 ranking in the global happiness index of 2017, is a clear signal that happiness is on its way to becoming a scarce commodity in America.
While on the one hand, grandiose dreams have helped individuals triumph, on the other, it has resulted in stirring up myriads of far-fetched delusory expectations. Constant failures coupled with feelings of incompetence, despair and dejection have, in fact, led millions of Americans to anxiety, depression and other mental health problems, which have taken a significant toll on the overall emotional health of the nation. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), reports that one in 25 adults in the U.S.— 9.8 million or 4 percent — experiences a serious mental health disorder in a given year that considerably interferes with one or more major life activities.
Sadly, most individuals fail to realize that little things such as moments of joy, delight and pleasure which may seem insignificant to many, can actually go a long way in boosting mental health. Experts suggest that no stone should be left unturned in making happiness happen in life. Even the faintest sparkle of glee should be encouraged to bloom into peals of laughter. In the wake of the pressing need to encourage Americans to express happiness nationwide, National Happiness Happens Day is observed each year on Aug. 8. So, this year, do a favor to yourself and let happiness happen, after all, it’s National Happiness Happens Day!
Mental health problems are still considered a taboo
Mental health ailments are an undisputed reality and more individuals struggle with them than one can imagine. These disorders manifest in the form of irregularities in thinking patterns, feelings or behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Research on mental health epidemiology shows that mental disorders are common throughout the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year, and that, overall, only about half of those affected receive treatment.”
Studies reveal that mental health disorders are prevalent in multiple forms, making it hard to establish how to treat them collectively with a single method. Many people grapple with a wide range of mental health symptoms but the complicated nature of these conditions stops them from sharing their plight due to the associated stigma and shame.
Leading a happy life
Emotional health is as important as physical health, which if left untreated may have devastating consequences. But there is hope as it can be treated with the intervention of a professional mental health expert. Psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are some of the time-tested approaches to treat mental health issues after a careful analysis of the underlying factors.
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