Feeling Good Isn’t Always Good

If the purpose of mental health is “feeling good,” as many insist — then the proper standard of life should be: If it feels good, do it. But unless you are supremely rational, you might sometimes FEEL like doing something that isn’t objectively good for you. In fact, you might feel like doing it while knowing full well it’s harmful for you. Often, what feels good right now isn’t good for us five minutes, or five years, from now.

If, as I maintain, the purpose of mental health is checking your assumptions, to see if they’re valid — well, you won’t always feel good about what you discover. But you will discover sound logic and perspectives, which will serve you well five minutes from now, as well as five years from now.

Before seeking help–from a professional, or in any other context–make sure you question the assumption that “feeling better” is the most desired outcome.