Who’s Afraid of Unhappiness? | Psychology Today

Unhappiness feels threatening so we combat it with an arsenal of weapons. I think we would find it less threatening if we understood its evolutionary purpose


Unhappy chemicals promote survival in the state of nature. If you are a hungry gazelle, you would rather be eating than running from a lion. Cortisol has to feel very bad to get you to do what it takes to save your life. It works! You can thank your cortisol for getting you to take action when necessary to meet your needs.


But cortisol didn’t evolve for you to just sit there and be grateful for it. It evolved to give you the bad feeling that you will die if you don’t “do something, now!”