I’ve seen themes in my practice around people being afraid to be happy.
Many people only allow themselves to experience happiness for a short period of time because when they achieve happiness it feels uncomfortable. It’s almost as if they’ve been programmed since childhood to feel like something bad is going to happen every time they relax and enjoy life.
The two emotions that human beings feel much more easily are feeling neutral and feeling bad.
We are extremely good at suffering and we’re good at feeling bad. Think about it, how much time do you spend worrying? That’s why we use addictions like food, sex, shopping and alcohol.
We use these addictions to numb ourselves.
The fear of being happy comes from past experiences. If you were ever really happy and the rug was ripped from under you, that may teach you to not be happy because you assume when you’re happy, you’re also vulnerable to getting hurt. Happiness somehow feels unsafe.
Even people who haven’t had a traumatic childhood and enjoyed a normal childhood have such memories. Think about when you were a kid and it was pure bliss riding your bike and all of a sudden you hit a pothole and went flying over your bike. Or think of the little messages your parents gave you. You’re happy one minute, playing in your room and then your mom storms in and yells at you for something that you did yesterday.
We want happiness, but it can feel uncomfortable. We actually feel quite vulnerable when we are happy and it’s feels more comfortable to strive for this happiness than to actually be there.
When you find yourself happy or content enjoying simple things like sitting by the lake and dancing, notice what happens.
These moments when you’re calm, content and actually happy, usually on last five minutes. Your subconscious mind and the part of you that gets a little uncomfortable when you are relaxed and content, may start thinking about something negative or even give you a headache. Most people will start worrying about something before they know it.
Spend some time doing the following:
-Learning the root cause of your unhappiness
-Practice being happy for long periods (observe if you start worrying about something and then reconnect to the feeling)
-Breathe and connect with your body in those moments when you feel at ease
-Sit with this positive energy that you feel and intentionally heighten it
This may sound shocking, but at the core of this subconscious fear of happiness is also a subconscious belief about deservedness and worth. Almost all of us subconsciously feel we are worthless and don’t deserve happiness.
And it’s everywhere. It doesn’t matter how successful you are. The driven people are just as afraid of happiness, they use work to find their worth.
But once you get to the core and heal the past. Forgive yourself and those who have hurt you. You will find self-love and acceptance. Only after you feel that you deserve to be happy, can actually feel happy for long periods of time. Until you heal, the happiness you are striving for will only last five minutes because you’ll ruin it.
Learn to love yourself, it’s the key to being happy.