When happiness feels bad
By Jenny Helms
Although millions of people search endlessly and spend copious amounts of money searching for the key to “happiness”, some people find happiness to be a really anxiety-provoking emotion. This is because happiness is an extremely vulnerable emotion. As people review their lives in their head they start to think, “Life is good right now…the family is good right now…the job is good right now… I feel happy… But what bad thing will happen next? When will the next shoe drop?”
These fears can make happiness and joy a really bothersome emotion. Some people even stifle their happiness with hopes of not feeling too hurt when bad things do happen. This is especially true for people who have suffered through a lot of unprocessed chaos and trauma — their brain’s start to rewire to think, “How can I protect myself? FEAR and NUMBING, that’s the trick!" (although when we numb painful emotions, the happy/joyful ones get numbed too). However, stifling our joy or happiness does not make the messy or sad parts of life any more tolerable, better, or easier to endure — it just kills our ability to really soak in our happiness.