Are You Afraid of Being Happy?

December 5, 2018
The fear of being happy doesn’t allow you to reach well-being. This self-sabotage comes from certain negative experiences.

It’s normal for people to have phobias. Most of us know someone who’s afraid of spiders or heights, for example. However, it’s not normal to be afraid of being happy. Being “repulsed” by happiness can be a serious problem for an individual’s health and well-being.

The fear of being happy stems from several things. An overly strict upbringing, too many responsibilities, or loneliness are some possible causes. In this article, we share some strategies to help you overcome this fear.

How to stop sabotaging your own happiness

1. Identify self-destructive habits

First of all, you should identify your self-destructive habits. These might be things that you do routinely or things you only do every once in a while that leave a lasting impact.

When you feel guilty or overwhelmed by a particular emotion, it can be helpful to take note of what situation caused the emotion. That way, after the moment has passed, you can revisit it and reformulate it. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be less likely that the same thing will come back to ruin a pleasant moment again.

A sad guy by himself.

2. Fighting against yourself feeds fear

Some people run away from tranquility as if it were a storm. They can’t understand the concept of a worry-free life. So if they don’t see anything to worry about now, they use binoculars to look for such things in the future.

They aren’t comfortable or familiar with peace, calm, or quiet. They only rest when they sleep at night. It’s like they’re always preparing from some big event.

In general, we’re talking about the kind of people who take the saying “prevention is the best medicine” to the extreme. They’re in a constant struggle to stay ahead of any potential danger, which is actually dangerous in and of itself. That’s because this way of living is like an endless attack on your health.

3. Avoid and reject limits

Sometimes we put limits on ourselves. One of them is not expressing what we think and feel. If you impose this rule on yourself and follow it, it’ll be very difficult for others to get to know you or help you.

What’s more, this lack of emotional expression doesn’t just have to do with negative emotions like anger or sadness. For many people, even positive emotions end up in straightjackets. They believe that letting their happiness show is basically a sin. In fact, this idea is the central theme of Umberto Eco’s best-known book, The Name of the Rose.

4. Enjoy your happiness

Something else that’s important to keep in mind is that happiness has very little to do with fairness. No matter how hard you work for something, you’ll still experience disappointment. On the other hand, sometimes life surprises you with unexpected joys that you feel like you don’t “deserve”. Thus, the most important thing is to enjoy whatever comes your way.

A happy girl in the country.

Why are you afraid of being happy?

Once you believe you can overcome this fear, try to figure out where it comes from. What things have been feeding this particular emotional state? Identifying them should be your primary goal.

1. Therapy is helpful for overcoming fear

Do you feel like this problem is a black hole that you can’t escape from? Do you feel worse every time you have a happy moment? If the answer is yes, getting help from a professional therapist can help you analyze the root of the problem more objectively. They can also help you find possible solutions.

Don’t feel embarrassed about asking for help. Would you feel embarrassed about going to the doctor for a physical problem? Remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

2. Get help from the people you love

Your family and friends are great support systems when you have problems. They can help find solutions, be a sounding board for your ideas, and give you a fresh perspective. Getting the opinions and genuine support from people who love you is a wonderful approach. As such, sharing your feelings with your friends or family is a great way to see your problems from a different point of view.

What’s more, having others’ support and opinions will keep you from feeling lonely. As such, you’ll be less likely to feel afraid of being happy. Not only that, but this kind of support tends to be reciprocal. If you ask for help, other people will probably ask you for help in return. As a result, you’ll build mutual support relationships that benefit everyone involved.

Schopenhauer, Arthur (2018). El arte de ser feliz. Disponible en: https://books.google.es/books?hl=es&lr=&id=7H1JDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT3&dq=miedo+a+ser+feliz&ots=wAUXF6GqKh&sig=gbENCQlJZP7yagkR26RPwR4Nbc8&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=miedo%20a%20ser%20feliz&f=false