3 REASONS YOU DON’T FEEL HAPPY
Do you ever feel that happiness and contentment have alluded you?
If so, then this is definitely the post for you!
Here are the 3 most common reasons you don’t feel happy and contented.
1. Whatever you resist persists – You block, ignore or deny your negative thoughts, feeling and emotions.
This is easy to do, and a very common habit we all get into. I mean who wants to feel sad, lonely, angry, disappointed. Surely its better to just ignore that thought or feeling and get on with doing something else that will ‘take our mind of it’?! Unfortunately though, whatever we resist, persists. The longer you block those negative feelings, the bigger they become, and the more they hang around.
Also, by blocking negative emotions, we are also blocking positive emotions, because we can’t only express the good stuff. We are not machines, we simply don’t function like that. Blocked emotions can lead to OCD, anxiety, depression, insomnia and so the list goes on.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is acknowledge all our emotions, and when suitable express them. An acknowledged thought, feeling or emotion will pass much quicker than a blocked one. So next time you feel sad, angry, disappointed, lonely, etc, acknowledge that emotion. Say to yourself ‘I notice a thought / feeling of …..’, this will then allow your brain to decide if this is a true emotion, or just a word. If it’s just a word, it’ll pass and you’re brain will get busy generating other words for you to associate with (and more than likely more positive ones). And if it’s a true emotion that is relevant to your reality, then it will linger and you will realise you need to give yourself space to lean into the discomfort and feel / express that emotion. The sooner you express it, the quicker it will pass.
So if whatever you resist persists, then whatever you express will process.
2. TV Escapism – You have adopted socially acceptable numbing behaviours, i.e watching TV.
Some escapism is good for us but not when it means we avoid reality, and avoid having a relationship with ourself.
Watching hours of TV has become a socially acceptable way of spending your free time, and evenings. However, watching TV can also become a very automatic habit, the thing we do when we get home regardless of who we are feeling or what else we might like to do. TV is a great alternative to chores I grant you, but how many of us put on the TV for some downtime, without having spent any time that day checking in with ourselves about how we are truly feeling? Most people put on the TV to actively avoid having to think about how they feel. It’s a great distraction.
So next time you reach for the remote, I urge you to instead say to yourself that first you will just sit quietly for just 2 minutes by yourself, and ask yourself who you are, and how you are feeling. You might be surprised by who you meet – You. And if the thought of who you might meet scares you, then A) that tells you something about the strength of your relationship with yourself, and B) your reward can then be to turn on the TV and be entertained by someone else.
Little by little, getting to know yourself is essential in finding and achieving happiness and contentment, otherwise you are relying on others for this, and that is not sustainable, nor is it fair on them.
3. Silo living – You have split your life and the people in it into silos, or compartments in order to feel in control.
Many of us define ourselves by the roles in our life; wife, mother, daughter, job, friend, sister etc. And for some this means that each role requires a slightly different version of you. This is understandable if we are looking at skills required and used in each ‘role’, (you don’t need to parent your work colleagues, and you don’t need to prepare presentations to your kids, or at least hopefully not!).
However, what if you are a slightly different version of you in each role?
What if each friend gets a slightly different version of you?
What if all the people in your life are separate?
Do you have friends who you don’t mix with each other, and family and friends you don’t mix, and family and work you don’t mix?
If the thought of that is uncomfortable because the focus in that situation would be on you, then perhaps you live your life in silo’s. Where each group or individual gets their own silo or compartment, and you are who you feel you need to be when with those people, and you’ll be a slightly altered version of you if with a different person or group?
I call this silo living. It’s not about the skills required in each situation, it’s about who you are in each situation.
The challenge each of us faces in life is confidence. Confidence is about knowing who you are, and being true to that person in each and every situation, regardless of your relationship to the other people.
The best way to combat silo living is to know your values. Once you know what you stand for, you can attribute those values to each and every situation.
Because, until you live your life as one person, and see all aspects of your life as one life, you can never find happiness and contentment. Save for the odd fleeting moment, happiness and contentment will always elude you.
How to solve all three issues?
1. Compassion – show yourself compassion by allowing yourself to acknowledge your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Whatever you express will process.
2. Connection – give yourself a couple of minutes each day to just check in and connect with who you are.
3. Courage – know your values. Once you have these defined they will help provide you with the foundation that will become about having the courage to be one version of you, and this will create and boost your confidence.
Is it really possible to achieve sustainable happiness and contentment? Yes.
Is it easy? Not always.
As long as you are being authentic with yourself about who you are, how you’re behaving and how you are feeling then happiness and contentment will be the natural result.
Remember, THINK, FEEL, BEHAVE with Compassion, Connection and Courage!
Wishing you a happy and contented day!