Why People Are Afraid to Be Happy
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Have you ever noticed it seems as if people go out of their way to be miserable? Someone once coined the phrase that “we are our own worst enemy”. It does not take much to notice that humanity is naturally oriented toward negativity. This just means that when they hear some new story on TV or read about it in the paper, their minds naturally assume the worst. It almost takes a great deal of personal growth, self-development, and a basic understanding of Psychology principles to reprogram our minds so as to focus on the positive aspects of life.
Taking the low road with little resistance
Another observation concerning humanity is that it is human nature to almost always choose the “path of least resistance”. This has to do with our careers, who we marry, and any other major decision that we are faced with in life. When it comes to work, we will pick the first job we can get or the one that requires the least amount of training. A side note on that latter is that it something comes that easy to us, it is likely our vocational calling anyway.
Choosing the path of least resistance also means we will choose the path that requires the least amount of effort, even when we are aware of the benefits of pushing through whatever obstacle stands in our way of achieving something we want. For example, when we are diagnosed with depression or some physical illness, we often just get the doctor to give us a prescription when all we need to do is make some simple lifestyle changes. After all, sickness is just our body’s way of telling us that our life is out of balance.
Other reasons why people are not happy
At times it almost seems as if people are afraid to be happy. Although it is obvious that most people do fear change. Since humanity is oriented toward negativity, it would take a great deal of change to learn to be happy. Human nature is also prone to have doubts. Therefore when we do think positive thoughts, we also have to overcome the doubts and actually believe that life is not as bad is it often seems. Like everything else, what starts out as difficult becomes habit over time and we can eventually do it like clockwork. We may have to find some new friends if our old ones give off too much negative energy. This may be a reason why some choose negativity. The law of attraction draws people together who are alike which also makes change hard if the emotional connections are too deep.
Learning to retrain our brains can make all the difference in the world
In the world of Psychology, there is an approach that is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is where we literally retrain our brains to think in a way that produces more positive thoughts. It has proven to be more successful than any medicine. The side effects of nearly all psychotropic medicines are difficult to deal with for many people anyway.
However many people do not choose this path because it is hard to challenge the beliefs you may have had ever since you were a child. This is especially true with regards to religious beliefs, especially if you were taught that if you did not believe the right things with regard to God that you were going to hell. This can lead to what has been dubbed the “Religious Trauma Syndrome”, or a type of spiritual/religious PTSD.
We search for happiness in things that don’t make us happy
Another reason we cannot seem to find happiness is because we look for things that we think make us happy but make us miserable when it is all said and done. For example we take a high paying job that we really hate because we bought into the illusion that money can buy happiness. Thus we do not pursue what we really want to do because we are afraid of being poor. The connection to be made here is that we need to take the time to get to know ourselves through a commitment to personal growth so that we can find ourselves and figure out what we really want out of life.
Aside from money, relationship is another avenue that most people struggle with. Many people who could have settled down with a spouse and children end up growing old alone because they failed to take a personal inventory in what they wanted in a mate. The result is that they end up going from relationship to relationship and become even more disillusioned and dissatisfied. You have to focus on your own self-development and figure out what you want in life before you can even begin to search for a life partner.
A few people try to find happiness through the pursuit of knowledge since there is truth that knowledge is power. Although knowledge is endless so if we try to find happiness here, we may become overwhelmed and frustrated. There is truth that the more we know, the more we realize we really do not know; especially since all the knowledge in the world is biased.
In closing, life is just as described in the United States Constitution; the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But in order to be happy at anything in life, we need to focus on our own self-development through personal growth and really get to know ourselves. The root cause of emotional problems, be it mental illness or addiction, is that we have a feeling of low self-worth and do not really love ourselves. Until we learn to love ourselves unconditionally, we will never be able to love another human being or enjoy anything that we do in life.
E Bishop Wooten