|Photo from flickr user mindfulness|
Ask yourself, what is it about feeling happy that makes you hesitate? WHAT are you afraid of? There are 3 fears and negative thought patterns that cause people to not allow themselves to be happy. Here they are with advice on how to overcome them:
1. Fear of disappointment and being unhappy again
You are scared that the disappointment from losing that happiness will be worse than never having it at all. This is flawed thinking, because there will always be ups and downs in life, and there is never a guarantee that something will not bring you down again.
Everybody has highs and lows in their lives. It's just how things are. View the lows as a gift- without experiencing them, how could you appreciate happiness? Letting the fact that life has it's ups and downs stop you from feeling happiness means robbing yourself of many meaningful experiences.
Not only that, but you are actually making it much harder for yourself to cope with the lows. Happiness and positivity give you energy. This energy can be a tremendous help in coping with any situation. It gives you emotional strength and resilience.
Remind yourself that life has no guarantees, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't live it. As long as you keep looking forward and focusing on the positive, you will be fine.
2. Fear of standing still
You want to progress further in life and you feel like letting yourself feel happy now, despite still not having achieved all your goals, is the equivalent of giving up. But nobody can thrive on constant dissatisfaction or always feeling neutral. Without positivity, you will eventually run out of energy and motivation.
Even though you are not as far along the road as you'd like, there is no reason why you still can't stop once in a while to smell the roses. In the end, you may find that it will motivate you more than you could've imagined.
Remind yourself that even a little bit of positive emotion will help you move forward and drive you to seek more of what generated it. Being happy now gives you more motivation to seek more of that which made you feel happy and further improve your life.
3. Feeling that you don't deserve it
You may think, for whatever reason, that you don't deserve to be happy. It might be because of some past guilt you haven't gotten over, or perhaps you have low self-esteem. Those are separate, long-term problems you need to solve for your general well-being, but that doesn't mean you can't feel happy now. The key is changing your attitude towards happiness.
Instead of viewing feeling happy as something you need to earn, view it as a gift that EVERYBODY deserves to feel in their life. If there is a reason to feel it, you should. If not for any other reason, than to be grateful. If you aren't happy about the good moments life has given you, you are wasting them. You can't give them to someone else, so at least enjoy and appreciate them.