Do You Fear Happiness?

According to a recent study, those of us who had unhappy childhoods are more likely to fear happiness.

The results also include some other factors and are not over a vast number of subjects, so take it all with a grain of salt. However, I can honestly say that I have felt this in the past, and I have heard other abuse survivors say something very similar:

Happiness is a highly coveted emotion that many of us build our lives around. But psychology research suggests that people can be afraid of happiness, a concept called aversion to happiness. Study author Mohsen Joshanloo describes it as “the belief that experiencing or expressing happiness can cause bad things to happen.”

How often, as children, did we decide to “fly under the radar” and not draw attention to something that brought us happiness because that just created a target? How many of us, as adults, still live with the fear that identifying something that makes us happy only invites someone to hurt us by taking it away? Even when there is no one there to take it, we live with that fear and don’t get too attached to anything.

My hope for all of us is to find a safe place to overcome that and enjoy the things that make us happy.


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