4 Massive Roadblocks to Happiness and How You Can Get Around Them

4 Massive Roadblocks to Happiness and How You Can Get Around Them

There are many who believe that happiness is our natural state and that we're only unhappy because things get in the way…or because we let things get in the way. 

To be honest, I'm not sure I agree 100% with this because I'm not sure there is a natural state/emotion and even if there was, it would be different for everyone. 

That being said, I am 100% sure that most of us let things get in the way or our happiness and here at The Happiness Institute we spend much of our time helping people remove such things from their lives to allow more happiness in. 

This article, by Gregory Jantz from Psychology Today, takes a similar approach outlining 4 major roadblocks to happiness; take the time to address them and then enjoy the benefits…

A recent Harris poll revealed that only 33 percent of Americans are very happy. If happiness is a natural state of being, why is this number so low? What is keeping us from being happy? Below are four “happiness roadblocks” that might be inhibiting your bliss.

1. Unfulfilled Expectations

Whether we realize it or not, we all have an underlying set of expectations for life. We have expectations for ourselves: how we should act, how successful we should be. We have expectations for others: how they should act, how they should treat us. We also have expectations for life and how our days should unfold. Some of these expectations are fulfilled, and others are not. That’s life, plain and simple.

Having expectations is an important part of life that helps direct the course of our lives and relationships. If we didn’t expect ourselves to get up each morning and fulfill our responsibilities, there would likely be an increase of pizza deliveries and online movie streaming! Having expectations for how others should behave and treat us allows us to set boundaries and maintain healthy relationships.

Often, however, these beliefs about how ourselves, others, and life are supposed to be are so ingrained in us that the possibility of failing to meet said expectations is too much to bear. The problem lies in us attaching our personal happiness to the fulfillment of these expectations that are often out of our control, and the difficulty some of us have in accepting unfulfilled expectations. Releasing our tight grip on how we expect people to act and how life should unfold gives us the space to experience life as a journey. Loosening our expectations and control allows us to maintain equilibrium and happiness when things don’t go according to our plans.

2. Keeping Score

Actions speak louder than words, and your action of holding on to a grudge or a memory trumps any words you frame as forgiveness that you do not mean. This is not to suggest you are intentionally misleading someone into believing you have forgiven him or her. It means only that sometimes the expectation of forgiveness is so overwhelming that you do not give your underlying feelings the validations they need and deserve. As a result, the forgiveness you may want to give is held hostage by thoughts that won’t go away, and your actions may reflect your subconscious upset.

So how do you release yourself from the grip of thoughts tying you to a grudge? It can be a simple as observing the underlying thoughts and emotions, then choosing new thoughts that reinforce a happier, healthier state of mind. Here are a few examples of replacement thoughts:

  • This person’s actions toward me were not personal. They were simply acting out of their own insecurities and wounds.

  • Everyone is doing the best they can for where they are in their lives.

  • It is not worth the pain to keep thinking about it and dwelling on it.

  • Instead of focusing on their flaws, shortcomings and mistakes, what about this person do I admire and am grateful for?

Granted, these new thoughts may feel foreign to the language of self-talk you have become accustomed to expressing about this person. Thus, mindful attention is key—to what you’re thinking and what you want to think in the practical pursuit of genuine forgiveness…

…keep reading the full article HERE