Well-Being//

5 Mindsets That Make It Impossible to Be Happy (Even When Good Things Happen)

Happiness is less about your circumstances and more about your mindset.

 pinstock/Getty Images 

As a therapist, I often work with people who are struggling to deal with tragic circumstances or traumatic events. But, I’ve also worked with many individuals who struggled to feel good even when good things happened to them. For one reason or another, they just couldn’t allow themselves to be happy.

Whether they couldn’t celebrate a promotion or their good fortune created more anxiety, they couldn’t accept joy. And often, they asked questions like, “Why can’t I just be happy now that I got what I wanted?”

It wasn’t their situations making them unhappy–it was their mindsets. I’ve discovered there are five common beliefs that cause people to feel bad even when good things happen.

1. Whenever something good happens, something bad follows.

Have you ever come into good fortune only to think you’re going to get hit by a bus at any minute? It’s impossible to revel in your joy if you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But many people insist it’s not possible for good things to happen without something bad happening too. Waiting for something bad to happen is anxiety-provoking, yet many individuals fully expect something is going to rob them of their good fortune at any given second.

2. I don’t deserve this.

It’s hard to celebrate your success when you feel unworthy of your achievement. Perhaps, you inherited some money or maybe you’ve started a new relationship that feels just too good to be true.

Or maybe, you think your boss overestimated your abilities when you got that promotion. No matter the reasons, thinking you don’t deserve to be happy will certainly prevent you from embracing joy.

3. This won’t last.

The more you have, the more you have to lose. So whether you’re worried your financial luck is about to run out or you think your business success is waning, assuming your good fortune can’t possibly last will make you worry so much about the future that you can’t enjoy the present.

This mindset can easily turn your dream into a nightmare. After all, who wants to revel in their glory when they expect the rug to be pulled out from under them at any second?

4. It’s not as good as I expected.

Thinking that you’ll have more friends when you lose weight, or expecting that people will respect you when you get a promotion, can lead to disappointment. Reaching a goal might not necessarily solve the problems you wanted to fix.

Unrealistic expectations about how good you’ll feel when something good happens, can lead to unhappiness. It’s important to enjoy your success while also recognizing that positive events won’t cure everything.

5. It’s not enough.

No matter what you’ve been given, or what you’ve earned, many individuals fall into the trap of believing they need just a little bit more.

If I just had a little bit more money, I could relax. If I just got to the next rung of the corporate ladder I’d be successful. The “it’s not enough” mentality will prevent you from savoring the moment.

How to Change Your Mindset

If you’ve caught yourself struggling to accept joy when something good happens, change your mindset. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s OK to be happy with what you have right now.

There’s no need to postpone your happiness. Celebrate your accomplishments, revel in joyful circumstances, and embrace bliss whenever you can.

Originally published at www.inc.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.