One of the most common reasons women seek counselling, support or a Life Coach is to ‘find happiness’.
While your definition of happiness is most likely different to mine, there can be no confusion that the happiness industry is booming with more than 22,000 books offering tips on how to secure this elusive emotion currently available on Amazon.
While you and I might agree that many emotions combine to create a feeling of happiness (think: self-esteem, joy, love and freedom to name a few), for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that all of these books have one thing in common, and that is, that genuine happiness, fulfilment and a meaningful life comes from within.
So, if we’re constantly searching for happiness or we’re working on our selves in order to change our thinking and behaviours to secure happiness, could we be inadvertently sabotaging our happiness and not even realise it?
In other words, are we already happy, and not even know it?
With that in mind, here are four reasons why you might be feeling unhappy:
1. You’re Focused On The Future and/or Past
In Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth he urges us to focus on the present moment as the key to a happy and content life, because the present is the only thing we genuinely have.
I like to think of it this way; the past has gone and can not be undone, changed or lived again. The future never arrives – only the next moment – because it is this moment that truly exists. Therefore if we are always looking ahead to the next task on our to-do list or anxiously searching for the finish line, we’ll be living in a constant state of unhappiness.
When we realise that this moment is all we have, we’re more likely to concentrate on making this moment the best it can be and our discontent about what we can not change or control fades.
2. You’re Attached To Your Expectations
Many of us have been raised with expectations of what life ‘should’ be. We’re surrounded by incredible instagram pictures, celebrity have-it-alls and our own internal standards that we’ve been programmed to believe we’re entitled to.
When our grand plans and expectations are not met, life throws us a curve ball or reality simply doesn’t live up to the expectations cultivated by the mind (aka ego), then we’re immediately disappointed, jealous, angry, resentful and disheartened.
The question is then, can you let go of your attachment to a particular outcome in order to love the life you are creating? Can you let go of your expectations of what ‘should’ be and embrace what the Universe has planned?
Note: I’m not advocating you shouldn’t try to create a dream life, instead, I’m suggesting you let go of your attachment to the outcome. Something better may be planned for you.
3. You Shop For Happiness
As many a self-help book will tell you, happiness is not something that can be bought. When we place value on the cute shoes, gorgeous house, fabulous holidays, hot cars and stylish gadgets in our quest for fulfilment and meaning, we naturally shift further away from the real source of happiness and joy that resides in our heart and soul. Essentially, the more goodies we want, the more we think we need, and the proverbial hamster on the wheel keeps running in its quest to buy happiness.
Just imagine if happiness came in a cute hardcover book and cost $19.99 on Amazon? What would we be searching for then?
4. You Think You’re Not Good Enough
If logically you know that happiness comes from within, I’d argue one of the biggest contributing factors to your unhappiness could be your belief that you simply don’t deserve to be happy.
Perhaps you don’t believe you’re good enough to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, or what you want from life, doesn’t want you therefore you’re life is ‘crap’?
In her book You Are Enough, Cassie Mendoza-Jones discusses how the shift to true self-acceptance – and therefore a happy, meaningful life – starts with knowing you are already enough, just the way you are.
Looking for tips and ways to reconnect with your inner source of happiness? Sign up to The Woman Rising Network below this post and receive our free eBook Reset & Renew featuring 24 practical tools to help you find your heart-driven path full of happiness.