Do you hold back on happiness? If so, you need to read this…

Do you hold back on happiness? If so, you need to read this…

For a variety of reasons, some people struggle to allow themselves to enjoy positive emotions such as happiness.

Either they feel they don’t deserve it or they’ll jinx themselves and bring on bad luck or they believe it’s frivolous or … well, whatever the reason, there are ways to overcome these obstacles and feel more comfortable feeling more joy.

If that sounds of interest to you then keep reading …

via Psychology Today by Susan Krauss Whitbourne


  • People high in the personality trait known as “alexithymia” hold back unnecessarily on allowing themselves to feel good.
  • Adding to alexithymia, fear of happiness and fear of compassion further increase the risk of mental distress.
  • A three-step approach can help you become more compassionate toward yourself and better able to experience joy.
Digital works/Pixabay

Source: Digital works/Pixabay

It may seem obvious that feeling happy is a state that everyone ultimately desires. However, when you think about your own happiness, where do you think it comes from? How easily are you able to relax and enjoy yourself when you’re in a situation that should, theoretically, make you feel good?

According to new research by Bond University’s Michael Lyvers and colleagues (2022), the inability to experience happiness is part of a larger constellation of personality qualities referred to as “alexithymia,” a term identified by clinical psychologists that refers to difficulties tapping into your feelings and a thinking style in which you focus on experiences rather than inner thoughts.

People high in alexithymia, the Australian authors noted, don’t know how to cheer themselves up when they’re feeling down and may even be at risk for impulsive and self-destructive behaviors in an attempt to make the pain go away.

As noted in previous work by the University of Derby’s Paul Gilbert and colleagues (2012; 2014), people with the clinical syndrome that incorporates alexithymia have an underlying belief that they’re not worthy of compassion, including compassion from themselves. They, furthermore, “are dismissive of the prospect of happiness.” With their externally-oriented thinking style, they believe that they have to show how tough they are. Happiness, in other words, becomes a sign of weakness.

Where Does This Hold on Happiness Come From?

You might be able to identify with the alexithymia mindset regarding happiness if you think about how you’ve reacted to a recent positive event in your life. Perhaps you finally received recognition from a volunteer group you’re involved with…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE