I know, what a bummer of a headline. But it is true.
You see a lot of self-development quotes around happiness being a choice, a frame of mind and something you need to work at.
And it is very true. But why is it true and why are we not just naturally happy as a species?
Our evolution is the key.
As we developed as a species, we needed to survive long enough to have children and protect those children until they have children and therefore our species will continue.
Happiness is not part of survival. Happiness is part of living and is about how you live your life, the choices we make, the things that we do and our perspective on things.
Survival is based on evolving responses to threats. And we have developed some really good ones over the years of human existence.
In order to survive, we need to be vigilant to threats, learn how to deal with these threats – fight, flight or freeze and then move on in life accordingly.
The problem with these learned ways of responding, is that they can stay with you throughout your life regardless of whether they are needed or not.
When you experienced a perceived threat as a child, you acted in a certain way to protect yourself. As you couldn’t run or fight as a child, you likely froze and as you got older, learnt to fight or run away.
Sometimes, as a child you may not have been able to un-freeze, you were not made to feel safe and let go of the fear. As an adult this freezing mechanism can still be with you and you deal will a perceived threat by freezing again.
You feel as though those threats are a matter of survival and do not know how to manage them. You are stuck in your childhood ‘unfinished business’.
What this may look like is anxiety for no apparent reason or getting depressed as you are unable to deal with situations and things just keep mounting up. You keep reverting to what you have learnt and those issues have never been resolved for you.
It can also lead you to keep making the same choices to come back to what you have learnt. The only way you know how to live is by surviving and your mind and body have developed a need for the familiar, so you create the familiar in order to feel ‘normal’.
Keeping you in a very negative cycle.
Being happy is not just about thinking differently and focusing on the positives. You need to understand where you come from, what subconscious choices you make and what is your default for dealing with your perceived threats. What is your ‘normal’ that makes you feel safe and secure, but is actually causing you hurt and pain.
You need to know how to survive, but you can learn to be happy.
Being afraid led to the survival of our species. Being happy is a choice.
Do you notice that you may have some unfinished business of your own? If so, please get in touch and we can look at how to resolve these issues and allow you to make happiness your choice.
Click on the contact button or call 07709 350019.
Be good to yourself