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7 Things You Need to Look Out for When Trying to Experience Happiness

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happiness

Peak experiences. We all get excited about fulfilling our current craving be it planning a trip, being invited to a special party, finding the perfect shoe to wear or having our latest crush call for a date. This is not shallow. It’s fun and I’m all in. I love it all, but I am here to tell you true happiness is not about hitting the peak now and then.

It’s about maintaining the life’s peak experiences. Momentary fulfillment is fun but it is situational happiness. If this, then that. How do you feel when nothing special is happening? I’d like to address a happiness that lasts a lifetime. A default state of happiness and appreciation when it seems like nothing is happening.

You could say that what exists between peak experiences is the gap. How do we all feel about the gap? Dull? Uncertain? This is where true happiness is experienced. You could call it ease and peace and joy on a low simmer.

Happiness, like a bicep, needs to be worked on and once you have developed the strength of consistent well-being, it takes little effort to keep it strong. Without working on it, your happiness will be as flaccid as the muscles you don’t tend to. Sometimes it is easier to get at happiness by looking at what corrodes it.

Below are 7 things you need to look out for because of their ability to sabotage your happiness:

1. Our Emotions

Even though they appear to come out of nowhere, they don’t. We allow ourselves or others to stir them up inside of us until they take over our mood and, eventually, our life. If we don’t learn how to control our thoughts, our emotions will run over us and our dreams. Happiness is not an emotion, it is our home base only with lots of clutter on top of it.

Antidote: The clutter is our thoughts. Happiness demands we see things clearly.  Emotions are more like a cloudy cup we drink from. Thought precedes emotion. Learn to control your thoughts and the emotions will no longer run the show.

2. A Default Identity

We construct our world through what we say to ourselves and what we choose to accept from what others say to us. Untamed, our minds are reckless, random, and reactive. It doesn’t occur to us that we have control over our thoughts because we assume they are all true.

Even our beliefs are just thoughts we either never examined or thoughts we keep thinking. Yet one day, we choose to exercise control instead of reacting and find we do indeed have choice. Choosing happiness is equivalent to being free.

Antidote: Emotions come from thoughts and we can learn to control our thoughts. That is the happiness muscle at work. Off with the negative weight.

“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.” – Valerie Bertinelli

3. Living Conditionally

Much of our day to day happiness relies upon other people acting a certain way and conditions being “perfect” in the world according to us. Since we can’t control others, we should drop the “shoulds” and embrace the “coulds.” What could be? The mood of your life is at stake here.

Antidote: To get the shoes, or the Rolex, or the house on the hill is a short-term thrill. The shoes will get scuffed and out of date, the Rolex may get stolen, and maintaining the unreliable notion of perfection will make you uptight. Happiness lives between your ears. To live unconditionally is to choose happiness over your “shoulds” and other people’s opinions and actions.

4. Being In Control

That you can exercise control over others is a myth. Even if they seem to go along on the outside, you don’t have control over their thoughts and feelings. You’ve got to give up trying to control other people. They are not animals to be tamed.

The only control I recommend is taking control of your thoughts and therefore, your perspective. We try to control people out of our own insecurity. Insecurity is also a thought. Control is too small a pen to play in.

Antidote: Catch yourself when you want to exert control over another. No one has successfully changed anyone else. Don’t threaten or pout when things don’t go your way. When you take responsibility for your mood, life will be sweet.

5. Judging

It is not possible to be happy when you are judging yourself or another. Happiness requires equilibrium. Judging keeps you off balance. It is a signal of seeing yourself or another as superior or inferior.

Judging is the product of a foolish ego who likes a short lived win until the next “challenge” to itself comes along. Happiness doesn’t come from comparison any more than it comes from being taller or shorter than someone.

Antidote: Change the thought. Silently wish them (or you) well and compliment them in your mind and move on.

“Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.” – Wayne Dyer

6. Complaining

Most of us regurgitate the same complaints to our friends, therapists, and bartender. Our lives seem to revolve around a few complaints. Think of it this way: Inside every complaint is a request. The complaint is asking you what you really want? Focus on the positive action or your complaints may come to define you.

Antidote: Get up and get out. Put your attention on creating something new. You can’t have a fulfilling life through an unfulfilled journey.

7. Being Right

This certainly is the booby prize and a lonely place. The ego loves little wins, acknowledgement from others, but there is generally little peace to be had in such an interaction. I would love to convince my husband of the value of a certain program I listen to. He wants none of it. While I would love to share it with him and see him grow from it, he has said “no.” I respect that. What’s “right” for me may not appeal to you.

Antidote: Allow things to be this way and that way. They usually are. No one is in this world to live up to your expectations, and for sure, you won’t live up to theirs!

There is no gym for happiness outside of you. By divesting yourself of the automatic reactions you have to things, you will come to realize that a change in attitude, moving a few thoughts around is all that is required. Only by exploring what is driving the negative into our lives, dropping the drama, the funk, and beliefs that don’t serve us will we free ourselves to be filled with joy.

Joy is the outcome of the happiness muscle workout. Flex that muscle wherever you go. It’s stunning and contagious.  

Which one of the above 7 things do you need to work on most in order to enjoy a more fulfilling and happy life? Let us know below!

Known throughout her career as the happiness expert, Nanci Sherman was raised in New York City and earned a B.S in Journalism and Communications at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Nanci revolutionized the industry and consulted on leadership and motivation on three continents. Nanci raises the bar on happiness. Her personal quest has been "How do I live an extraordinary life?" Nanci studied with some of the greatest experts in the field of self-development and personal growth. She synthesized their teachings, expanded upon them, and translated this into her work success and life. You could say she is “terminally” happy and wants to pass that recipe for joy onto you. You will find her enthusiasm to be infectious, and her insights to be profound. She is a Happiness and Leadership Coach, Hotel Revolutionary and an established Author.

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Life

Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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Life

5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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Life

3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling

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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Life

Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.

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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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