The Happiness Trap

Humans are wired to want happiness, but for a lot of people it feels out of reach.

+ If only my husband/friend/sibling/parent/children would____, then I would be happy.

+ If only I could move into a different neighborhood or house, then I would be happy.

+ If only I could make ________ a year, then I would be happy.

+ If only I looked like ______, then I would be happy.

This is “the happiness trap”, and sometimes I find myself there, too.  Here's the thing—Happiness is a fleeting feeling, and when we’re attached to feeling it, we will forever find ourselves searching for it. We search for it through the next person, place, thing, or mental storyline.  Sound exhausting?  It is!

Ok, so then why do we all search for happiness like our life depends on it?

“When we are attached to happiness, we are eager for our next happy “fix.”  Subconsciously, we resist and reject those life experiences that cause us any degree of sadness, anger, or pain.  Ask yourself: Is this a realistic way to live, only wanting a life of rainbows and sprinkles?” — Dr. Shefali

We are so afraid of negative feelings that we desperately search for people, places, things, or mental storylines to make us happy.

It isn’t until we learn to look inward, heal, and truly be happy with ourselves that we can experience true authentic happiness and joy—unattached to things on the outside.

Here are some journal questions for you:

  • What are you attached to right now that you think will make you happy?
  • How might it feel to shed that attachment?


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