By Munandalu Monze
HAPPINESS IS FEARFUL -2
The Writer of this segment, Psychology with Muna is a certified counselor specialized in family, relationships and general life coaching.
Experiencing anxiety at the thought of going to a joyful social gathering, rejecting opportunities that could lead to positive life changes due to fear that something bad will happen, or it might be refusal to participate in activities that most would call fun. Such is the life of a person who is afraid to be happy.
The causes of Cherophobia can be attributed to such things as cultural background and belief systems for example that happiness will cause bad things to happen. For others, the fear is linked to depression. On the other hand my focus is trauma as a cause of the fear to be happy.
The fact that our brain is hardwired to focus on the negative rather than the positive also comes into play. People who are afraid of happiness are most likely to have had a life event(s) in which a happy time was followed by a negative or upsetting event. In such moments, a person’s perception is altered to remember only the bad thing that happened after a happy time rather than the joyful experience itself.
Negative and painful events, either physical or emotional often create such a strong memory that over shadow other important or happy times. When these strong emotional memories develop or are linked to disappointment or pain, it leads to people avoiding opportunities for happiness due to the fear that something bad is around the corner.
How can one then enjoy being happy? Mindfulness and thought pattern change are the best ways to deal with this fear of happiness. One must learn to disconnect events, that is to say, the painful event is separate from the positive event- the two different feelings are not as a result of the same event, and when it comes to thoughts to think and know that happiness is not bad or sin, yet it is actually a blessing to humanity.