A recent Harris poll
revealed that only 33 percent of Americans are very happy. If happiness
is a natural state
of being, why is this number so low? What is keeping us from being happy? Below are four "happiness roadblocks" that might be inhibiting your bliss.
1. Unfulfilled Expectations
Whether we realize it or not, we all have an underlying set of expectations for life. We have expectations for ourselves: how we should act, how successful we should be. We have expectations for others: how they should act, how they should treat us. We also have expectations for life and how our days should unfold. Some of these expectations are fulfilled, and others are not. That's life, plain and simple.
Having expectations is an important part of life that helps direct the course of our lives and relationships. If we didn't expect ourselves to get up each morning and fulfill our responsibilities, there would likely be an increase of pizza deliveries and online movie streaming! Having expectations for how others should behave and treat us allows us to set boundaries and maintain healthy relationships.
Often, however, these beliefs about how ourselves, others, and life are supposed to be are so ingrained in us that the possibility of failing to meet said expectations is too much to bear. The problem lies in us attaching our personal happiness to the fulfillment of these expectations that are often out of our control
, and the difficulty some of us have in accepting unfulfilled expectations. Releasing our tight grip on how we expect people to act and how life should unfold gives us the space to experience life as a journey. Loosening our expectations and control allows us to maintain equilibrium and happiness when things don't go according to our plans.