That happy, joyful feeling when your heart soars and you find yourself smiling is one of the best feelings on Earth. Most of us would love more happiness in everyday life. When we are happy, life seems to flow and it is easy to take inspired action. You can even create happiness habits that lead to more sustained joy, but it is also important to recognize joy stealers. You may find yourself caught up in a situation where your happiness buzz gets severely subdued.
Be aware of these six joy stealers. When you learn to recognize these, you can navigate around them and avoid the low energy feelings that accompany them.
Here they are:
Joy Stealer #1: People who have the one solution to all of your problems- they are right, everyone else is wrong. This occurs everywhere. I see it often in people who are trying to sell their solutions. Their one model is the perfect model for success and you are “doomed” if you do not follow their perfect model.
The Truth: There are multiple paths and solutions to the success you are looking for. You can use more than one model. You can think about your decision. You can weigh pros and cons. Learn from others, but evaluate.
Joy Stealer #2: Fearmongering. Unreasonable scare tactics that are often accompanied by horrible pictures used to manipulate you by fear. These pictures are often sad, depressing, and even revolting. They are used to initiate an emotional fear response that you are not safe. One of the basic human needs is safety. When we feel unsafe, it is extremely uncomfortable and most people do everything they can to avoid the pain of feeling unsafe.
The Truth: Fear serves its purpose when it makes us run from true danger. However, scare tactics that make us feel that some disaster is coming are most likely not true. You can ask, is this really true? Am I in danger? Often the fear you feel is worse than any actual possible outcome. Be self-aware. Recognize when you are acting from a place of fear or a place of love.
Joy Stealer #3: Procrastination. Delaying action that you know you want to take and that you know will make a positive difference creates pain. Procrastination creates heaviness, guilt, and self-blame. Procrastination prevents those dreams from coming true.
The Truth: Recognize procrastination. We are great at creating all kinds of “reasons why” we have not taken action, but maybe it is just plain old-fashioned procrastination. Taking even one small action will lead to more action and then momentum. If you have a long list of things you have not done, start with one item and you can even break down that one item into smaller parts. Consider that procrastination sometimes is the result of perfectionism or fear.
Joy Stealer #4: Always looking for something wrong. Have you met the person who finds something wrong with everything? Complainers are draining. They start off seeming like they are logical thinkers and trying to make things better. Soon you realize that there is no “better” for them, there is always something wrong.
Constant complaining is a habit. When you are around someone like this, you can take a step back, give yourself some space, and look at what is going right.Click to tweet
The Truth: Constant complaining is a habit. When you are around someone like this, you can take a step back, give yourself some space, and look at what is going right. You don’t have to get caught up in the complaining. Notice if you are the one who falls into a complaining habit. Writing a gratitude list can help you get out of this habit quickly.
Joy Stealer #5: Getting stuck in worry. Do you create endless scenarios of worry? Do you think about every possible awful outcome? Do you think you will forget an important detail? Worry is time and energy consuming and not very productive.
The Truth: Some worry may help protect us. We manage our risk by worrying. We think of details and then focus on prevention. These are good things. When we assess for danger and risk, we are protecting ourselves and loved ones. It is the worry that is all-consuming that steals joy. When you worry about things obsessively instead of taking action, you are letting worry take over. If you struggle with worry, you can release it through an energy exercise like tapping. Here is an audio tapping exercise on creating calm.
Joy Stealer #6: Energy vampires. An energy vampire seems to suck the life out of a room. You have probably felt this. Perhaps, you were having a great day and you come across a person where their presence seemed to dim your light. You might even notice that your energy feels like it is being pulled from you. These people are negative, demanding, needy, and they often play the victim. They manipulate and take people for granted. They get excited about other people’s disasters.
The Truth: You can control your own energy through setting strong boundaries and managing your own energy. Start each day being grounded. Say, “I feel my feet on the ground.” Maintain energy practices like yoga, meditation, or prayer. Notice when you feel uncomfortable. Limit your time with energy vampires. Notice the energy vampires in your life. Do you have several? If so, what are you doing to attract them? Are you willingly solving their problems every single time? Are you attached to them needing your help? Recognizing your role will help you find balance and distance.
Christiane Northrup’s book on Energy Vampires offers help and hope if this is an area of struggle for you (ad).
Of course, there are more joy-stealers out there, but the point today is to increase your self-awareness. When you notice what is happening in the moment, you can sustain and lift up your daily happiness.
Over the years that I have studied happiness, I have found that much of happiness comes down to choice. When you make happiness a choice, you create a happy lifestyle. Don’t wait for happiness to happen to you. Choose it. Spring into Joy. If you liked this, you will love this workshop
Sheri Kaye Hoff
Coach, Trainer, and Author, Sheri Kaye Hoff, is a Business and Life Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to the do work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community. Learn more about Sheri.
*Tapping is general advice and not medical or psychological advice.