Friday, February 13, 2015

How Much Happiness can you Stand?

The other day, I woke up to the sun shining after days of fog and clouds. Yes! This is going to be a good day. I sat in bed for a few minutes and reflected on all the good that I had received over the last couple of months. My kids are all happy, no one is sick, my husband just got a big promotion, my business is thriving, My savings account is growing, I have lost 5 pounds, and the future looks bright. I checked my schedule for the day and remembered I had a lunch date with one of my favorite friends. And it just kept going! The day was awesome! I helped the kids with homeschool, met my friend for lunch, and came home and prepared dinner. All was good in fairyland, until my husband walked through the door from work and before I knew it, we were having an argument. I don't even know what we were arguing about. I didn't know then and I don't know now.   What I do know is that I started it. 

Has that ever happened to you before? Things are going great and then, seemingly out of nowhere, conflict comes. You get sick. You lose your job. You yell at one of your kids. Things in you marriage are going fantastic and suddenly you find yourself picking a fight with your spouse? It makes no sense, does it?

I read a book recently that totally changed the way I look at these situations. Its called "The Big Leap" by Gay Hendricks.

Hendricks proposes that we all have a "happiness thermostat" inside our brains that determines how much happiness we are comfortable with. Just like the thermostat in your home, which works to keep the temperature from becoming too hot or too cold, this internal thermostat works to make sure we don't become too happy or too sad. Its a safety mechanism that ensures we will stay inside our comfort zone, far from the perceived threat of the unknown. (Delirious Happiness, Gasp!)

In the last month, so many great things have happened that I thought to myself repeatedly , "This is the happiest I have ever been! This feels too good to be true! I wonder when the other shoe is going  to drop?" And then, my subconscious mind kicked in to make sure the other shoe DID drop, so I wouldn't have to walk around in fear of WHEN it did. All of that happened without thinking, and I initiated an argument with my husband to bring myself right back to my happiness comfort zone-not too much, not to little. 73 degrees of happiness.

Once we recognize the way we are self sabotaging our happiness, we can recognize it and move past it. 

 How much Happiness can you Stand?

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