Have you ever had something insanely exciting happen in your life? Something that caused you to feel a surge of pure, unadulterated happiness flowing through you? Where you literally danced for joy? When you believed it couldn’t possibly get any better than this?
And then, almost as quickly as that unbounded thrilling energy arrived, it nearly disappeared.
Why does that happen? Where did the Happy go?
It didn’t go anywhere… it simply hit your Happiness Ceiling: that invisible, imperceptible limit to how much good feeling stuff you allow yourself to experience.
Most of my clients, when introduced to the concept of the Happiness Ceiling, jump immediately to denial of its existence for them. People don’t want to believe that they would limit their own glee. But we all have that line beyond which we won’t allow ourselves to go.
Or, rather, our monkey minds won’t allow us to go there. Feeling too good is threatening to our rational minds… it’s way outside of our comfort zones, so we find ways of staying safe in what we’re used to. (We have Sadness Floors, too, but that’s a blog post for another time.)
So our ego voice starts telling all sorts of stories to get us to stay in our current safety zone:
“Whoa! Stop acting like a child!”
“I have plenty to be thankful for in my life… and I shouldn’t ask for more.”
“That wasn’t really that big of an accomplishment.”
“I don’t want to make anyone else feel bad, so I better curb my enthusiasm.”
And it works. Really, really well! Unless what you’re wanting is to keep growing and expanding, to feel better and better, to be of more and more service to humanity, to laugh louder and louder… then it doesn’t work that well at all, does it?
There is a way to overcome the Happiness Ceiling (to reset it to a new height), though. You have to notice what your monkey mind is doing, thank it for trying to keep you safe, and for sharing its concerns… and then, stay in that new joyful state for as long as you possibly can.
It’s just like making your muscles stronger by lifting heavier weights. You’re just strengthening your happiness muscle, instead of your quads.
You gotta ignore the naggy thoughts that pull you out of that happy state and commit to daydreaming and fantasizing about that thing that brought you to your Happiness Ceiling. And you may want to find a way to get some alone time, too, so you don’t have to deal with any self-conscious gunk while raising your Happiness Ceiling (“What will people think of me if I’m dancing around like a lunatic with a big, goofy grin plastered across my face?”).
So, yes, it’s a practice. And, no, there’s no magic pill and no wizard can come in to magically raise the Happiness Ceiling for you. But this is one prescription that will actually be fun to swallow. 🙂
I’d love to hear from you about the last time you hit your personal Happiness Ceiling, and what you did about it then that’s different than what you’ll do now with this new perspective. Share it in the comments below, so we can all benefit from your experience.