There are many different problems with developing happiness.
For instance, some people want to stay stuck in a victim mentality where happiness doesn’t get a chance to spoil their persona – NO MATTER WHAT! Happiness, in that case, is a the death to their whiny, complaining, and pitiful existence, and without that, who else would they have?
Another problem with happiness is that it causes you to take ownership of your own life. You can no longer blame other people for your happiness (or lack thereof), and that sucks – because it is fun to talk about ‘this jerk’, or ‘that mean person’, or ‘that group of stupid people’ – or whatever.
I think, though, that the biggest problem with developing happiness is that fact that in order to do it, you have to step out of your comfort zone – and that is scary.
What Is Your Comfort Zone?
I have a family member who lives is his comfort zone. He does the same thing every day, and he will not do anything outside of that routine. His daily routine is his comfort zone, and going out and engaging in new activities scares him – even if it would make him happier. For instance, even though he loves to play cards, but he will not go out to a senior’s home to meet people who want to play with him. Why? Because that is not comfortable to him, and he will not push through that zone.
In fact, its uncomfortable for him to watch a few minutes of a YouTube video if you ask, and he will get downright upset if he has to do it. So, how can he find things that are going to make him happier if he doesn’t try new things?
Your comfort zone is that place where you feel safe, secure, and as stress-free as possible. We all have one.
- My neighbors comfort zone is in her house while occasionally yelling at neighbors
- My comfort zone is working from home and only going out to visit people I really like
- My mom’s comfort zone is staying at a job she’s done for 40+ years
- My husband’s mom’s comfort zone is going to the Italian center instead of the local grocery store
Obviously there are different aspects to your comfort zone than just one thing. But it really boils down to choosing to do what you feel comfortable with.
Why Pushing Through Your Comfort Zone Develops Happiness
For the most part, you can’t become more fulfilled without moving through your comfort zone. For instance, I worked at a hospital where I was comfortable, but not happy. I wanted to get out of there, but the daily comfort of knowing what I was doing held me hostage. One day, obviously, I had enough and quit, and that’s when my life started moving in another direction. If I had stayed, I would still be in that unhappy (but comfortable) state.
The bottom line is that your life can’t move in a different direction until you get off a straight and narrow path. You may notice new ideas, things, people, or whatever that will make you happy as you travel down your path, but if they are not on your path, then you are not going to reach them until you take a step in a different direction.
Yes, There Is Risk!
Pushing through your comfort zone involves risk, but anything you do to move towards a more fulfilled you can also involve more happiness.
- Signing up to an online dating site sets you up for rejection, but there is a possibility of finding your soul-mate.
- Taking a new class can be stressful, and you may not pass, but there is a possibility of passing and moving towards your dreams and goals.
- Going to the senior center involves talking to new people, but you may find a friend who makes you feel great!
- Retiring means you have to give up the routine you are so familiar with, but you may find so many more fulfilling things to do if you look.
And this is how I view it if things are not going to work out…
If everything works out in a bad way, at least you can feel good about trying to increase your happiness.
You will then know that the online date site, or class, or senior center is NOT right for you. It will not increase your happiness, and you can look for other ways to become happier.
So How Do You Fix Being Stuck In Your Comfort Zone?
You make a choice to just keeping going down that road and once in a while take a turn towards something that might excite you.
- You don’t have to commit to new things.
- You don’t have to like it.
- You don’t have to be a slave to a new way of life.
You just have to try out new things and see if they help you feel better about life, yourself, your friends, and the world around you. If you don’t like, no harm done. Go back to your old way of doing things and look for more things to try that will increase your happiness.
Just don’t stop trying to develop your happiness.