The love or joy or contentment we can feel at times can feel just as overwhelming to our body as grief or sadness or despair. The more pauses we take between reaction and action, the more we can acknowledge when the feeling of joy or happiness is feeling overwhelming to our system. In those moments we can take a pause to invite the overwhelm in, which can actively increase our capacity to contain joy in our body. The power of getting comfortable with discomfort can support us in almost every area of our life so that we can stay connected to ourselves and make the best decisions we can in any moment.
After my wedding was over in October, for 3 days after that I welcomed in the discomfort of feeling overwhelming joy and gratitude for our families, for how amazing the day went, for the love I felt for my husband. If I had bypassed acknowledging the immense feeling of joy I was experiencing, I might have been found myself face deep in all of our wedding pie we had leftover. Instead, I just kept naming that I felt overwhelmed with all the joy present and we created space for the discomfort to be there.
Those Upper Limits of Happiness can be created at a young age for what we experience with our friends, with our family, with our teachers. For so many, keeping their sense of joy low can feel like a protective mechanism so that the same disappointment, grief, and sadness they might have experienced in childhood won't effect them in the same way in adulthood. Having been one of those individuals, I can say from personal experience, keeping my experience of joy low only diminished my ability to actually feel alive, feel connected, and take risks no matter the outcome so that I can learn and grow.
So the next time you feel an immense amount of joy, happiness, and contentment in your life, if you notice that your next impulse is wanting to engage in a self sabotaging pattern, allow yourself to sit with the urge to diminish your sense of joy and do whatever you need to do in that moment to move that discomfort through you. Cry, dance, breath, meditate, sing, whatever would support you in allowing yourself to fully experience a sense of happiness in your life.