The Relationship Between Guilt and Happiness
We are all so busy, aren’t we?
And, in our busy lives we still always make sure that others around us have the things they need and go to the places they need to go to. We rarely will find time for ourselves and when we do, we feel guilty.
The truth is women feel guilty most of the time, for almost everything. Guilty is just our normal state. A survey was carried out which found that more than 96 per cent of women feel guilty at least once a day, while for almost half, the feeling strikes up to four times a day.
There are men who are prone to feeling guilty too of course, and women who are not, but on the whole most studies show that women are more likely to feel guilty than men. These studies support that females are biologically designed to be attuned to other people’s experiences, to feel their pain.
Scientifically, it may be that females come into this world with neurochemicals that stimulate nurturing, bonding, and empathy. But the problem is, we turn this beautiful quality of empathy, into the self-destructive habit of guilt.
In addition to a predisposition to feeling guilt, we have grown up learning the best way to achieve belonging is by being likable. And so, we spend a lot of energy trying to be pleasing, which, if you’re female, means keeping other people happy and if they’re not, it means that we have failed.
Some of us think that by spending time on ourselves we are being selfish. That we are undeserving, indulgent, or extravagant. However, it is none of these things. It is necessary. Afterall we can’t look after others if we don’t look after ourselves. By looking after ourselves and our own happiness, we become better partners, better parents and generally better people! So, whilst it’s nice to be kind and considerate to others, we need to find a balance.
Of course, our children and our partners are our number one priority, but that does not mean that their needs are more important than ours. Taking care of ourselves does not mean that we don’t care about others. It means that we will be happier and calmer and in a much better place to look after others well.
Doing things that make us feel happy, lift us, and make us smile is vital for our mental health. Making our own wellbeing a priority will help us start living and noticing the little things that life brings.
Why we shouldn’t feel guilty for being happy:
Happiness is a fantastic feeling! It makes us feel better about life and ourselves in general. Being able to tap into that happier and more positive mindset gives us the ability to be able to achieve what we want to and helps us be more productive. The happier we are, the more motivated we feel and the more belief we have within ourselves.
One of the most important things in life is your happiness. However, it’s also very common that we might feel we have to pretend to be happy or we must do certain things to be happy because others do them. But we all have different things that bring us happiness and that’s totally ok.
Happiness also boosts your immune system so it’s healthy to be happy. We need to set an example to our children or to others around us that it is ok to make your well-being a priority. It teaches them a sense of self-worth too. Show people that self-care isn’t selfish and the best way to do that is to be confident and proud about taking time out for ourselves and doing things that make us happy.
An easy way to help ease the guilt of self-care is by allocating some time every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. That way, you’re more likely to do it plus the more often you do it, the more ingrained it becomes, like building any habit.
Sometimes, a lack of time for ourselves means we don’t even know what does make us feel happy.
So, are you feeling a bit stuck, unmotivated, a bit fed up with life? Do you know there should be more to life, but you don’t know what that is?
I believe that people are like flowers, both need water and sunshine. Flowers need water to survive and sunshine to thrive. People are the same; we need water (e.g., the basics like home, food, clothes etc) but we too need sunshine to thrive. However, our sunshine is what makes us happy, what brings joy to our lives.
I help you to find your sunshine!
Get in touch to find out how.