Fear of Being Happy: How To Overcome Cherophobia?

Last Update on July 18, 2023 : Published on September 18, 2021

Have you been in a situation where you were extremely happy but feared expressing it? I sometimes hold my happiness because I fear that I will jinx it! You do that too or am I the only one doing this?

When this fear comes once in a while it’s completely fine. It may be your past that’s making you feel that way. The problem arises when the fear of being happy crawls in very frequently. It is unbelievable that there are many, many of us who fear happiness.

I can’t even imagine their pain. Having said that, we need to break this way of being. It is not good to feel that way all the time. Being able to experience happiness is very good for your mind, body and soul.

If you fear being happy then this blog is for you. Learn to identify its signs and how to overcome it with us…

What is Cherophobia?

What is Cherophobia

When we break cherophobia into two, Chero (Chiaro, Greek word) means ‘to rejoice’ which is to feel, express and experience happiness. And we all know by now that phobia means ‘to fear something’. Cherophobia is the fear of being happy.

Anybody who is afraid of happiness can be considered as a Cherophobic. When you have a phobia of a certain thing the fear is at its highest intensity. Immense fear is about the happiness being taken away from you.

The fear is mostly guided by the thought that if you feel happy something will happen and will take away from happiness. So, to avoid any bad thing happening you sacrifice your happiness. You might begin to think ‘If I don’t feel happy then nothing bad will happen.’

Hence, whenever you are in a state of happiness your fear rushes in to tell you that now something horrible is going to happen. This is called Cherophobia, a fear of being happy.

“Why Am I Afraid of Being Happy?”

Why am I afraid of being happy

There are many reasons behind your fear. It depends on how you define happiness and fear. Many people develop phobias because of previous negative experiences. Some may start feeling afraid of seeing others struggle.

There can be any reason causing cherophobia but some of the most common thoughts that make you feel this way are:

  • Cognitive Belief

If you have a negative core belief about your happiness, then it can contribute to the fear of being happy. You may think that if you are happy, something will happen to sabotage your happiness. There is a constant fear of your happiness being taken away. Hence, fear makes you avoid being happy.

  • Guilt

Guilt is another reason why you may fear being happy. You may think that in this sad suffering world, how can one be happy? This thought messes up your life, trust me! Many of us feel guilty about how we can be happy when others are suffering.

  • Fear of Losing Loved Ones

Another cause of cherophobia could be an irrational fear of losing loved ones. You may believe that if you express happiness it will turn friends into foes. Now, you must have seen this in movies, no one is happy with another’s success.

So people begin to work towards killing the other’s happiness. Simply put, your happiness will make others envious and they might act in a way that will destroy your happiness.

  • Fear of Being Judged

Cherophobia can be caused by another fear, that is, the fear of being judged, socially. You may fear that others may label you as selfish if you pursue happiness. Many of us, unfortunately, believe that seeking happiness is a self-centered act and should not be doing it for ourselves.

  • Perfectionism

If you’re a perfectionist, then you tend to put productivity and performance as your top priority. Because of this priority, you may feel that chasing happiness is a waste of time. It may also lead to an irrational belief that happiness might ruin the time that you may spend on completing tasks.

  • Depression

Mental health disorders such as depression can also be a cause of cherophobia, the fear of being happy. This disorder creates negative thinking, low mood, and hopelessness.

If you have depression, then you may feel that no matter who you hang out with or where you will never be happy. Therefore, you may fear being happy, because it might be an indication that something negative will follow if you’re happy.

Also read: Expectation v/s Reality: Is The Stress Robbing Your Happiness?

How Do I know I have a Fear of Being Happy?

A particular type of fear must meet certain criteria to be categorized as a phobia.  Here are some signs that will help you identify cherophobia in yourself or someone else.

  • Believing that being happy makes you a bad person
  • Avoids everything that may make you happy (family dinners, social gatherings, etc.)
  • Doesn’t express joy fearing it might upset others
  • Believes that happiness will lead to something bad
  • Rejects friendships, relationship and everything that might give happiness

These are the most common traits and beliefs of a cherophonic. If you notice this in someone you know, motivate them to get help.

Like all other phobias Cherophobia is diagnosable and treatable. Here is how you can overcome the fear of happiness.

How Can I Overcome Cherophobia?

How can I overcome Cherophobia

No phobia should be left unattended. Phobias are not easy to live with, get them treated as soon as you can. Getting professional help is the best way to overcome cherophobia. Here’s all you need to know about the treatment plan:

There are 7 things that work best when it comes to phobia:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Since there is a lot of unhelpful thinking involved in cherophobia, Cognitive behavioral therapy works really well in treating the same. It will help you identify the disturbing core belief and will also help you shift to a healthier neutral pathway.

2. Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy uses your fear itself to treat your phobia. It’s like you will be thrown in the deep end so that the fear goes away by facing it. You will be made to face the fear in order to conquer it!

3. Mindfulness Based Interventions

Practicing mindfulness will help you be in the moment. This will reduce the anxiety you experience because of the phobia. There are many mindfulness based interventions out there for you to choose from.

4. Meditation

This practice is similar to mindfulness-based interventions. You can practice meditation to relieve the stress that is often brought on by the fear of being happy. Meditation can allow you to focus on the present and stop you from losing yourself in the past or the future.

5. Journaling

Another simple way to overcome cherophobia is to practice journaling. You can write about what triggers your fear and what beliefs hold you back from seeking happiness to understand how to combat them. You can also use this tool to keep track of your progress in overcoming the fear of being happy.

6. Major Lifestyle Changes

Although therapy and relaxation techniques can help you overcome the fear of being happy, you can still try to make major lifestyle changes to accompany the treatment. You can establish a routine that can help you effectively deal with stress after a social gathering or you can choose to add more social activities to balance alone time with social time. Some small doses of happiness can’t hurt, right?

7. Social Support

If you wish to overcome cherophobia, then you can seek social support more. Support groups can help you with the anxiety you feel at the thought of being happy. It’s also a great platform to share your fears and thoughts and gain motivation from others who’ve gone through the same.

Final Words:

Cherophobia can be treated. Your treatment plan should be constructed according to your needs. So consult your therapist, sit together and work on your treatment plan. You can also try relaxation therapy, regular exercise and even journaling can be helpful.

I hope this blog helps you deal with the fear of being happy. Cherophobia is treatable so share this blog with all those people you think need to know about cherophobia.

Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe!

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

As Seen On