Fear of Being Happy: How To Overcome Cherophobia?

Last Update on September 17, 2021 : 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 to happen you sacrifice your happiness. You might begin to think like ‘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, 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 the phobia because of past 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:

  1. You 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.
  2. There is a guilt of being happy. In this sad suffering world how can one be happy? This thought has messed up your life, trust me! There are many of us who feel guilty about how they can be happy when others are suffering.
  3. If you express happiness it will turn friends into foes. Now, you must have seen this in movies, no one is happy with other’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.
  4. You’ll be labelled selfish if you pursue your happiness. Many of us unfortunately believe that pursuing happiness is a self-centered act. Therefore, you shouldn’t be doing that.

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 3 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.

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.

Do you want to read about more phobias? Search here to read about other phobias as well.

Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe!

About The Author

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.

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