I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier

When Bronnie Ware asked people on their death beds about any regrets they had or anything they do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.

After gearing so many Bronnie compiled a book called the 5 regrets of the dying, so those of us still alive could have a reference and most importantly learn from the clarity and wisdom of those about to pass over.


One of these 5 most common regrets was I wish I had let myself be happier.

She even stated that this one was a surprisingly common one. Reason for which being that most pope did not realise that happiness was a choice until it was too late.

They stayed stuck in old patterns, routines and habits.

Sometimes comfort and familiarity can take over our lives. It sometimes boiled down to a fear of change, which had them pretending to others that they were content with life, when in reality deep inside, they had longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

If happiness is a choice then why don’t we chose it more?

I(Ola) personally work with young children and see how life can be very difficult at such an early age. Experiences in early life as well as throughout life can leave us feeling that we do not have a in choice in the way we feel or direction of our life’s.

Experiences in our childhood and the fact that most of our parents have experiences and been scarred by life influence is in ways that we are unaware of and unconscious to.


The primacy of emotions


Silvan Tomkins, known for his contribution and understanding of human behaviour via primacy of emotion. He believes that our emotions are forms of immediate experience with the world. Htey are expressed in our body before we are conciously aware of them. He distinguished nine innate emotions that every child is born with. Research has since supported histheory by showing that these nine emotional states are pre-programmed in to our facial muscles. We need them for survival and every human being on the planet expresses these 9 emotions in a similar way facially.


They are:

  • Enjoyment/Joy
  • Interest/Excitement
  • Surprise/Startle
  • Anger/Rage
  • Disgust
  • Dissmell (reaction to bad smell)
  • Distress/Anguish/Sadness
  • Fear/Terror
  • Shame/Humiliation

As such, its very natural to feel a wide spectrum of emotions.

We are emotional being and are hard wired to feel a spectrum of emotions. As childre we are encouraged to feel the positive emotions whilst also mostly discouraged from feeling and epxressing the negative ones.

In Summary

If we were allowed to feel anger, rage, sadness, distress and fear as natural states we would have a greater potential to allow the healing of repressed emotions arising from painful experiences in childhood and in our pasts. Then joy and happiness can become choices rather than states that we wait for circumstances or the permission from ourselves and others to feel.


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EP42 – I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier

00:00 / 53:51
EP42 – I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier
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