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I’ve just completed several months of intense work, all by my choice. Today I do not have any deadlines that are pressing and nothing that I have to do. There is much I could do, but nothing I have to do. I can just breathe, enjoy the moments of the day, and be grateful.

Today I am mindful of contentment and joy. Petting my dogs, reading a good book, and being immersed in nature provides peacefulness. I don’t want to stop yet. I want to be in this place longer. The experience is fulfilling. I realize that I cheat myself of more days like this because I work too much. That’s a joy blocker for me.

Emotionally sensitive people tell me that one of the positives of having intense emotions is the power of their positive emotions. They also tell me that they don’t feel those positives very often or aren’t mindful of them.  So why is it that you don’t pay attention to the simple daily joys more frequently?  I think joy blockers get in your way. Here are some of the joy blockers I’ve learned about from talking with emotionally sensitive people.

Joy Blockers

1. You feel guilty about experiencing joy and happiness, so you don’t let yourself be mindful of those emotions.

2.  You think that you can only focus on joy after your work is done and it’s never done.

3.  The difficult emotions are so powerful that you focus on those. When you aren’t upset you are worried about becoming upset.

4.  Even small upsets in the day overwhelm you so you aren’t aware of simple joys.

5.  You’re afraid to be aware of joy because it hurts too much when it stops.

6.  When you’re joyful you minimize it by worrying about when it is going to stop.

7.  If you are mindful of joy and experience it, people might not understand that you are still in pain.

8.  You believe that if you feel joy it would be a betrayal to the person you are sad about losing and perhaps even mean you didn’t care about him or her.

9.  You ruminate about the negative even when it is long past and even when the present is pleasant.

10.  You are more mindful of the difficulties in life and not mindful of the simple pleasures.

11. You don’t create joy in your life.

12.  You are afraid of joy.

What others would you add?  Being more mindful of positive emotions can add pleasure to your life and increase your ability to manage annoyances and irritations. If you have joy blockers, consider practicing mindfulness of joy and/or contentment as a way of overcoming them.

Research Study

I am now conducting the research study about emotionally sensitive people. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me to participate. Your help has been amazing. The study involves filling out some questionnaires and participating in a recorded interview about what emotional sensitivity means to you. If you are interested in being interviewed please email me your contact information. My email address is [email protected] This project has been reviewed by the University of Houston Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (713) 743-9204.






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