The Antidote of Foreboding Joy

A Little Bit of Everything
2 min readMay 24, 2022


This post was originally posted the first time on my Quora. But I feel like sharing it here, too 👩🏻.

If you wonder what “Foreboding Joy” is: Foreboding joy is a feeling when we are afraid to lean into good news, wonderful moments, and joy.

I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop in every good moment I am experiencing. I am sometimes terrified that I will eventually face a disaster if I get too happy, so I’m not living in the “now” to feel the joy.

So recently read Brené Brown’s latest book “Atlas of The Heart.”

I have been reading this book for the past few months (on and off), and I am currently in chapter 11 out of 13.

Chapter 11 is about: Places We Go When Life is Good.

Brené Brown brings up “Gratitude” and “Foreboding Joy” in this chapter.

I have known the term Gratitude, and I believe every one of you does too. But this time, Brené Brown explains and connects it with another emotion that I’m experiencing (lots of times): Foreboding Joy.

In her book, Brené Brown writes a compelling paragraph:

When we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding. No emotion is more frightening than joy, because we believe if we allow ourselves to feel joy, we are inviting disaster”

From here, the point I take is: that I have to pay attention to my vulnerability that arises when I feel joy and do not feel guilty about being vulnerable while experiencing Joy.

Another Paragraph of Brené Brown:

In the midst of joy, there’s often a quiver, a shudder of vulnerability. Rather than using that as a warning sign to practice imagining the worst-casescenario, the people who lean into joy use the quiver as a reminder to practice gratitude”

This is awesome, isn’t it? I finally found the antidote of Foreboding Joy that I have been struggling for my whole life!

“Practicing Gratitude while experiencing joy is one thing to beat Foreboding Joy”

I have never really practiced Gratitude that deep, and after reading this, I want to commit myself to practice Gratitude and putting my tolerance for vulnerability into awareness.

I hope this helps everyone who (might) be reading this story.

Thank you and take care until then!