What makes us happy is sometimes hard to define. You may have material wealth, power or fame, yet still be unhappy. Or you may have little more than the shoes on your feet yet overflow with joy, because happiness is a state of mind. It seems that to be truly happy, you need to find the happiness that comes from within.
Listed below are some habits that seem like they should bring happiness, but in fact they do just the opposite!
1. Comparing Yourself to Others
This will either create feelings of guilt for living more comfortably than others who are struggling, or feelings of inadequacy compared to those who have more.
2. Talking About Your Dreams Instead of Going to Work on Them
If it inspires action, talking about your dreams is fantastic. But sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of talking and not setting ourselves any goals. Rather than trying to tackle the goal head on, try breaking it up into smaller, bite sized and achievable goals that will help promote progress.
3. Listening to People With Nothing Positive to Say
Spending time around consistently negative people will drain energy and bring down the mood. Try to spend more time with positive people, it can raise feelings of self esteem and self worth.
4. Focusing on the News
Watching the news is virtually guaranteed to bring everyone down and create feelings of helplessness and a lack of hope. Instead, focus on positive steps that can be made in the local community, such as volunteering for a charity or getting involved in a local community group
5. Deciding Someone Else Needs to Change
Finding fault in others is easy, but it’s much harder to find those things within yourself that could use a little attention. Trying to better yourself is a much more efficient use of time and effort, as trying to change others is often futile and a waste of precious energy.
6. Thinking “Happiness” is a Destination That Can be Reached
Happiness does not just arrive and stay with us once a goal has been achieved. For instance, getting married or receiving a pay rise will not ensure “forever happiness”. It should be a journey, making plans to get from one goal to the next, and enjoying each challenge.
7. Forgetting to Say “Thank You” – Gratitude
It’s easy to take for granted all the things that we should be thankful for – friends, family, loved ones, health, a job … By focusing on all that there is to be grateful for (jot down whatever comes to mind on a notepad, for starters), you’ll instantly feel happier.
Living in the Moment: Another Key to Being Happy
How often the mind wanders is frequently a predictor of how happy a person is. One study found, in fact, that the more often you take yourself out of the present moment, the less happy you are.
So … be immersed in whatever it is that’s happening right now, and take time to really be in each moment. Practice mindfulness and avoid replaying past negative events or worrying about the future; just savor the here & now.