We all want to feel happy but so often, we are our own worst enemies. There are several habits that are the ultimate thieves of your happiness. If you want to feel happier and cultivate a life of joy, you must quit these 10 habits that absolutely kill your happiness.
1. Criticizing other people.
A lack of self-esteem and self-worth is evident when someone is constantly criticizing others. Being in criticism is a negative way of being and it impacts your own happiness as well as the happiness of those around you. People who criticize others are evidencing their own self-judgment. For example, if someone criticizes another for being incompetent, it is merely evidence of that person’s own fear of being perceived as incompetent.
If you want to be happy, accept the shortcomings of others and let them be. Just like you, they are also working to become better. Quit criticizing others and find greater happiness.
2. Withholding gratitude.
Gratitude is said to be one of the quickest shortcuts to happiness and the opposite is true for withholding gratitude. The habit of being ungrateful, causes misery builds up inside. Even on your darkest days, there are still things you can be grateful for.
If practicing gratitude is new to you, start out with the little things. If you only have a dollar in your pocket, be grateful you have a dollar. This is how the goodness within you life will multiply. Focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.
The issue is not whether you have an addiction but rather whether you are using drugs, alcohol, food or any other substance or pass time to either feel good or to avoid being fully engaged in life. Many people who don’t have addictions still use substances to feel good.
If you find yourself frequently seeking happiness in a glass of wine, a tub of ice cream or your favorite carbohydrate, it is time to reevaluate whether that really provides you with happiness or whether it is actually robbing you of your happiness. Many people who are not addicts have quit alcohol because they rely on it for having a good time. If you think this might be you, try quitting and see how you feel. There are many resources to help you along with this if you find that it is something that you need to eliminate from your life.
4. Trying to control everything.
There is no one on earth that has the capability or power to control everything. This habit is a hard one for many people. We want to be in control because we think it will give us some sense of security and safety. The problem is that because there is so much outside of our actual control, we end up feeling frustrated and miserable instead of safe and secure. Let go of what you can’t control and find more happiness.
- Note: There is one thing you can control and that is your attitude and your reaction to situations throughout the day. Make a concentrated effort to respond in a ways that are positive.
5. Blaming others.
As humans, we are hardwired to point blame. Researcher Brene Brown describes blame as nothing more than the discharging of pain. So when something painful happens to us, most of us have an innate response to find something or someone to blame for the pain we are feeling. By blaming, we are able to reduce our pain. As odd as it may sound, blaming is somewhat effective. The problem is that it doesn’t last long and it is usually misplaced.
To help yourself to stop blaming, try to catch yourself when you blame others for situations in your life. Take a look beyond the blame and seek to discover the real issue. Take responsibility for your actions and you will find greater happiness come your way.
6. Not being present.
There is only one place you can be at any given moment and that is the present. If most of your time is spent thinking about the past, lamenting over things that you cannot change, you will be unable to feel all the happiness that you could. The past is over and while it’s great to learn from the past, we should not live there within our minds.
Likewise, the future is great to plan for, but if you’re constantly thinking ahead, you miss what’s right before you – the now.
Recommended: The Power of Now
7. Talking badly about yourself.
So often we are our own worst critic. We know ourself like no one else does. We know our shortcomings, our faults and our excuses but talking badly about yourself is one of the quickest ways to feel unhappy. Become aware of your mental chatter. What kind of silent talk are you saying to yourself. Replace negative self-talk within your mind. Know that you are doing the best you can and give yourself credit for that. When you find yourself talking badly about yourself, stop and replace it with something good. It may feel awkward at first, but over time, this habit will take you far in your journey towards happiness.
8. Not being authentic.
You were made unique. There is no one like you with the special gifts you have to offer our world. If you want to be happy, then you must stop trying to be someone you’re not and instead embrace who you are. Being inauthentic is tiring and feels awful. When we act in ways that are incongruent with who we really are, there is a price to be paid and it is paid our of our happiness.
When we put things off that we must do, it does not eliminate them but usually creates a bigger job and perhaps even creates problems down the road. Nip your tasks in the bud and stop procrastinating. Evaluate what you need to get done each day/week/month and simply do it. Get your stuff done that needs to be done so you can avoid the snowball effect that happens by procrastinating. Sometimes the most boring or unpleasant things are also the things that need to be done in order to feel happy.
10. Not making progress towards your goals.
Great things don’t necessarily happen overnight. If you have a dream or a goal, the best way to achieve it is by taking little steps each day to work towards it. Time is going to pass by whether you want it to or not. When you look back on all the time that has passed where you didn’t work on your dream, it can rob you of your happiness. Take your happiness seriously by working regularly towards your dreams and goals.