Here are some little habits that I believe get in the way of happiness & joy and cause unnecessary stress. I have done all of these and I think many or most people probably do a few of these every now and again. I think we should not make these things into serious habits and if they already are a bad habit for us, we can “unlearn” them. With practice, we can learn to avoid these happiness killers and cultivate positive habits instead.
1.) Overly comparing yourself with others
This is something so many of us do constantly. I used to do this so much. We look at people around us, people on Facebook & blogs, coworkers, celebrities, peers, family members….and see how much “better” we think they have it. Everyone lives at their own pace and even some people who seem to “have it all” are often unhappy and people with very little material objects & things can be very happy & fulfilled. If you catch yourself comparing yourself negatively to others, it may benefit you to stop and remind yourself of a few things that are going right for you and make that a habit until eventually the negative comparisons will mostly stop. Let us be inspired, motivated by, and in awe of other people’s successes and not jealous or depressed over them. It’s better to focus on being better than your previous self, not better than someone else. Dwelling on feeling low about your own life or self won’t help you. Change what you can if you really want to; it’s worth it! And accept what you can’t change! Let you & your life be your own kind of beautiful!
2.) Dwelling on or obsessing over what other people think
It’s ok & healthy to care to a certain degree what others think of us but it should not be so important that it stresses us out or takes over our lives, making us deny or repress our true selves. Everyone has good things & bad things, people who like them and people who don’t. It’s good to just focus on being our true selves no matter what. What YOU think of you matters most! 🙂
3.) Putting happiness on hold until the “perfect” moment or until something big happens.
Often, we feel that we can’t or won’t be happy or we can’t celebrate life until….we have a better job, more money, lose five pounds, have kids, get married, graduate, get a work promotion, go on vacation, the weekend, next year…..and it’s ok to want and work for all of that but we should never let it take away right NOW. Ordinary occurrences, days, & moments are just as important and are a true gift. Let’s not lose them for something “bigger & better.”
Wear your favorite earrings, your favorite clothes, buy yourself flowers, NOW!
Celebrate NOW. Celebrate you. Celebrate life itself. Be happy NOW!. ;-D
4.) holding onto grudges
Almost everyone has been or will be hurt in some way by someone else. It may be a small way or in a significant, tragic, life-changing way. I don’t believe that forgiveness is always necessary but whether or not we completely forgive, we should not let what someone did to us, destroy us. We can let go or find ways to cope with the hostile feelings we have for people who hurt us and not dwell on the person or incident. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean believing what the person did is ok, it means we choose to no longer let it have a hold on us.
You don’t have to love or accept the person, just let go for yourself. And accept yourself!
5.) getting wrapped up in trivial arguments/not letting things slide
Some things really have to be confronted but many things can be let go before anything even begins…maybe a rude comment made by someone, a stranger pushing you out of the way on a crowded bus, someone accusing you of being wrong about something trivial when you know you’re right, someone trying to start a frivolous argument with you….these things can often be brushed off and are often not even worthy of your attention. Definitely stand up for yourself, express yourself, have a backbone but there’s no need to blow things out of proportion. Some things can be ignored so we can move forward and get on with our lives.
It may appear to be a “weakness” on your part or like the other person got over on you but I believe just the opposite. When you can maintain your composure and keep calm in and out that is a true strength and no one got over on you! When you get all worked up and furious then someone got over on you. Even if you punch the person in the face or yell insults, you let your anger get the better of you.
6.) doing things for people just for “credit” or appearance or for something in return
Being “fake” and acting kind & friendly to people just for a certain reputation or to get stuff out of it is likely to leave someone feeling unfulfilled. If you really just don’t care about being kind to people, helping others, maybe you can find something else you love instead of putting on a show. Doing something you don’t like, pretending to be someone you aren’t can make you feel hollow inside. Emptiness is an unpleasant emotion. And as the saying goes, it’s better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not. It’s so true, imo.
I think we should help others because we genuinely want to even if no one knows and even if we don’t get tangible rewards out of it. Helping people is beautiful! And helping animals too!
7.) being too concerned with money
It’s ok to want & work for money but it’s not the best thing in life, in my opinion anyway. There are more fulfilling things, like rewarding jobs helping people or ones that are fun and interesting, even if they are low paying jobs. We don’t have to be stacked to be happy! ;-D. We can do volunteer work or paid word that is truly rewarding. This is just my opinion. I think some people feel like they need money to be happy when if they look within themselves they’ll see it’s not so true. But if someone really is interested in money more than anything and has no problem with that and is fulfilled anyway, that’s ok! Whatever floats your boat!
:-D. As long as you’re truly fulfilled!
8.) Dwelling on lack & loss instead of abundance & gratitude
We all lack something & will eventually lose something. And we can dwell on that if we want to. But we also have so much to be grateful for and can dwell on that instead!
“You can cling to your loss or learn to dance again.”
This can be difficult but it is possible with practice & a positive frame of mind.
This quote helped me tremendously when my grief over the loss of my dog was overwhelming me, many months later. I think it may be a biblical/spiritual quote. I’m not religious or anything but I still find beauty and inspiration in some religious/spuritual stuff. I still have difficulty coping with the loss of my dog in April 2013. But it helps me to focus on what I do have.
You can work for more while still Acknowledging and appreciating what you currently have.
9.) being stuck in the past or obsessing over the future
Remembering & planning is good. But we are alive now and should not let our past imprison us either by regretting it frequently or mourning it and we don’t have to fear the unknown of the future or put happiness on hold for it.
10.) resisting the flow of life/reality
We should definitely work to make things better. But life will always be happy & sad, positive & negative, pleasant & unpleasant & joyful & painful. That can’t be changed. Not all bad can be eradicated. Some things just have to be accepted for peace of mind. We should in no way ignore or deny negativity or pain, just accept it and embrace it when it can’t be changed.
11.) taking life too seriously.
Some things just have to be laughed at, joked about, and let go. Everything doesn’t have to be a big thing to get angry over, stress over, break down over & held on to. Don’t sweat the small stuff and it’s all small stuff! 😉
12.) perpetuating gossip/drama:
Even if you yourself aren’t into gossip & drama, as long as you live and interact with people, at one point or another you will probably encounter someone who spreads gossip about you or tries to bring drama to you one way or another. I see so frequently on Facebook, usually girl’s, posting statuses like “She’s talking shit about me again..blah blah blahhh…” & “Shut your mouth instead of blabbing stuff about my life….” & “People are talking so much about me and I’m tired of the drama….” & “I want to punch her in the face or bitch slap her….”.
Some of these girls probably really are innocent “victims” of someone gossiping and being dramatic and want nothing to do with it and are just venting but when I see statuses like that I often think that many of these girls secretly like being the “victim” of it or engaging in it and they want everyone on their list to see that they have something going on in their lives. They often don’t post names but just allude to someone. If you really don’t like gossip & drama, I believe that it’s best not to even post statuses like that at all and either ignore the gossipers & drama queens or confront them in a calm civil manner & just focus on being a great person yourself. Even if you don’t post names, you’re still engaging in & perpetuating it. I don’t mind seeing these statuses at all, they have nothing to do with me and I can always block or “x” the person’s posts out if I want. People can post whatever they want on their account but my point is that negative girly gossip & drama can stress us out & in my opinion isn’t at all attractive or interesting. Those have to be some of the most boring statuses I have ever read. But some people really take pleasure in them. Whatever floats your boat! :-D. I’m not innocent of those posts, I have posted a couple some years ago on rare occasions and it brought me nothing good.
13.) Harboring excessive or delusional guilt: Sometimes we may feel guilty when our lives are going well and tragedy has struck somewhere else. But repressing our own gratitude will not help in any way. It’s ok to be happy even when others aren’t. We can have empathy & compassion for them and reach out to them while still embracing our own lives.
We don’t have to be “in their faces” with how great it’s all going for us but we don’t have to feel guilty and repress our own happiness either. We can find a healthy balance when being around people who are suffering when we are not.
And if you unintentionally hurt someone and are truly sorry, forgive yourself even if that person doesn’t. We all make some kind of mistakes. And if you hurt someone intentionally, still, you deserve your own forgiveness. You can learn, realize you were wrong, and move forward with true intentions to not hurt people on purpose again.
You cannot take responsibility for the entire world or everyone you know. Go easy on yourself. You can’t do everything, cure everyone, or help everyone. Just be the best you that you can be without trying for some objective sense of Perfection.
14.) Obsessing over/attempting perfection :
No one can be perfect in everyone’s eyes and even if we could, we shouldn’t try, in my opinion. We should just consciously be our authentic selves. Perfection is actually subjective for the most part. What’s perfect to me may not be to you. Why be my definition of perfect? Or Society’s? Or your friends’, family’s, or lover’s? Making some compromises to be compatible with others is sometimes a very good thing but denying your whole true self or most of yourself for someone else is detrimental to you. You are just as important as anyone else.
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
15.) Treating yourself horribly/thinking/talking negatively in reference to yourself:
Many people mistreat themselves terribly in ways they would never dream of treating others. They verbally abuse themselves frequently with words like “Stupid,” “fat,” “loser,” “no good,” and the list goes on…..
Would you call your best friend “fat” or your mom? Do you constantly call your friends “stupid” not just in a playful way but seriously to offend? Probably not. And you shouldn’t do that to yourself! You are no less than anyone else! Instead when you catch yourself calling yourself insults or thinking negatively about yourself whether it’s true or not, think of how you can work on yourself to change for the better. If you really think you’re stupid see what you can do to not feel that way. And when you think of Negative words about yourself, then think of three or more positive qualities you possess. And if there’s ones you would like to have but feel that you don’t yet have them, think of ways you can work on yourself to develop or strengthen them. But don’t abuse yourself.
I have worked hard to change certain ways and things I think about me. Years ago I constantly referred to myself as a “loser,” “piece of shit,” “worthless,” “taking up more space then I deserve in this world,” and I would frequently say and think things like “I would rather be dead!” or “If that ever happens I will die!”
Now I do not say or think those things. Not even in jest. It’s not funny and even as a joke it may unconsciously bring me down.
Habits can be intentionally and unintentionally learned and ingrained. And they can be un-learned with practice and conscious application. It is definitely worth the work!
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
If you have any you would like to share, you can post in the comments section! I would love to know! 😀
Much love & happiness to you!