Happiness- A state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
1. Holding onto Fears
How many of us can say that we are fearless? Not many, I am sure. The last thing we want to do in life is look back with regret of lost opportunities; how many chances for enjoyment have you passed up because of fear? In most cases the only thing holding us back is worry. Fear of the unknown is the one I fall victim to most often. Corrie ten Boom put it best, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength…Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
2. Procrastinating/ Waiting for the “Right Time”
For an example on a smaller scale, my check engine light has been on for about 6 months yet I probably acquired a new wardrobe since then. But, I am not referring to cleaning the garage here; I am referring to putting your life on hold for less important things. The real question to ask yourself is, are you existing or living? Ask her to marry you, go back to school, start that business, apply yourself to your dreams, etc. If you are waiting for the perfect moment, chances are that you are creating these “reasons” holding you back. Do it now.
3. Concerning Yourself with Others
This day and age it is difficult to stay away from the social media groupies posting about how wonderful every single moment of their life is. This obviously isn’t true and the problem is when we compare our real day to day lives with this fantasy world social media creates. Naturally it causes self-doubt when we compare ourselves to others, especially since we tend to only compare ourselves to those we consider successful and happier than us. Self worth should come from within and happiness will be created. So, forget about what others are doing, set your own goals, and remember life is not a race…It’s a journey.
4. Living Monotonously
There is absolutely nothing wrong with routine, actually, a healthy routine contributes to daily productivity. The issue I am referring to here is lack of spontaneity. If you’re like me you get bored easily, so I need to spice things up often. It doesn’t have to be anything super crazy it could be as simple as going on Tripadvisor.com, typing in your zip code, closing your eyes and choosing an activity. Some of the happiest moments of my past are unplanned, impulsive trips.
5. Hating your Job
Let’s face it, not all of us have the opportunity to love what we do for a living. Some of us go to school for years and then realize the work isn’t what we thought it would be or some of us are working somewhere as we drive towards our dream job. The key is to make the best of the situation we’re in. Mother Teresa said, “Work without love is slavery” and I couldn’t agree more. So, if you find yourself dreading your work day I have some simple tips: Find someone at work that you get along with, stop complaining and gossiping at work, pick at least one thing about your job that you like and talk about it, stay positive, and most importantly continue to work towards your goal of your dream job.
6. Being too Busy
Someone once told me that I wasn’t too busy to do the things I wanted, I just need to prioritize. Of course I argued that statement but when it came down to it, they were right. This is what worked for me: I made a list of things I wanted to do (new hobbies and bucket list things), I calculated how much time I spend doing something less meaningful (watching TV), and I penciled these new things in place. My hobbies have become a meditation time for me and have, without a doubt, improved my mood and happiness. So I challenge each and every one of you to do this, I bet you aren’t too busy either. Take some time for you, it’s very important.
7. Holding Resentments
The definition of resentment is the experience of a negative emotion felt as a result of a real or imagined wrong done. Have you ever met an elderly couple who seem to fight more than converse and blame everything on each other? Exactly. Forgiveness is easier said than done but it is essential to a person’s happiness. Resentment is the pain that keeps on giving; it resides in the brain and feeds on the heart. If these unexpressed feelings are not dealt with they create a veil, not allowing us to see life as it truly is. Forgive and ask for forgiveness, I guarantee you will be happier in the end.
8. Dwelling on the Past
There are no mistakes there are just lessons. When we begin to regret something from our past we need to dissect it and pull the positive out. It is very difficult to do this in real time but we must take a lesson from it after the fact. Forgive yourself/others for the past but don’t forget; to forget means to lose the message learned from the experience. Learning to let go is vital to our self-improvement because without this we will never grow. This is said perfectly by Johnny Cash:” You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
9. Being Self-Deprecating
Being overly modest is not an attractive trait and undervaluing yourself is not helpful. How you view yourself will consequently be how others view you. Acknowledge your positive qualities and skills, use them to your advantage. Never belittle yourself and always try your hardest. Give yourself a pep talk before performing a task; you should never say I can’t. How would you feel if someone said you’re not smart enough, good looking enough, or decent enough to do something? Pretty hurt I assume. So why do that to ourselves?
10. Seeking Transitory Bliss
We all know that there are some things that create happiness momentarily (shopping sprees, one night stands, etc.) and others that create a lasting happiness. So why do we continue to seek joy in things that cause fleeting pleasure? Well, it seems easier; Instant satisfaction is more appealing than the process and constant upkeep of long-term happiness. The main difference between the two is that true happiness will survive through life’s many ups and downs, the latter is temporary.
There are many other ways to contribute to your happiness but these are the bad habits I struggle with the most. What bad habits do you have?