Everyone strives to be happy but often, we sabotage our happiness. We engage in habits that ultimately rob us of our joy.
The good thing is that these habits are easy to identify and if you’re interested, can be fixed.
If you really want to feel happier and life a life of joy, quit these 10 habits that destroy your happiness.
10 Habits That Destroy Your Happiness
1. Negative Self-Talk
Most of the time, we ourselves are our own worst critics. Only you know yourself best. You know your weaknesses and shortcomings. In our minds we talk badly about ourselves all day long, often without even realizing we’re doing so.
Unfortunately, negative self-talk is one of the fastest ways to make yourself unhappy.
Ask yourself: What kind of mental talk do I engage in with myself? Be aware of these silent conversations you have in your head and replace negative terms with gentler, more constructive ones.
Instead of talking badly about yourself, be kind to yourself. We’re all here trying to do the best we can, so cut yourself some slack and reward yourself with some credit. Over time, this positive habit will help you progress in your path towards happiness.
2. Blaming Other people
A researcher named Brené Brown describes “blaming” as nothing other than one’s attempt to discharge pain — we feel pain, we automatically want to blame something or someone. Most human beings have a natural response to look for something else or someone else to blame as the cause for their pain or suffering. Through blaming, we can help reduce our pain. Believe it or no blaming is rather effective. But the problem here is that its effect doesn’t last long enough and we often misuse blaming.
To help stop yourself from your tendencies to blame, learn to take full responsibility for your actions/decisions and take look beyond the real issue of your problems and instead find solutions. Be aware of the times when you find yourself blaming others then strive respond differently. Do so, and find greater happiness.
3. Being a Control Freak
Trying to control everything is impossible and will only lead to your unhappiness. The truth is no one has the ability or absolute power to control everything. Control is something that many of us find hard to give up because we think that being in control gives us more sense of safety or security. The thing is it never works and we only end up seeking to control more and more.
The only thing in life that we really can control is our own attitude and reaction to the situations we find ourselves in. Make a conscious effort to respond positively to the things you cannot control and feel more peace and happiness.
4. Not Living in Gratitude
Withholding gratitude in a habit that contributes to one’s unhappiness. Gratitude is actually one of the fastest ways to help you achieve happiness and its opposite is also true if it is your habit to withhold gratitude. Ingratitude leads to a build up of misery from the inside.
If practicing constant gratitude is a new habit for you, you can start by noticing even the littlest of things you can be thankful for and making a mental note. The fact is even in the darkest of days, you can find something to be grateful for. Be thankful for each small blessings that come into your life and you will notice the good things soon start to multiply. Focusing on what you do have instead of the things you don’t have is great way to find more happiness.
5. Criticizing others
People who lack a healthy sense of self-worth are known to constantly criticize other people. Unhappy people often reflect their own self-judgment by pointing out other people’s faults in an attempt to hide their own fears of being seen as faulty.
No one is perfect and if you want to truly be happy, accept your shortcomings as well as those of others. Much like you, they also want to work towards their own happiness. Avoid criticizing others so you can begin to find greater happiness in your life.
6. Numbing, Substance Abuse and Addiction
Do you use alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, or even food and other substances to try to feel good or to numb yourself to escape your problems? Constantly seeking happiness in a bottle of beer or a tub of your favorite ice cream might feel good when you do it, but in the long run is actually robbing you of your own happiness. This is true most especially if you’re not doing anything at all to really solve your problems other than numbing out.
If you find yourself constantly relying on your addictions for some good time, it’s probably time to evaluate yourself and try quitting your bad habits once and for all. Who knows it may already be adding more problems to your life. You can find many resources both online and offline to help you quit your addictions so you can start your journey towards real, lasting happiness.
7. Not Working Towards Your Goals
Amazing things don’t usually happen overnight. On the same note, time passes by whether you like it or not. When you think about all the time you wasted when you didn’t work hard to achieve your goals or dreams, it can greatly diminish your happiness.
If you have a long-term goal or a dream you have always wanted to fulfill, the best way to be happy is to take regular steps each day towards making it happen.
When we put off the things we should be doing, it doesn’t eliminate it but rather creates even a bigger task for us to fulfill later on. Procrastinating creates stress.
Avoid the snowball effect of procrastinating. You can do this by evaluating the most important things you need to do and simply create a plan of how to do it – then stick with it. Sometimes the most routine and boring things are also the things that are most important.
9. Not Living in The Present
You cannot see, appreciate and feel all the happiness you could if you keep thinking about your past or regretting things from your past that you can no longer change. Likewise, if you keep obsessing about your future, you could be missing out on what’s already right there in front of you. While it’s good to learn from your past and wise to plan your future, try not to dwell on them too much in such a way that you’re not living in the present moment.
10. Not Being Yourself
Everyone born in this world is a unique individual. No one is exactly like you and no one can offer the world the gifts only you have. If you want to live a happier life, then stop trying to be someone you’re not. Instead, love yourself for who you are and be who you are. When we act in ways that are not who we really are, we pay the price in our happiness.