Everyone experiences unhappy times on occasion, but there is a big difference between experiencing a temporary bout of sadness and living a habitually unhappy life. That’s what chronically unhappy people do.
Even if you are generally a happy person, take a look at these seven habits to determine if any of them are keeping you from experiencing greater amounts of joy.
1. Playing it too safe.
Don’t play it so safe that you put yourself in situations where none of your potential options satisfy your calling. Dream your dream, but also realize that you are more than just the dreamer, you are the point of origin for your dream’s reality.
Your dream is your creative vision for your future life. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar. Start smashing through those emotional barriers. Move forward. Life doesn’t magically give you what you want in your mind; it gives you what you insist upon with your actions. Read The Power of Habit.
2. Continuous self doubt.
You will inevitably become who you believe yourself to be.
If you spend enough time saying, “I’m not smart enough, thin enough and rich enough,” it’s likely that you will someday be right. On the contrary, if you have the belief that you are smart enough, thin enough and rich enough now to take the next positive step forward, over time you will likely acquire the capacity to be these very things at your desired level of expectation.
3. Obsession with control.
Sometimes people put too much interest into trying to control every tiny aspect of their lives. Learn to let go, relax and ride the path that life takes you. Try something new, take a chance, but above all, smile and enjoy the scenery.
Freeing yourself from trying to control the insignificant things lets you experience more of the good stuff around you. The greatest joys in life are often the unexpected surprises that arrive when you are flexible and open to life’s twists and turns. Read Buddha’s Brain.
4. Setting unrealistic expectations.
You won’t drop two jean sizes overnight. Your relationships won’t grow without your attention. You can’t pay off $25K in debt in a week. Your new business venture won’t instantly turn a profit.
You’re going to make mistakes every now and then. You will go a day or two when you feel like you’re running in place. You’re going to try new techniques and they’re not always going to work. You’re a human being. You’re going to fail from time to time. But that’s how you grow. Worthwhile goals take work and persistence.
5. A bad attitude.
The greatest discovery you will ever make is that you can change your life by simply changing your attitude. Optimism is the most essential human trait, because it allows you to evolve your ideas and improve every situation you encounter.
So don’t take things for granted. Be positive and realize how fortunate you are. Not every day will be perfect, but if you pay attention you’ll realize that 99.9% of the time you’re having either a good day or a great day.
6. Slacking on exercise.
You DO have enough time to exercise. If you say otherwise, you’re lying to yourself. The truth is you don’t have time not to, or sooner or later you’ll be making time for illness.
At least 30 minutes of exercise every day has been proven on countless occasions by countless medical studies to increase the strength, happiness and longevity of human lives. You’re talking about three and a half hours a week. That’s hardly seems an excessive amount of time considering the tremendous benefits in terms of the impact on the remaining 164.5 hours of the week. Read The 4-Hour Body.
7. Overindulgence of a good thing.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
Eating too much makes you fat. Spending too much money makes you broke. Working too much leaves your family at home missing you. Playing too much leaves important work undone… And so on and so forth.
Happiness depends on the balancing act of applying your positive resources equally to the hungry deficits in your life. All details aside, the important thing to remember is this: Long-term happiness is never found in one good thing; it is a combination, it is a balanced lifestyle.
Photo by: Chelsea Chen