If you can’t remember the last time you felt joy, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

Feeling joy is often a choice. But sometimes, you find yourself stuck in a joyless rut, wondering when was the last time you felt genuine happiness.

This could be because of certain behaviors you’ve unknowingly adopted. These behaviors can suck the joy out of your life and leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled.

But don’t worry – I’m here to help you identify these joy-blocking behaviors. It’s time to say goodbye to them and welcome joy back into your life.

In this article, I’ll guide you through a much-needed behavioral cleanse. We’ll unpack those habits and replace them with choices that allow joy to flow freely.

Let’s embark on this journey towards rediscovering happiness.

1) Negativity Bias

We’re all wired to some extent to focus on the negative. It’s a survival mechanism that has served us well in the past. But in our modern lives, this negativity bias can often get in the way of feeling joy.

Negativity bias is our tendency to give more weight to negative experiences than positive ones. It’s why a single negative comment can overshadow a dozen compliments. It’s why we remember failures more vividly than our successes.

So, if you find yourself constantly dwelling on the negatives, it’s time to challenge this behavior. Start consciously focusing on the positives, no matter how small they may seem. Cultivating gratitude is a great way to counteract negativity bias.

It’s not about denying the negative aspects of life, but rather about not letting them overshadow the positive. Practice this, and you’ll start noticing a shift in your overall mood and outlook. Say goodbye to negativity bias, and say hello to joy.

2) Overthinking

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a chronic overthinker. I have spent countless hours replaying conversations in my head or worrying about things that haven’t even happened.

Overthinking can rob you of your joy. It traps you in your own head, ruminating on the past or fretting about the future, leaving little room for enjoying the present moment.

I remember a time when I was planning a trip with my friends. Instead of looking forward to all the fun we’d have, I found myself constantly worrying about all the things that could go wrong. The result? I was so stressed out that I couldn’t enjoy the anticipation of the trip.

It took a conscious effort for me to break out of this cycle. I started practicing mindfulness and focusing on the here and now. It wasn’t easy, but it made a huge difference to how I experienced life.

If overthinking is a behavior you’re familiar with, know that it’s not serving your joy. Start practicing mindfulness, live in the present moment, and say goodbye to overthinking.

3) Comparison Trap

In our digital age, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the comparison trap. Social media platforms are filled with people sharing their best moments, achievements, and possessions. But remember, what you’re seeing is just a highlight reel, not the entire story.

Did you know that studies have shown a direct correlation between time spent on social media and feelings of inadequacy and depression? It’s because we naturally compare ourselves to those perfect snapshots of others’ lives.

Escaping the comparison trap can be a game changer when it comes to rediscovering joy. Start by curbing your social media use or consciously choosing to use it in a healthier way. Celebrate your own achievements and take pride in your own journey.

4) Avoiding emotions

Emotions are a natural part of being human. However, there’s a common behavior many of us are guilty of – avoiding emotions, especially the uncomfortable ones.

Perhaps you distract yourself with work, binge-watch TV shows, or even numb yourself with substances to avoid feeling sad, angry, or anxious. I get it. It’s not comfortable to sit with these emotions.

But here’s the thing: by avoiding your emotions, you’re also blocking out the positive ones. Joy, after all, is an emotion too.

Start acknowledging and accepting your emotions. Let them flow through you without judgment. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a crucial step towards reclaiming your joy.

5) Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a major joy killer. While there’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence, obsessing over making everything perfect can lead to stress, anxiety, and disappointment.

When you set unrealistic expectations for yourself and others, you set yourself up for failure. And when things inevitably don’t go as planned, you’re left feeling unhappy and dissatisfied.

It’s important to understand that life is messy and chaotic. Mistakes are a natural part of growth and learning. Start embracing the imperfections in life and in yourself.

It’s time to say goodbye to perfectionism. Replace it with a healthier pursuit of progress, not perfection. This shift in mindset can help bring more joy into your life.

6) Neglecting self-care

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to put everyone else’s needs before your own. But neglecting self-care can lead you down a path of burnout and joylessness.

Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths and spa days, though those can be lovely. It’s about nourishing your mind, body, and soul in ways that make you feel good. It could be as simple as taking a walk in nature, reading a book, or even saying no when you’re overcommitted.

By consistently prioritizing self-care, you’re sending a powerful message to yourself: I matter. I’m important. And that can bring an immense amount of joy.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first, and watch how joy naturally follows.

7) Living on autopilot

Routines can be comforting, but when your entire life becomes one big routine, you might find yourself living on autopilot. Days merge into weeks, weeks into months, and before you know it, you’re wondering where the joy in your life went.

I found myself in this exact situation a few years ago. I was so caught up in my routine of work, chores, sleep, and repeat that I felt like I was merely existing, not living.

Breaking free from autopilot mode meant shaking things up. I started trying new things, exploring new places, and even picked up some new hobbies. These changes brought a newfound sense of excitement and joy back into my life.

If you feel like you’re just going through the motions, it’s time for a change. Break free from your routine, try something new and exciting. Say goodbye to living on autopilot and say hello to a life full of joy.

8) Holding onto grudges

Holding onto grudges is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. It’s a behavior that only ends up hurting you and blocking your joy.

When you hold onto anger and resentment, you’re giving power to the person who wronged you. You’re allowing them to occupy a space in your mind and heart, which can be exhausting and joy-draining.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, isn’t about letting someone off the hook for their actions. It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of carrying that grudge.

It’s time to say goodbye to old grudges. Practice forgiveness, not for them but for you. Let go of the past, and make room in your heart for more joy.

9) Ignoring your passions

One of the surefire ways to drain joy from your life is by ignoring your passions. When you suppress what truly makes you happy and fulfilled, you’re denying yourself the joy that comes from living a life aligned with your passion.

Maybe you love painting, but haven’t picked up a brush in years. Perhaps you have a knack for writing, but you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time for it.

Whatever it is that lights up your soul, make time for it. Life is too short not to do what makes you truly happy. Say goodbye to ignoring your passions and start living a life filled with joy.

Final reflection: It’s a journey

The journey to reclaiming joy isn’t always a straightforward path. It’s filled with ups and downs, trials and triumphs. And while it’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of happiness, it’s important to remember that joy is not a destination, but a journey.

Renowned poet Rumi once wrote, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” This profound statement encapsulates the essence of our journey. The behaviors that rob us of joy are often wounds that need healing. When we address them, we open ourselves up to the light – to joy.

So, as you embark on this journey of saying goodbye to these nine behaviors, remember to be gentle with yourself. Change takes time and patience. Every step you take, no matter how small, is a step towards a more joyful life.

Take this moment to reflect on the behaviors you’re ready to let go of and the joy that awaits you on the other side. Remember, you deserve happiness. And it’s within your power to cultivate it.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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