I like to think of happiness as a bubble that you create around you.
It’s the only bubble worth investing in that won’t cloud your judgment with fear and keep you in your comfort zone.
For me, it’s made up of courage, integrity, accountability and curiosity.
Not only does this bubble keep the right people away, but it gives me the confidence to create new realities for myself.
Coming to you live straight from my bubble, if you really want to be happier, say goodbye to these 9 habits.
1) Neglecting your health
I used to roll my eyes when someone would tell me that drinking water and sleeping enough would help me with my mental health.
Because how are water and sleep going to get rid of someone’s student loans? Or fix their broken relationships?
But then I became chronically dehydrated and sleep deprived – and let me tell you, drink your water and get that beauty sleep.
It won’t fix everything but it will help you regulate your moods. Which affects everything from how you stay motivated, to the way you think.
Your mood can be influenced by so many different things, many that can be out of your control.
Taking care of one of the things that is in your control will not only lighten your load but also give you the confidence that comes from having discipline.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just do your best and make it count for you.
2) Being reactive
Your thoughts and emotions are portals.
They give you bits of wisdom and access to your needs. But what you make of them can change everything.
When you are being reactive, that means you’re allowing your fears of yourself to control you.
By either acting during heightened states of emotions or allowing your overthinking to cloud your judgments.
Not being reactive doesn’t mean you should turn your feelings off, or that you should feel ashamed of your thoughts.
In fact, that will make things much worse.
Instead, sit with your emotions and make time to figure out what is making you second guess yourself.
It must be something!
Perhaps you don’t feel heard when you speak about your worries to the people around you.
Or perhaps there’s someone draining your energy and creating an imbalance in your life.
Whatever it is, you won’t know unless you figure out what you need, and see how your life lines up to it.
3) Relying on external validation
This will be the main thing that will poke holes in your precious bubble and create leaks in your happiness.
I was the saddest when everyone liked and agreed with me. But now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and it’s because I don’t prioritize the validation of others.
The truth about choosing external validation over your own is that you are never really being yourself.
But not only that, you are shutting yourself down by not giving yourself a chance to figure out what being yourself would even mean.
That means seeking personal validation requires action and the next couple of things on the list are all habits that are keeping you from answering the call to do so.
4) Changing who you are depending on who’s around
Sometimes, it’s not conscious.
Because sometimes, it’s a byproduct of not having your own values to form your own opinions.
So you’ll believe people as much as they believe in themselves. But nothing good ever came from believing the loudest person in the room.
If it is conscious, it will be caused by a desire to validate those around you. And sourcing your validation from how well they perceive you to fit that role.
It’s good to be flexible and consider multiple outcomes or perspectives. However, that shouldn’t be your entire identity.
An identity that depends on the existence of other people’s identities will keep you from cultivating authentic relationships.
In fact, you’ll attract ones that are threatened by you having your own opinions because a healthy and happy relationship would require you to honor each other’s differences.
5) Avoiding confrontation
Some of us were unfortunately taught that we can’t disagree with others without jeopardizing the integrity of our relationships.
For example, going against how you feel in order to satisfy a boss or a parent.
And yes, you should learn to respect other people’s boundaries. But if it feels like the peace depends on your silence and repression, it’s not a boundary.
It’s a means to control.
Bettering your relationship to conflict requires you to realize the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.
Which will liberate you on a bigger scale by demonstrating how excessive guilt and shame don’t have to be a part of your human experience.
And also that happiness happens when you start speaking up for yourself and having a self to speak up for.
6) Getting attached too quickly
To people, jobs, and et cetera!
Having control over your emotions and thoughts is a huge part of this.
In most cases, you can pursue something in two different ways.
One being where your intention is to show up as yourself, observing how your reality responds, and acting accordingly.
And the other where your actions are rooted in a lack mindset.
Meaning just because you’re pursuing something or someone, doesn’t mean you believe that you are truly deserving.
Usually, this can become a habit when you don’t give yourself enough credit for your achievements. So you rely on positive outcomes to prove yourself to yourself.
That’s right! Your impostor syndrome has long-term effects.
So start taking ownership for your life – especially the parts that help you feel successful in the way you conquer reality.
7) Over-valuing productivity
If you have a hard time embodying success, it’s time to reflect on your relationship to productivity as well.
In a capitalistic society, we often measure our success by how productive we are.
And in that process, we can lose track of our achievements by getting caught up in what’s next.
No matter how motivated you feel by competition, viewing yourself as nothing but someone to beat will eat away at your happiness over time.
Also, if you’re always caught up in how you can one-up yourself, how are you supposed to find the time to feel good about what you’ve achieved?
The only thing that can offset the habit of being onto the next thing, is rest. And celebration!
Make time for both and remember where you started to remember why you keep going.
There is happiness to be felt in your growth as well as your potential.
8) Over-valuing material things
I like to personally celebrate the fruits of my labor by indulging in materialism.
However, I found that it is one of those habits that leaves a bigger hole than the one I tried to fill with it.
Even more than that, I realized I was seeking the illusion of control by planning purchases like they were necessities when they weren’t.
Which made me realize that excessive materialism and productivity were keeping me from deriving motivation from an authentic place.
Like I was motivated by the idea of not having something that I wanted to buy – that I didn’t even need. Why was my happiness so tied to a new pair of shoes?
Becoming aware of this made me realize that I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was.
So while it’s no secret that there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, make sure you don’t overdo it.
Because it will keep you from exploring the joys there are in having less and everything else.
9) All-or-nothing way of being
I’ll admit, this way of existing does add excitement to life.
Why else would gambling be so addicting? Why is anything addicting?
Because they obliterate the presence of everything that makes life complicated and scary by giving your brain something safe to hold and rely on.
But it’s the quickest route to burnout and disconnection from the self because you will always feel like reality is something to escape.
How can anyone feel happy or stable when they’re always on the run?
I want you to see yourself be more than just a creature of habit.
Because a lot of us weren’t taught to be truly happy – we were taught to make others happy.
Or at the least, to seek happiness from anything but ourselves.
But happiness isn’t a destination or something you win. It happens when you stop believing that it is a finite resource you have to fight over.
Which would require you to confront why you don’t feel deserving of being seen as you are.
So think of your bubble!
And enrich it in a way that makes you feel proud to be yourself – the rest will follow.